Category Archives: Homework

The Firm that Starts Work at 9.06am

© via BBC

B2 – Upper intermediate

Most employees consider having flexible work hours a perk. At Pivotal Software, they require their employees to clock in at exactly 9:06 in the morning.

Curious to know why? Click on the link below to read more about this unusual work rule.

The firm that starts work at 9.06am

Discuss:

1. Why are employees at Pivotal Software required to report to work at exactly 9:06 AM?
2. What do you think of this idea?
3. Would you like such rule to be implemented in your company? Why or why not?
4. Describe your work hours and your typical work day.
5. What are the things that you do to increase your productivity at work?

Achieving a Work-Life Balance

C1 – Advanced

Work-life balance refers to the balance between a person’s career and his or her personal life. Many people work longer hours and have fewer holidays and days off, in part because of globalization, outsourcing, and a loss of job security. As a result, employees have less time for personal interests, friends and family. Such an imbalance can lead to reduced productivity, depression and high levels of stress.  Although the employee makes the choice to work longer hours, the corporate culture is also responsible. Companies should educate their workers on the importance of a healthy work-life balance.

Watch the video carefully and be able to answer the discussion questions below:

Business English – Work-life Balance

Discuss:

  1. Do you have a good balance between your work and personal life? If yes, how do you achieve it?
  2. Do you like working under pressure?
  3. What deadlines do you have to meet in your daily life?
  4. Are you good at managing your time?
  5. Do you ever delegate tasks when you get too busy?
  6. Have you ever worked over the weekend to meet a deadline?
  7. Have you ever missed an important social or family event because of work?

Advice To Young Women

C1 – Advanced

Advice is usually a recommendation about what might be thought, said, or otherwise done to address a problem, make a decision, or manage a situation. Everyone needs to ask advice at some stage in their lives, whether it is from family, friends, colleagues, or another trusted individual. Likewise, we all offer advice, assistance and support to someone in need of guidance at some point in time.

Click the link and watch the video. Be able to answer the discussion question that follows:

English Conversation – Advice

Discuss:

  1. What do you think about the advice that was given to  young women?
  2. What is the best piece of advice you have received from a family member?
  3. What three pieces of advice will you give your children?
  4. Do you often ask family and friends for advice?
  5. Whose advice do you follow more, your parents’ or your friends’ advice?
  6. Do you ask your colleagues for advice?

Toys and Games

B2 – Upper intermediate

A game is structured form of play, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool.  Key components of games are goals, rules, challenge, and interaction. Games generally involve mental or physical stimulation, and often both. A toy is an object that can be used for play. Unlike games, there are no rules involved in playing with a toy.

Please click the link and watch the video. Be able to answer the discussion questions below:

English Conversations – Toys and Games

Discuss:

  1. Do you agree with the advice given in this video? Why? Why not?
  2. Do you think experiences are better than toys?
  3. What kind of games did you play when you were a child?
  4. What games are popular in your country today?
  5. What kinds of games were popular when you were young?
  6. Do you think adults should play games?
  7. What do children learn from games?

Math Anxiety

C1 – Advanced

Do you feel very worried when dealing with anything related to mathematics? If your answer is yes, keep this in mind: “anxiety is not a reflection of your ability”.

Watch this Ted-Ed video and learn more about mathematical anxiety, what causes it and what the best ways are to deal with it:

 

Let’s talk:
1. Explain the concept “growth mindset”. Do you agree with this?
2. What can you do when you suffer from math anxiety?
3. What problems did you have in math and how were you able to conquer it?
4. Are boys innately better at math than girls?
5. What were your best and weakest subjects when you were a student? Why do you think that is?

Funeral Discounts for Japan’s Elderly

B2 – Upper intermediate

In Japan, the authorities have been encouraging the older people to give up their licenses to reduce traffic related accidents that involve seniors.  A  funeral discount is given to them  to do the trick.  What do you think of this initiative? How successful do you think this strategy will be?

Let’s read more:

Funeral discounts for Japan’s elderly who quit driving 

Discuss:

1. How safe are the roads in your country?
2. Who are the most dangerous drivers in your country?
3. What would you do to make roads safer?
4. Should seniors have stickers on their cars to warn other drivers?
5. Should there be an age at which people should stop driving?
6. What kind or driver are you?

Why Do We Feel Nostalgia?

C1 – Advanced

On holidays, it’s natural to feel a longing for times gone by—a childhood spent singing carols or meals spent with now departed loved ones. Recently, scientists have explored the bittersweet feeling of nostalgia, finding that it serves a positive function, improving mood and possibly mental health.

Watch and listen carefully to the video and be ready to answer the questions:

Discuss:

1. What makes you nostalgic?

2. How often do you feel nostalgic and how does it affect you? Does it affect you in a positive way or in a negative way?

3. In your own opinion, Is nostalgia good or bad? Explain your answer.

4. How do you deal with nostalgia?

Video: Iran Pre-Nups Put Men in Jail

B2 – Upper intermediate

Every country has specific laws when it comes to marriage and separation. In Iran, a specific system is threatening husbands to face jail time if they fail to give spousal support.

Watch the video and be ready to answer discussion questions.

Iran pre-nups land thousands of men in jail

Discuss:

1. What is the “mehrieh” system and how is it affecting husbands?
2. What is the Iranian government doing to combat the problems in the “mehrieh” system?
3. Does your country have very strict rules when it comes to divorce and separation?
4. Are there cultural practices in your country regarding marriage that you think should be changed?

When to Tie the Knot

B2 – Upper intermediate

A person’s wedding day is considered to be important and special. Some weddings are small and intimate while some are extravagant.

Read the article below to know about the different factors that people consider before getting married.

When to Tie the Knot

Discuss: (from article)

  1. What do you think is the ideal age for people to get married? Why do you think so?
  2. At what age do people usually get married in your country? Is this too young or too old?
  3. What does a successful marriage need? Please explain.
  4. Many couples live together before tying the knot. Do you think helps or harms a marriage? Why?
  5. Should couples stay married no matter what? Why/not?

The Benefits of Good Posture

C1 – Advanced

Having good posture is imperative to have good health. Along with eating right and getting enough sleep, correct posture will help you be more physically fit.

Watch the video below to know how our posture affects our health.

Discuss:

1. What do you think about your posture? Is it good or bad?
2. According to the video, what does good posture look like?
3. What are the causes of poor posture? What are it effects?
4. How can one achieve a good posture?