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Absurd Diets

© via The Guardian

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Having breakfast at the same place every single day for 15 years… bacon and eggs three times a day… apples and carrots for weeks on end…

These diets may sound untrue but they are actual diets of some very wealthy and high-profile people.

Find out about famous people’s strange diets through this article:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2017/oct/15/bacon-eggs-every-meal-absurd-diets-rich-famous

Discussion Questions:

1. What are your thoughts on the diets mentioned in the article?
2. Which one did you find most absurd?
3. Why is proper diet important?
4. Talk about special diets you know of or those you’ve actually tried in the past or would want to try in the future.

Dual Citizenship

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Holding dual citizenship has a downside for Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce who was disqualified from his government position  because of being a “subject or citizen of a foreign power”.

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/1710/171029-dual-citizenship.html

Discussion Questions:

  1. What did you think when you read the headline
  2. Are you happy being a citizen of your country?
  3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of having dual citizenship?
  4. If you can change your citizenship, what would it be and why?

The Lost Meaning of Halloween

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Halloween may not exactly be a major holiday, like Christmas and New Year. Nonetheless, it is still one of the most enjoyable events for a lot of us. But other than the fun of trick-or-treating and wearing ‘spooktacular‘ costumes, what is  the real meaning of Halloween? Is it a celebration of evil?

https://www.thoughtco.com/the-lost-meaning-of-halloween-2595381

Discussion Questions:

1. Have you experienced trick-or-treating, attending parties, or wearing costumes during Halloween?

2. Why do you think Halloween is connected with satanism or deviltry?

3. What is the essence of Halloween for you?

4. Have you had any ghost or eerie experience? If not, do you believe in ghosts?

Digital Cloning

B1 – Intermediate

Cloning has long been a subject of debate since the year dot. Supporters of cloning claim that it is the answer to preventing endangered species from disappearing as well as allowing human beings to live healthier lives. But just recently, another form of cloning has come to rise – digital cloning, wherein a copy of your “self” will be created online.

http://fullspate.digitalcounterrevolution.co.uk/english-articles-advanced/digital-heaven.html

Discussion questions:

1. What do you think of this ‘digital cloning’?
2. Would you like to be cloned and/or digitally cloned?
3. With this technological advancement, how do you see the future of humanity?
4. What can you say about the the last statement-question ‘Who needs faith when you’ve got broadband’?

Woman on a Holiday Jet

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Karon Grieve, a novelist, booked a flight from Glasgow to Crete for only £46. There was something unusual about this flight.

Find out about this woman’s unique flight experience.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-41748305

Discussion Questions:

1. What can you say about Grieve’s experience?
2. What are the good and bad things about air travels?
3. Talk about your best and worst flight experiences.
4. What suggestions do you want to give airlines about their services?
5. What is your airline of choice and why?

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?

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?