Author Archives: jen

Pros and Cons of Organ Donation

B1 – Intermediate

It is kind of unnerving that the moment you get your driver’s license, you will be asked whether or not you are willing to become an organ donor. It would seem like they are expecting for a fatal accident to happen and only your organs will be saved. If you look at it from a different perspective, however, it is one way that you will be able to do your share in saving lives. Even in death, you will be able to do something heroic. But organ donation is a tricky subject and an equally tricky process that may come with side effects, which is why it remains a hot subject for debate.

Read the article and be able to answer the questions below:
 Discussion Questions:
  1. What do you think about organ donation?
  2. Should everyone be considered organ donors unless they ‘opt-out’?
  3. Would you consider donating your organs in case of an untimely death?
  4. Would you allow your organs or tissue to be used for research purposes?
  5. Would you donate your body to medical science? Why or why not?

Coping With Death and Grief

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Death is part of life. Passing of a loved one makes us feel a lot of different emotions. When such tragic thing happens, we end up trying to do everything we can to avoid the pain.

Read more about the “five stages of grief” and be able to discuss the questions below:

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/lifechallenges/emotional-health/coping-with-death-and-grief/coping-with-death-and-grief

Discussion Questions:

  1. Are there special rites or ceremonies performed when a person dies in your country?
  2. How do you view death?
  3. Is there any person you would die for in order to save? Who is it?
  4. How do your national customs surrounding death reflect the values of your country?
  5. What are funerals like in your country? What are some funeral customs in your country?

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?

Being Frugal vs. Being Cheap

There’s a thin line between being frugal and being cheap, but how do we know when we’re in danger of crossing it?

Being frugal is being resourceful and savvy about how you spend your money, whereas being cheap is trying to cut corners to the detriment of yourself or others just so you don’t have to spend money.

Click the link to find out the differences between the two and be able to answer the questions that follow:

http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-tell-the-difference-between-being-frugal-and-being-cheap

Let’s discuss:

  1. What’s the difference between being cheap and being frugal?
  2. Can you manage your money to the end of the month?
  3. Are you saving money now? Why? Do you regularly save money? Why?
  4. When was the last time you spent money on something you didn’t really need? Why did you do so?
  5.  Do you go shopping when you are sad? What do you buy? Do you need them?
  6. Are you good with money?
  7. Are you more of a generous or frugal character? How about other people in your family?

 

Reasons To Go Vegetarian

B2 – Upper intermediate

The single most important thing an individual can do for their health, for the environment, and for the sake of the innocent animals is to adopt a vegetarian diet. Here are the Top 10 reasons to give vegetarian eating a try:

Click the link and be able to discuss the questions below:

http://www.alternet.org/story/85828/top_ten_reasons_to_go_vegetarian

Discussion Questions:

1. Are you or have you ever been a vegetarian? Why? Why not?
2. Do you have a family member or a close friend who is a vegetarian? How do you feel about it? Is it difficult to cook for them?
3. What are some reasons that people choose to be vegetarian?
4. Do you agree with the author’s reasons why we should go vegetarian?
5. Why vegetarianism has become more fashionable these days? Isn’t it just a fad?
6. Is it good to be a vegetarian for some periods of time for the sake of our health?
7. What’s your opinion on a strict vegetarian? Is it healthy?

Slow Aging

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Getting older is inevitable, but our diet and lifestyle play a huge role in how we look and feel along the way. Aging doesn’t necessarily mean getting sick or feeling less than our best — if we pay attention to a few key factors and make a few important shifts, we can age healthfully and feel as optimal as possible.

Read the article and be able to answer the following questions:

http://www.headsupenglish.com/index.php/upper-intermediate-students/upper-intermediate-news-lessons/upper-intermediate-health-lessons/300-anti-aging-remedies

Discussion Questions:

  1. How concerned are you with aging? Please explain.
  2. Do members of your family live long and healthy lives? Please explain.
  3. What lifestyle choices have you made that have had negative effects?
  4. What lifestyle choices have you made that have had positive effects?
  5. If humans could double their lifespan, would it be a good idea? Why/not?

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.

 

How to Haggle: Successful Bargaining Tips

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Bargaining or haggling is a type of negotiation in which the buyer and seller of a good or service debate the price of a transaction.  Not all purchases are open to bargaining. Typical places where bargaining is common include markets, antique shops, and second-hand car shops.

Click the link and read a few guidelines to help us get the best bargain. Answer the discussion questions that follow:

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/money/how-to-haggle

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is bargaining an acceptable practice in your country?
  2. In what kinds of shops is it acceptable?
  3. Do you like to bargain?
  4. What sort of things have you bargained for?
  5. What’s the best bargain you have got?
  6. What strategies did you use?
  7. Have you ever been ripped off?
  8. What is the bargaining etiquette in your country?
  9. What other negotiating do you do in your everyday life?
  10. What are some reasons people give for wanting a price reduction?

Business English – Innovation

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Innovation is the development and implementation of ideas that lead to more value for whatever business you are in.

When grocery chain Tesco wanted to expand their market share in South Korea, they came up with a brilliant idea. Because the people in South Korea work long hours they thought of an efficient way to sell their products.  Why is this shop interesting to view?

Why is this shop interesting to view? Click the link  and watch the video to find out. Be able to answer the questions that follow.

http://www.englishwithjo.com/business-english-innovation/

Discussion Questions:

  1. How was Tesco better than its competitor in terms of innovation?
  2. Do you think this innovative idea could be successfully applied in all countries?
  3. What are the most important innovations for you in your daily life?
  4. Have you ever worked for a company that has implemented any innovative ideas?
  5. Have you ever had an innovative idea? If so, did you put it into action?

Commercial Airline Pilot – A Dream Job?

B1 – Intermediate

Every job has its pros and cons so before diving into something, we want to know everything about it – from pretty cool benefits that come with being an airline pilot to its pitfalls.

Read the article below to find out more about being a commercial airline pilot.

http://www.english-online.at/travel/airline-pilot/commercial-airline-pilot.htm

Discuss questions:

  1. Have you ever dreamed of being an airline pilot? Why or why not?
  2. What is your impression of having a job as a pilot?
  3. What are the pros and cons of being an airline pilot?
  4. Do you think you have what it takes to become a pilot?