Category Archives: Homework

How does caffeine keep us awake?

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Each year, around a hundred thousand metric tons of caffeine are consumed around the world. That’s as heavy as 14 Eiffel Towers! A lot of people consume caffeine because it helps them feel alert, focused, and energetic, even if they are actually lacking sleep.

Discover how caffeine works and what happens when we withdraw from it. Watch the video below:

Discussion Questions:

1. Aside from coffee, what are the other sources of caffeine?

2. What are the side effects of caffeine?

3. Do you believe that caffeine can really help a person to stay awake? Explain your answer.

4. How would you describe Adenosine’s relationship with caffeine?

5. What symptoms do people usually experience upon quitting caffeine?

Ways to Self Motivate

B2 – Upper Intermediate

People with self motivation can find a reason and strength to complete a task, even when things get very challenging, without giving up or needing others to encourage them.

Read on for ways to encourage one’s self.

https://thetechpanda.com/2014/02/13/10-ways-motivate-tough-times/

Discussion Questions:

1. How do you define motivation?

2. What are three things that motivate you?

3. What do you do to encourage yourself or others when they’re going through rough times?

4. Who do you talk to for encouragement and inspiration?

5. Does motivation come from inside a person or from his environment?

Fad Diets

B1 – Intermediate

People go on special diets for different reasons. Some take it way too far though.

Fad diet, also known as diet cult, promises weight loss or other health benefits such as longer life without any scientific basis, and is often characterized by highly restrictive or unusual food choices.

Get more information about different examples of fad diets and some issues associated with them here:

http://www.upmc.com/patients-visitors/education/nutrition/pages/fad-diets.aspx

Discussion Questions:

1. Talk about your regular diet.

2. Have you ever been on a diet?

3. In your opinion, how important is exercising as part of a diet?

4. Is it important to track one’s weight? Why or why not?

5. Are dietary habits in your country changing?

6. Why are people so worried about the way their body looks?

How to Beat Procrastination

B2 – Upper Intermediate

You might be putting off a task because you have to re-prioritize your workload. If you’re briefly delaying an important task for a genuinely good reason, then you aren’t necessarily procrastinating. However, if you start to put things off indefinitely or switch focus because you want to avoid doing something, then you probably are.

Read the article on how to deal with and prevent procrastination and answer the questions below:

https://hbr.org/2016/07/how-to-beat-procrastination

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why do you think people procrastinate?
  2. Who do you know that always procrastinates?
  3. When is it good to procrastinate?
  4. When is it really bad to procrastinate?
  5. What kinds of things do you usually put off doing?
  6. How do you feel when other people put off something you want done soon?
  7. Do you think people in some cultures are in too much of a rush?
  8. Do you think people in other cultures are too relaxed?
  9. Do you want to accomplish many things in your life or do you want to take it easy?

Can a Computer Teach Children to Read and Write?

B1 – Intermediate

Global XPrize aims to help the poorest children of the world to learn how to read and write by developing a user-friendly app.  They will test the winning app with thousands of children in Africa by using a tablet to learn.

Let us know your opinion after reading the full article and watching the video.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/can-a-computer-teach-children-to-read-and-write/4055194.html

Discussion Questions:

1. What are your thoughts on the Global XPrize competition?
2. Do you think that children will be able to teach themselves basic educational skills with only a tablet? Why? Why not?
3. Would you describe the U.N.’s goal to provide “universal primary and secondary education by 2030” as realistic? Why? Why not?
4. Do you think that computers will play a major role in education in the near future? Why? Why not?
5. Would you say that teachers are an essential part of the education system? Why? Why not?

6. Do you think it’s necessary to use tablets and apps to teach children how to read and write?

 

Laptop vs Handwriting

B2 – Upper Intermediate

handwriting-day-fun

Due to many students’ illegible handwriting, Cambridge University is allowing students to use their laptops in exams and no longer pen and paper. The wonders and usefulness of the laptop are great but are we losing the art of handwriting?

Let’s read the article and answer the questions that follow.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/sep/11/laptops-handwriting-students-university-exams-skill

Discussion Questions:

1. Is handwriting a lost art now?

2. Do you think writing notes in a paper makes it easier to remember and synthesize information than typing in a laptop?

3. Is using a laptop for typing a more effective way of learning and retaining information?

4. Do you think computers might one day replace handwriting?

 

Does Owning a Gun Make You Safer?

 B2 – Upper Intermediate

There are so many civilians who possess guns in the United States. The question is, why do Americans own guns? According to some surveys, people like to have them for protection.

Read this article and find out whether owning a gun really increase one’s chances of protecting himself.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0804-hemenway-defensive-gun-home-20150730-story.html

 

Discussion Questions: 

1. Do you think people need guns?

2. Would fewer guns result in less gun violence?

3. Switzerland has a higher rate of gun ownership than the USA but hardly any gun crime. Why do you think this is?

4. What checks should be made before someone can buy a gun?

5. In Japan there are strict gun control laws and so there is very little gun-related crimes. Should all countries follow suit?

5. Do you think people should be allowed to have guns to defend themselves in their homes?

Organic Food Craze

B1 – Intermediate

Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives.

Many people believe organic produces offer much more health benefits. Some beg to differ.

Let’s find out more about the truth behind organic food.

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/1209/120904-organic_food.html

Discussion Questions:

1. What is your stand on the organic food craze?

2. Do you buy organic food? Why or why not?

3. Why do you think organic food is so much more expensive?

4. Do you think that organic food is much better than normal food or are they about the same?

Learn English by Watching TV

B1 – Intermediate

For any immigrant or refugee who doesn’t speak the language of the country where they’ve moved into, it would be a complete culture shock and in some ways, may very well be a very frustrating moment in his life.

There are many ways to learn English. Discover and be inspired as to how Farid, an Afghan refugee, learned English. Watch the video that talks about Farid’s journey and read the article to know whether we can really learn English the way he did.

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-41516251

Discussion Questions:

1. What are some ways to learn English or a language?
2. In your opinion, what is the best way to do so?
3. What do you think of Farid’s suggestion to English learners?
4. What are things you’ve done/tried to improve your foreign language skills?
5. What advise or tips would you give other English/foreign language learners?

Travel Accommodations

B1 – Intermediate

Accommodation is a concern of every traveler, whether looking for a place to pitch a tent or a luxury suite in a fancy resort. Booking accommodation, dealing with the vast array of accommodation options, and considering alternative lodging options are all issues that travelers face.

Understanding The Different Types Of Accommodation In Tourism

Discussion Questions:

1. Which do you prefer to stay in when you travel:  hotels, hostels, or another type of place? Why?

2. What are the best and worst things about staying in hotels?

3. Do you feel comfortable when you are staying at a hotel?

4. Couch surfing is staying for free at people’s homes in different countries. Is this a good idea or bad idea? Why?

5. What is the most common accommodations in your country?

6. Do you have any interesting stories about staying somewhere other than your house, like a hotel or hostel?