Category Archives: Homework

Broken Heart Doctor

C1 – Advanced

Watch the video below of a doctor and how his heartbreak helped him become better at his profession. Share some of your experiences as well related to sympathizing and empathizing.

Discuss:

1. At the beginning of the video, the doctor said that his heart had a “giant hole in it.” What did he mean by this? What happened to him?
2. How did the doctor describe his loneliness?
3. Why did the doctor say that the hospital is great place to be in when a person is in pain? What kind of pain was he talking about?
4. How did the doctor describe his experience working at a children’s hospital?
5. How do past experiences in life help us in the present?

Literature to Explain Migrants to Children

B2 – Upper intermediate

Reading and literature brings about many benefits, especially in children. In Bologna, Italy, a book fair for children is featuring something different and very timely.

Take a look at the video below then express your thoughts.

Video: Book fair features literature to explain migrants to children

Discuss:

1. What is the point of this unique book fair in Bologna?
2. What are other ways we can educate children about migrants and the Syrian war?
3. Are book fairs a popular idea in your country? Have you been to one?
4. What are your preferences in books? Reading materials?
5. What are the advantages of children being exposed to reading books at an early age?

 

Wildlife Travel Agent Drops Zoo Trips

© via BBC

B2 – Upper intermediate

Going on package tours sound really interesting. However, if these trips include activities that endanger animals and violate their rights, is it still worth it?

A travel agent in Brighton is changing things by adapting “responsible tourism”. To read more about this, click the link below:

Wildlife travel agent drops zoo trips

Discuss:
1. What is ‘responsible tourism’? What are your thoughts on this?
2. Do you agree or disagree that “keeping animals in zoos is inhumane”?
3. Why is it important to protect animals and their rights too?
4. Have you ever gone on a package tour? Kindly talk more about it.
5. What are the pros and cons of going on package tours?

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?