Category Archives: Homework

Festivals: Chinese New Year

chinese-new-year-celebration

B1 – Intermediate

In most Asian countries, New Year’s is celebrated twice – in January and in February. Read the article below to know more about the Chinese New Year and some cultural traditions that the Chinese practice. Be ready to also talk about important festivals in your country.

Chinese New Year

Discuss:

1. Describe how the Chinese celebrate their New Year?
2. Have you ever seen or witnessed a dragon dance or a Lantern Festival?
3. What else do you know about the Chinese culture? How about other Asian culture?
4. What are some Spanish festivals that are very specific to a region?
5. In your country, are there any dishes or food that are especially served on certain festivals or holidays?

Are We Ready for E-Books?

B2 – Upper intermediate

There is an increasing popularity of e-books, especially among youngsters. Some people think that printed books will be replaced by e-books, which are more convenient and affordable. However, some argued that nothing could ever replace the feeling of owning and the physical enjoyment that printed books can provide to its readers.

Let’s find out more about e-books.

Are We Ready for E-Books?

Discuss:

1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of e-books?
2. What do you like about printed book?
3. Based on the article, why do major publishers think that reading books on screen is what most of the consumers need?
4. What are some of the books that you have enjoyed reading?
5. Do you also like to read articles from magazines or the newspaper?

The First Starbucks in Italy

starbucks-hongkong

B1 – Intermediate

Starbucks is one of the most popular American coffee shop chains known around the world. Presently, it has more than 20,000 stores in 67 countries. Starbucks has achieved worldwide recognition and success. Can it also be successful in Italy, a country that is known to have long cultural ties with coffee?

Let’s find out more about it.

Starbucks To Open First Store in Italy

Discuss:

1. According to the article, when will Starbucks open its first store in Italy?
2. Have you tried Italian espresso? How about Starbucks coffee?
3. Why do Italians have mixed reactions/feelings about the opening of Starbucks in their country?
4. What was the article pertaining to when it mentioned  the “watery undrinkable” coffee?
5. Can Starbucks succeed in Italy?
6. Are there Starbucks stores in your country? What’s the most popular coffee shop chain in your country/Europe?

Stress – Signs and Symptoms

how-to-cope-with-stress

B1 – Intermediate

Stress is inevitable. We feel stress whenever we are in situations that are difficult to handle. We become overwhelmed and it becomes a challenge to cope.

Read the article below to know how we can better handle stressful situations.

Stress – Signs and Symptoms

Discuss:

1. Do you think stress is ever good or necessary? Why or why not?
2. Do you have a stressful lifestyle? What are some situations that make you feel stressful?
3. How do you reduce stress in your life? Do you think they would be considered good or bad ways of dealing with stress?
4. Can alcohol cure stress temporarily?
5. Which would you choose: A stressful job with very high pay or a relaxing job with considerably low pay? Why?

Speaking Activity: Success and Failure

B2 – Upper intermediate

Today’s society put too much emphasis and importance on being successful. In turn, failure becomes something that can be considered as personal weakness. How do you view success? How do you view failure?

Answer the following questions below related to success and failures and be ready to practice your speaking skills.

Discuss:

1. Describe a successful person.
2. Is your idea of success the same as other people’s idea of success?
3. Do you think people focus too much on appearing to be successful?
4. Why is money the most common way of judging success?
5. Can money buy happiness?
6. Do you think some parents put too much pressure on their children to be succesful?
7. Have there been any failures that made your life better?
8. Is there a right time to give up and stop trying? Or should you never give up?
9.Can you think of any famous people who failed spectacularly at something?
10. Talk about a time you failed at something you tried. How were you able to cope with it?
11. Can you think of any famous quotes or idioms about success or failure?

Podcast: Autonomous Vehicles

B1 – Intermediate

What will future cars look like? Can future vehicles prevent road accidents? Will it really be possible for a car to take us from point A to B without controlling it?  Let’s discuss the Autonomous or driver-less cars of the future and find out more about it.

Listen to the podcast carefully and study the featured vocabulary words.

Discuss:

1. Will self-driving cars be safer than human-controlled ones?
2. Do you think that robot cars can handle life-or-death situations/decisions?
3. Would you buy one for yourself? Why/not?

The Growing Threat of Creationism

C1 – Advanced

Have you ever thought how the Earth was created or formed?  The controversy over the creation of Earth still puzzles and confuses many of us and the topic on the theory of creationism and evolution has been debated for the past century. Let’s take a look at this article and learn more about creationism and evolution.

The Growing Threat of Creationism

Discuss:

1. Based on the text, why do you think more and more people in Europe believe in creationism?
2. Should creationism and evolution be taught side-by-side in the classroom? Why/not?
3. Is creationism a threat? Why/not?

Podcast: Crazy Festivals

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Every single day of the year, there is surely a festival happening somewhere in the world. Here are a few of the more unusual festivals from different countries.

Crazy Festivals

Discuss:

1. What’s the most interesting crazy festival for you in that list of festivals?
2. Which one did you find really strange?
3. Do you know of any other odd festivals?
4. What is your favorite festival?
5. Why is it important for a city or country to hold festivals?

How Food Trucks Took Over City Streets

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C1 – Advanced

Food trucks. Their evolution has been a good one. Sprouting up like mushroom, people seem to enjoy every bit of it.

Read the article below and be ready to increase your vocabulary by going through the different terms and expressions. Feel free to read the article section per section with your teacher.

How Food Trucks Took Over City Streets

Discuss:

1. Describe the change of food trucks since it began.
2. Why are food trucks so appealing to the young? The culinary graduates?
3. Explain why having a food truck business is not as easy as some think. What are the challenges business owners face?
4. On the other hand, what are the advantages of having a food truck as a business?
5. Are food trucks a trend in your city as well? What is your general opinion of them?

Video: Work Permits for Syrian Refugees

B2 – Upper intermediate

Syrian refugees have now settled in in their host countries and most of them are working on moving on. But being productive and feeling optimistic about the future proves to be harder.

Watch the video below to know more about the challenges that Syrian refugees are facing when it comes to getting work.

Work permits for Syrian refugees

Discuss:

1. According to the video, what are some of the things that Syrian refugees want?
2. How would you describe the morale of the refugees?
3. How can host countries benefit from refugees?
4. Do you think that giving work permits to refugees can bring more harm than good? What are the anxieties of the locals (in host countries?)