Tag Archives: education

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?

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

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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?

 

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?

China Moves to Ban Use of Uyghur Language in Schools

B2 – Upper intermediate

National language drives national unity in any country, even if there are hundreds of other languages and dialects present in the state. Apart from a name, boundary, currency, or flag, a national language makes a country respectable. National language clearly indicates the national character of a country. If you want to profoundly understand and penetrate into a society, you must know how to speak and write their language.

Listen to the audio and read the transcript:

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/china-moves-to-ban-uyghur-language-in-schools/3969575.html

Discussion Questions:
1. Do you think this measure is an act of ethnic discrimination or a measure to educate everyone in the country to speak one common language?
2. Is it important to have one national language known and used by everyone in the country?
3. How many languages are spoken in your country?

 

 

Reasons To Study a Foreign Language Abroad

© via The Local ES

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Anybody who is trying to learn a foreign language constantly wants to find a way to speed up the process. There are many ways to do it. Is living and studying it abroad truly the most effective way?

Here are six reasons why one needs to live away from home to learn another language.

https://www.thelocal.es/20170524/6-reasons-you-should-study-a-foreign-language-abroad-esl-tlccu

Discussion Questions:
1. Do you agree that “learning and communicating in the language of a foreign country while living there is without doubt the best way of learning”?
2. What are ways you’ve tried to learn English? Which do you think are the most effective and which are not?
3. Would you consider studying a language abroad or recommend anyone to do it? Support your answer.

All Work and No Play

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth. Despite the benefits derived from play for both children and parents, time for free play has been markedly reduced for some children. This report addresses a variety of factors that have reduced play, including a hurried lifestyle, changes in family structure, and increased attention to academics and enrichment activities at the expense of recess or free child-centered play.

Read the article further and be able to discuss  the following questions:

http://www.headsupenglish.com/index.php/upper-intermediate-students/upper-intermediate-news-lessons/upper-intermediate-education-lessons/262-no-recess

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you agree that children should spend most of their day studying?
  2. Some people say that children who have piano, soccer, and other activities become smart adults. What you opinion about this?
  3. What’s a good balance between study and play for children? Why do you think so?
  4. How important are tests for children? Do tests accurately measure a child’s intelligence, skills, and/or abilities.Why do you think so?
  5. What is the education system like in your home country? Please explain.
  6. How can the education system in your home country be improved? Please explain.

 

Trump’s Plan Could Erase After School Program

B2 – Upper intermediate

Since taking office, President Trump’s administration has been rocking boats and challenging society with new policies. School programs is one of them.

Watch the video below then express your thoughts.

Discuss:

1. What is an after school program and how does it help children?
2. What do you think will happen if budget for after school programs will cease?
3. In your country, are there similar programs to help specific children (or families) in certain communities?
4. What improvements would you like your government to make when it comes to children and their education?

 

Homeschooling 101

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B2 – Upper intermediate

Homeschooling in North America, or home education in the UK, is another educational option that parents consider for their children.

Read the article below to know more about educating a child at home then be ready to express your thoughts.

Homeschooling 101: What Is Homeschooling?

Discuss:

1. How do you feel about homeschooling? What are its advantages and disadvantages?
2. Is homeschooling gaining popularity in your country?
3. Home schooling avoids many problems such as bullying. What is your opinion on this?
4. Would you have preferred homeschooling or going to school? How different would you be today if you’d been homeschooled?
5. Would you consider homeschooling your children?

The Culture Shock of an International Student

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B2 – Upper intermediate

Culture shock is defined as feeling confused and anxious when you visit another country or city. It happens to everyone, even to young students who are more flexible and adaptable to a new environment.

Read the article below to know about the experience of one international student.

I wasn’t prepared for the culture shock of being an international student

Discuss:

1. Have you experienced culture shock before? How did you cope with that?
2. Share an experience you had in another country.
3. What are the things that matched with your expectations before coming to a country and what things didn’t match?