6 October - let's talk about Swiss billionaires and the planet. Read this article before the lesson and if you have time, do some extra research about the people or themes in the article. I'll be testing your knowledge of famous philanthropists!
29 September - 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. At the start of the lesson, I'll do a quick revision session, asking you to present your five favourite words or phrases from recent lessons - remember to look at the copies of the chats that I send to you. (Students who've been on holiday don't need to do this - but can if they want!)
22 September this week we're going to talk about how to practice effectively. Watch the following TEDEd talk before the lesson. It's possible that some of you might have done it before but it's so interesting that it's worth watching and discussing again.
15 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.
8 September - in last week's lesson we talked about Jeff Bezos' two pizza rule. Let's talk about this some more after reading this article.
1 September - this week the world of business meets the stone age. Read this article from a few years ago, `The Stone Age answer to your Desk Job'. We'll talk about the optimum size of work organisations and how offices can be better working environments.
25 August - let's start by talking about the Olympics (I know - sport again!!). 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.
14 July - it's the final lesson of term, usually we'd play games but the lesson is still online so we can't. I couldn't resist giving you this article to read about Olympic champion, Usain Bolt. As you're reading the article I want you to count the third conditionals you come across. We'll see if we all reach the same number! After the summer holidays we can probably go back to in person lessons or do a hybrid version! We'll talk about this next week.
7 July - Loneliness is something that affects many people but who does it affect the most - young people or the older generation? There isn't a definitive answer to this question in this thought-provoking article but it is something that we can discuss in conversation class.
30 June - we rarely talk about sport so it's time for a change. Although I'm no fan of boxing, I think there will be plenty to talk about on Wednesday based on this obituary of 'Marvelous' Marvin Hagler.
23 June - we're going to talk about small talk, answering emails, dealing with phone calls and similar. If you've got any emails you want to answer in English bring them to the lesson. 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 you want to do some extra homework, I suggest listening again to the 'Why do we Text not Talk' podcast that we did last year. This is also relevant to this week's theme.
16 June - In this slightly worrying article we learn that many British people don't know the biology of their own bodies. If a person doesn't know the names of the different parts of the body, how can they describe a problem to their doctor? Are you comfortable using the medical names or do you avoid using them? Let's talk about this!
9 June - Let's talk about architecture; you can read about the first 3D printed house here. I must admit to not really getting what 3D printing is all about so this article has helped me to comprehend just what can be done. Quite eye-opening indeed. What would your dream home look like?
2 June - One of you wants to talk about holidays and beaches! Read this article from the Lonely Planet about the 20 best beaches in Europe. I can't imagine you'll agree with all the suggestions but that's not a problem. Hopefully you'll bring your own ideas about your favourite beaches or other holiday destinations. We'll also talk about your holiday plans for this year so you'll be practicing some future tenses and possibly some conditionals!
26 May - Something completely different to last week. Let's read this obituary of fashion designer Alber Elbaz. It's slightly different to the original article I found but still has lots of points that I think you'll enjoy discussing.
19 May - This is a serious article about genocide. It's an interesting read providing an insight into how words are formed and defined and about the importance of choosing the right word.
12 May - Fans of tennis, Chinese medicine, yoga and philosophy will find lots to discuss after reading this article about ambidextrous tennis prodigy, Teo Davidov. Before the lesson you can test how ambidextrous you are by trying to clean your teeth using the 'wrong' hand, that is, the one that you don't usually use.
Click here to see the topics we talked about last semester.
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