Author Archives: mae

Interesting Facts about Spanish Culture

B1 – Intermediate

Spain has a lot to offer any sort of traveler. Spanish culture is just as fascinating as the nation’s coastlines and museums, and probably much more nuanced! Even if you spent years in Spain you most likely wouldn’t be able to uncover every aspect of the country’s vibrant traditions, but that doesn’t mean you won’t try, right?

Let’s check a few interesting facts about Spain and the Spanish way of life.

https://www.languagetrainers.co.uk/blog/2017/06/21/6-interesting-facts-about-spanish-culture/

 

Discussion Questions:

1. What do you think is interesting about your culture?

2. What don’t you like about your culture?

3. When people from other countries think about your culture, what do they usually think of?

Spain’s Strangest Laws

B2 – Upper Intermediate

The Spanish city of Palma de Mallorca approved fines of €600 ($820) for people daring to go shirtless in the city centre. To honour the occasion, The Local has rounded up some of the strangest laws in Spain. Read on to find out more.

 

https://www.thelocal.es/galleries/culture/top-10-spains-weirdest-laws/1Spain’s strangest laws

 

Discussion Questions:

1. What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘law’?

2. What laws in your country do you hate?

3. What’s the craziest law you know of?

4. Are there any laws in your country that you think should be made tighter?

5. Have you ever broken any laws?

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?

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?

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?

Mixed-gender Events at the 2020 Olympics

B1 – Intermediate

The 2020 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad and commonly known as Tokyo 2020, is a major international multi-sport event due to be celebrated in the tradition of the Olympic Games as governed by the International Olympic Committee.

In the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, some events will have mixed-gender participants. This will make the Tokyo Olympics very gender-balanced. However, not every is pleased with this.

Find out about mixed reactions towards mixed-gender sports events at Tokyo 2020.

http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1706/170613-2020-olympics.html

Discussion Questions:

1. Are you a big fan of the Olympics?

2. Do you think skateboarding, 3-on-3 basketball, sport climbing and BMX freestyle belong in the Olympics?

3. Do your country’s athletes do well in the Olympics?

4. What is your favourite event at the Olympics and why?

5. Do you think the Olympics should only be for amateur athletes, like it used to be?

6. Which Olympics can you remember well?

7. What does hosting the Olympics do for a country?

Robot Police Officer

“RoboCop” is a 2014 film about a crime-fighting cyborg. Dubai Police have revealed their first robot officer, giving it the task of patrolling the city’s malls and tourist attractions. Now, this is real-life RoboCop!

Read more about the first robot police here:

http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1705/170530-robot-police-officer.html

Discussion Questions:

1. What is your general opinion about robot police officers?

2. Some see robots as menacing, some see them as helpful – how about you?

3. What do you expect from a police officer? Do you think this robot will be a better alternative?

4. Do you think your government needs to spend money on employing more police officers, or availing robot police?

5. What other roles will robots play in our society later this century?

Drunk Driving

B1 – Intermediate

Driving under the influence, or driving while impaired, is the crime or offense of operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other drugs (including recreational drugs and those prescribed by physicians), to a level that renders the driver incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely.

http://flesl.net/Reading/Stories/Series1/Linda_H/Linda_Hunt.php

Let’s talk:

1. What do you think about drunk driving?

2. What are the penalties for drink driving in your country?

3. Should the passengers/friends of a drunk driver also be punished?

4. Is alcohol the biggest cause of road accidents in your country?

Housing in Spain and Poverty

B1 – Intermediate

Housing generally refers to the social problem of ensuring that members of society have a home in which they can live in, whether this is a house, or some other kinds of dwelling, lodging, or shelter.

Watch the video below about housing in Spain and its connection to poverty.

Let’s talk:

1.Do you agree with the woman in the video?

2. Do you know anything about your government’s housing policy?

3. Does your government provide housing for people on low or no income?

4. Is it easy to find good quality housing in your town?

5.How can housing be made affordable for everyone?

6. What issues will arise with housing of the future?