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Conversation class - possible topics

Updated: Apr 15, 2023

I come across lots of articles, videos and podcasts that I think would be interesting topics for conversation class. Check out the list below and tell me if there is a topic that you want to talk about.

Let's start with a series of videos about linguistics available on YouTube by archaeology student, Simon Roper. This is the first one I came across but I'm sure you'll find lots of them interesting - particularly as he spends a lot of time explaining the northern accent (an accent you're all slightly familiar with 😉).

Did you know that possessive its used to be spelled 'it's' back in Shakespeare's day. I didn't until I read this fascinating article about punctuation and how it is has changed over time and is continuing to change. I don't spend much time teaching punctuation so perhaps it's time to address this gap in one of our conversation classes.

We've already discussed an article by Peter White and here's another one where he talks about a school day he'll never forget. I'm sure you'll enjoy reading and discussing it.

For those of you interested in architecture (and architecture competitions) this interview with David Chipperfield might be worth reading.

Another inspiring and uplifting article tells the story of 104 year old Kuttiyamma who has just learned to read. What a lady! It shows that you're never too old to learn something new.

I loved the book 'One Day' by David Nicholls, I'm sure that you can remember the orange and white cover. In this article, the author explains the inspiration behind the story and reminds us that good ideas can take a long time to germinate.

This time, another book that I read a couple of years ago, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. This Guardian article argues that the book has always been a political story about how society treats people who are vulnerable because of poverty and that the message of the book is as relevant today as it was when it was written.

Fame and addiction are the themes of this interview with former Wet Wet Wet singer, Marti Pellow.

If you are looking for ideas about which reality television programmes you should watch and like a bit of a love story then try this article from The Guardian about people who found love on dating shows.

Perhaps you want an insight into crime solving through forensic science. If so, have a read of this.

Do you have too many kitchen gadgets? Which could you get rid of and which are essential? Do you agree with the analysis in this article and in the comments below?

If you're interested in novel strategies to combat real-life problems, how about this innovative project in Amsterdam in which pigs 'patrol' the airport to discourage flocks of birds settling in the area.

From airport dangers you could head to the issue of housing. This article on gentrification will give you an insight into housing issues and potential solutions.

There are always some interesting articles about television. Let me know if you want to know why Germans love crime series set in the South West of England or why Brexit might affect British TV shown in Europe.

Another article with a German theme. This time it's words and phrases associated with Angela Merkel's time as Chancellor. Not all the words and phrases you think are English are actually used in England!

You all know that I'm a music lover. Do you think it's true that we stop listening to new music as we get older and if so, why is this? Read this article to get some ideas.

More music-themed articles. How about reading about songwriter Diane Warren who has had a phenomenally successful career, penning songs for Celine Dion, Aerosmith, the Sugababes and more. Alternatively we could talk about making musicals into a film, think Grease, West Side Story or the more recent musical 'Everyone's Talking about Jamie' which is the topic of this article.

Something more serious now. The Terence Higgins Trust is a charity supporting people with an HIV diagnosis. I've known about the charity for many years but never knew anything about Terry Higgins until I read this article.

Finally, moving from to family life, I enjoyed reading this article by Charlie Gilmour about being a father. Alternatively this is another good read about being a father.

As you all know, I get a lot of my articles from The Guardian. The articles are available for free but you can take out a subscription if you want to support them.

Bonus points for anyone who finds an article or podcast to discuss in class!


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