Category Archives: Discussion

Create Your Own Bakery (Free Lesson Plan)

FREE Podcast! Create Your Own Bakery (Free Lesson Plan)

Have fun in the classroom with this great speaking activity! 🙂

I discuss a fantastic lesson plan where students plan and run their own bakery in class!

You can find the lesson plan below.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please tell a friend or colleague, subscribe, and leave a review – thank you!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/purland-on-elt/id1204714487?mt=2
http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=141070&refid=stpr

Free image courtesy of Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/en/bread-a-loaf-of-bread-bakery-fresh-2432090/

Fast Food and the Environment - Discussion Questions

Fast Food and the Environment – Discussion Questions (Part 2)

Discuss these questions with a partner or small group, or write down your answers:

1. Which option do you prefer and why?

a. restaurant food vs. home-cooked food?
b. supermarket vs. farmers’ market?
c. farmers’ market vs. home-grown food?
d. thermos flask vs. plastic drink cup?
e. new fast food place opening in your town vs. new library / school?
f. to do something yourself vs. to have it done for you?
g. to cook for yourself vs. to have food cooked for you

2. What does the phrase carbon neutral mean? What is the cost of recycling? Is it carbon neutral?

3. What is a carbon footprint? Do you know yours? If yes, how did you found out? If not, why not? Do you think it is necessary to know? Why do some businesses have bigger carbon footprints?

4. Which companies consume the most resources in the world? Why do they do it? Do we need them to do so?

5. What is the connection between fast food and deforestation? What is the solution?

6. In the future, will we be able to grow meat in a lab? Will this solve the problem of cutting down trees in order to make farmland for animals that are destined to be eaten as fast food?

7. Why are some people apathetic when it comes to the environment?

8. Are wind turbines effective in generating enough green power – or are they rather a blot on the landscape?

9. What effect does fast food have on… a) our societies, b) our town centres, c) our waistlines, d) our health, e) our wallets, f) the weather?

10. Is fast food harmful? Why is it legal to buy products that are bad for you? Should it be illegal to sell harmful products? Why do fast food companies target children in particular?

11. Does fast food need to be the same (uniform) all over the world? Is it?

12. What’s the point of eating a healthy meal / salad at a fast food chain? Do you do that? Why?

13. Does fast food tell us anything about the decline in Western culture in the 21st century? What?

14. What would happen if half of the fast food restaurants in the world closed down voluntarily?

15. Agree or disagree? ‘Why should I separate my rubbish at a fast food restaurant? I don’t want to feel like a member of staff. That’s their job! They should do it. I paid for my food.’

16. Why do people leave their used fast food wrappers in places of natural beauty, e.g. forests?

17. What are the dangers of consuming too much… a) salt, b) sugar, c) fat, d) meat, e) caffeine?

18. Agree or disagree? ‘You should never take more than you give.’ – Tim Rice, ‘Circle of Life’.

19. Agree or disagree? ‘When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realise that one cannot eat money.’ – Native American saying.

Fast Food and the Environment - Discussion Questions

Fast Food and the Environment – Discussion Questions (Part 1)

Discuss these questions with a partner or small group, or write down your answers:

1. What is fast food? Do you like fast food? Does fast food satisfy you? Why? / Why not?
What are the pros and cons of fast food? Is pizza fast food? Why? / Why not?

2. Do you live near a fast food restaurant? How often do you use it? What’s the difference between a fast food restaurant and a normal restaurant? Was there fast food 100 years ago? How did people manage without it?

3. Do we need fast food? What does it offer that other kinds of food cannot?

4. How do fast food chains impact on the environment? Consider:

a. land
b. agriculture
c. animals
d. transport
e. warehousing
f. energy
g. water
h. pollution

What is their carbon footprint, compared to other kinds of business? What are fast food chains doing to reduce their carbon footprint / impact on the environment?

