Monday 8:15 English conversation class in Kreis 6, Zurich

May to July 2022

Here is our topic for next week's lesson.

30 May - Let's talk about the dangers of being on the Scottish mountains. Read this article before class.


9 May - we looked at Destination Unit 20 - Power and social issues. For homework, do a mind map of the vocabulary we discussed in the lesson.

You might also want to read some of my recent blog posts about guessing the meaning of words, second conditional and my top 5 podcasts.

Do you want to choose the topic we talk about next? As usual, you can find your own articles or videos to discuss. Alternatively you can choose one of the articles I've found by looking at the list of possible topics here.

Dates for conversation lessons (every two weeks)

2 May

16 May

30 May

20 June

4 July

Previous topics

16 May - Let's look at an article about a current social issue, fuel poverty. Read this article before the lesson.

2 May - looking forward to seeing you all again. This time I'd like you to watch a short TED Talk about the human voice presented by Julian Treasure. It's entitled 'How to Speak so that People want to Listen'. Click here to watch it.

4 April - this time it's a suggestion from Ruth, an interesting article about our sensory relationship to food, or lack of it. The article is very long but there is no need to read all of it.

23 March - slight change in the schedule and we'll meet on Wednesday next week. Time for a language lesson. I'd like you to read this article in The Guardian from a subeditor about grammar and some common mistakes that journalists make when writing. More interesting than the article are the comments that follow it. They should keep you busy for quite a while.

28 February - over the Christmas and new year period there were many articles in The Guardian about big changes that writers had made in their lives. One of the articles I enjoyed reading the most was this one, written by a journalist who had spent a lot of his life in prison. He talked about why he didn't mind being in prison much of the time and also about the reason that he changed his mind. It's quite an intriguing read with sophisticated vocabulary. I think it will make a good topic for discussion.

31 January - What a great lesson we had today, I learned such a lot about English and German and as usual, you asked me some really interesting questions. I've added some of the vocabulary that we discussed to our Google doc so that you can print it out, put it on your fridge and learn it. Next week we'll continue with Destination and we'll be back to conversation at the end of the month. For the next conversation class, I'd like you to do some listening. Please listen to a recent episode from Desert Island Discs, a popular radio show where guests are hypothetically cast away to a desert island and have to choose the music that they would take with them. As well as explaining their choices, they also reminisce about their lives. It's a good opportunity to listen to spoken English. Pay attention to how often the castaway, Richard Osman, uses the word 'would' when talking about his childhood. See if you can also notice the difference in the regional accent of the presenter, Lauren Laverne, and her guest. By the way, both Lauren and Richard speaks rather quickly. If it is too fast for you, try playing it back at a speed of 0.8. Also, it's about 30 minutes long but you don't need to listen to it all.

10 January - let's discuss the topic of money and kids. Read this article from The Guardian and think about your experiences with money as you were growing up.

3 January - health and science this week! We'll be talking about wine, coffee and chocolate and whether they are healthy or not. Please read this article from The Guardian before the lesson.

13 December - well done to you all for today's lesson. It was really good to see the progress that you are all making! Next week it is the final lesson before Christmas so that means it's a games morning. We'll play word games to help you improve your English. Have a great week!

29 November - this week we're going to talk about how to practice effectively. Watch the following TEDEd talk before the lesson.

15 November - time for something easier than last time. I'd like you to read this article about making your home more beautiful. Some of the author's tips are quite practical, others probably less so but overall I enjoyed reading the article and it has inspired me to buy some more pictures and hang them lower on the walls! I hope you enjoy it too!

1 November - at the last lesson we were talking about the times when people came up with their best ideas. Is it when they are young and unconstrained by convention or when they are older and wiser? That reminded me of this fairly long interview with clinical psychologist, Richard Bentall. Please read it before the lesson, paying attention to the medical terminology used.

4 October - a slightly funny article this time, or at least I thought so. Read up about the plans to change an iconic image and how the original designer reacts. Pay attention to the language he uses and consider whether he prepared his comments in advance.

20 September - a spot of revision. We did this topic last semester but I'd like to do it again as we have a new student. Let's talk about small talk, answering emails, dealing with phone calls and similar. Watch this video from the British Council before the lesson - it's at a fairly basic level but should give you some ideas about how you can keep a conversation going. If we get through the topic quickly, we can move on to some grammar. with the Destination book.

6 September - time for something musical! Read this obituary of The Rolling Stones' drummer, Charlie Watts. We'll talk about rock and roll, jazz, working with Mick Jagger and much more.

Monday 23rd August - let's start by talking about the Olympics. Watch this video about high jumper, Dick Fosbury who used his engineering know-how to develop a revolutionary and successful approach to the high jump. We'll talk about sport, the Olympics and the benefits of doing things differently.

To check what we read last semester, click here.

The conversation classes can be joined at any time. If you would like to try one of the classes fill in the contact form or send an email to