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English conversation - Wednesday 9:45

This class is for advanced and proficient students (level C1 to C2) and is offered online. Here are the topics we will discuss.

August to October 2023




23 August

Read this article about sharenting.

P. 124

30 August

Is good posture overrated? Find out here.

P. 125

6 September

Two high-profile women discuss the menopause in this 25-minute video. If you don't have time to watch it all, start at the 9-minute mark. Remember you can add subtitles or slow down the playback speed in settings.

P. 126

13 September

Getting front row seats at concerts. Read here.

P. 127

20 September

Let's find out about Elon Musk by watching this interview. The full interview lasts almost an hour but it's fine if you watch the first 15 - 20 minutes.

P. 130 - 131

27 September

Read this article about sharenting.

P. 132

4 October

If only it were easier to get to England. Read about Eurostar and Brexit. Will we ever be part of continental Europe?

P. 133

25 October

It's after the holidays so you have plenty of time, I hope! Watch this short series of videos about the history of English and then if you have time, watch this longer explanation.

P. 134

Which topic shall we discuss next? Click on this link to get some ideas about future topics or send me your own suggestions.

Previous topics

12 July - poetry week, share your favourite poem with the class

5 July - an audio version of The Guardian's long read about a man in an iron lung

28 June - why do people start trolling? Read the article to find out

21 June - an article about negotiating

14 June - changing direction at the age of 60 (house-sitting)

7 June - a heart-warming article about letter writing

31 May - books and censorship (Roald Dahl and Judy Blume)

24 May - should you have access to your medical records?

17 May - listen to a podcast about fashion for the over fifties

10 May - an article about how a round the world trip nearly ruined someone's life

19 April - let's meet in person and play some games!

12 April - read about British architect, David Chipperfield.

5 April - an interesting article about playgrounds in Germany. Destination page 100 -101

29 March - a long read from The Guardian about the super rich being treated in Zurich clinics. Destination page 98 - 99

22 March - The Gary Lineker row at the BBC. Destination page 96 -97

15 March - an interview in The Guardian with football commentator, Chris Kamara who is suffering from a debilitating speech condition, Destination page 94 - 95

8 March - From a skip to the Saatchi. Destination page 91

1 March - an interesting article about giving feedback (I'll never regret following my mum's best ever advice.) Destination Page 90

8 February - an article about the collapse of furniture retailer (Made). Destination page 90.

1 February - 3 articles about Prince Harry's book Spare. Destination page 89.

25 January - a video featuring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin about female friendship. Destination page 88.

18 January - the controversy about a new museum in Berlin. Destination page 85.

11 January - An article from Hadley Freeman about celebrities. Destination page 84.

21 December - the dying art of sending a Christmas card. Destination page 78.

14 December - an article about the Barbados blueprint. Destination page 82

7 December - bees, butterflies and bus shelters. Destination page 81.

30 November - advice from a brain expert about tips to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. Destination page 80.

23 November - an article about the Terrence Higgins Trust. Destination page 79.

16 November - a great article about the benefits of walking in the rain. Destination page 78.

9 November - a film review of My Old School. Destination page 75.

2 November - letters about the English education system based upon a George Monbiot article. Destination page 74

26 October - a video entitled Dear Bradford. Destination page 73.

4 October- politics and economics this time. Destination page 72.

28 September - a challenge for us to take part in, rejection therapy. Destination page 69.

21 September - a scientific article about the benefits of sitting still. Destination pages 68 - 69.

14 September - an article about Instagram. Destination pages 66 - 67.

7 September - things to do by the time you are 47 (or not). Destination pages 64 - 65.

31 August - interesting article about men's groups. Destination pages 62 - 63.

24 August - raising teens article. Destination pages 58 - 59.

13 July - final lesson of the semester, let's do something easy. Read this article about sisters Nicola and Frankie Roberts and count how many times the word 'would' is used to talk about past habits.

6 July - we'll discuss the George Orwell article and whatever else takes your fancy!

29 June - it was such a great lesson today, very much student-led in terms of learning tips and conversation topics. Well done to all of you! Next week we'll continue our discussion about climate change after reading the book review of George Monbiot's book. Today's chat is in the Google doc, make sure you look at it again.

22 June - some press releases from Tesco. Focus on which words are used to talk about the future. See the box below for the two articles.

15 June - Another TED talk, this time by a 7-year-old. Here's the link.

8 June - I'll be teaching you from England this week. The topic is a fascinating article by photographer Daniel Meadows about a photograph he took in Salford in the 1970s. Although I tell people that I used to live in Manchester, technically I lived in the bordering city of Salford. I'll be able to tell you more about Salford in the lesson.

1 June - Let's discuss the Ask Philippa article. If you have time, read the other article about muting friends on social media.

25 May - Let's talk about the dangers of being overreliant on a mobile phone.

18 May - a Zoom lesson again. Please watch this video about public speaking. As you are watching, think about what the speaker does well. As extra homework, check out the definitions of some of the words we discussed in the 11 May lesson. Words and phrases such as breathtaking, inductive and deductive, shade and shadow, satisfactory and satisfying, vice squad, remark and much.

11 May - an interesting article from one of my other classes. This time it was one of the students who found the article. Can you also choose three things you learned in today's lesson that you can present to your classmates next week. We'll meet in person at my house rather than the usual Zoom lesson.

4 May - looking forward to seeing you all again. We're going to start with a bit of revision. Let's re-read one of the longer articles from last semester and continue our discussion about the topics raised in it. Are our attention spans being stolen and if so, what can we do about it? Before reading the article see how much you can remember from it. I can recall the I-pads at Graceland and I also remember the author's important conclusion.

Click here to see more topics we've talked about.

Do you want to read about some grammar topics? Check out the blog.

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