5. How many fast food restaurants are there… a) in your town, b) in your country, c) in the world?

6. Why does the human body crave sugar and fat? Is it possible to be addicted to fast food?
What happens if we avoid junk food?

7. How many solar panels does it take to power one fast food restaurant?

8. Do you think the world would be a better place with more people and fewer trees? Why? / Why not? Is it a good thing that hot food is always freely available in our society? Has it always been that way? Is that true in every society?

9. Should there be stricter rules for corporations when it comes to impacting on the environment?

10. Which is better: localism or globalism? Why? What are the pros and cons of each?

11. Do humans need to eat meat… a) more than once a day, b) every day, c) every week, d) at all? Why?

12. Have vegetarians or vegans got it right when it comes to the environment? Why? / Why not? Have you ever seen a fast food outlet selling only healthy food? Would it be possible?

13. Would you like to work for a fast food chain? Why? What kind of salary would you receive?

14. Is deforestation ever a positive thing? Why? / Why not?

15. What is the difference between fast food and junk food?

16. When you eat at a fast food chain, do you segregate your rubbish after your meal? Should customers have to work or should an employee do this? Should we be able to take our own crockery and cutlery to fast food restaurants, to dramatically cut down on waste paper, card, and plastic – or should dishwashers be used? What would be the added cost of that?

17. Do fast food restaurants cause a litter problem? What can be done about it?

18. Do you believe that recycling makes a difference to the environment? Why? / Why not?
Why do we give our household recycling for free to companies which sell it to make a profit?

FREE Podcast! Advice for New Teachers of English

In this episode I was lucky enough to chat with the wonderful Daria Storozhilova from http://stordar.com.

Daria StorozhilovaDaria Storozhilova

I asked her what advice she would give to new teachers of English. Below are some of the tips that we discussed in this special podcast.

Advice for new teachers of English:

– Listen to advice from more experienced teachers. Don’t assume you know it all after a CELTA or Cert. TESOL course!

– Collaborate with your colleagues; learn from them; observe them; team teach. Don’t be an island!

– Use a wide range of materials – and no materials!

– Don’t just present the course book – this leads to a downward spiral.

– Brush up on your grammar; learn something before you teach it.

– Take students on trips to build relationships and your confidence; go the extra mile.

– Enjoy what you do. If you don’t enjoy teaching day-in day-out, you should consider another profession.

– Check the wage – what will it get you? What accommodation? What will be your costs. Be aware that language school teachers may want what is best for them, not for you!

– We don’t become teachers to become rich and famous! Or for the holidays! It’s a labour of love.

– Get further qualifications. CPD – continuous professional development will keep your teaching fresh.

– Go to training courses and conferences; get connected – use Twitter and social networks; get up to speed; keep reading and learning; learn by doing, e.g. by creating your own material.

– Teaching is about building relationships with people, not just imparting knowledge.

Daria Storozhilova is an English teacher who specialises in communication and student confidence. She currently teaches online and develops online courses. You can find our more about her courses here: https://stordar.teachable.com/ Don’t forget to follow Daria on Twitter too: https://twitter.com/stordarlearn

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Singing - Discussion Words

FREE Podcast! Episode 12 – Discussion Questions about Singing

Talk about the topic of Singing with your friends with these great discussion questions. The discussion questions are below. Please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes! Thank you!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/purland-on-elt/id1204714487?mt=2

Discussion Questions

Singing

Ask and answer the questions with a partner or small group:

  1. What is singing? Can you sing? Do you sing? What do you sing? When do you sing? Do you sing in the shower or sing along to the radio while in the car or at work? How would you describe your voice? Why do you sing? In what situations? Can you sing part of a song now? If not, why not? Is it embarrassing to sing in public? Why? / Why not? Would you be happy to sing on a stage in public for money? For how much? Why do people prefer to sing when they are on their own? What would happen if you sang more often – either at work or at home?
  1. If you think you can’t sing, why is that? Do you sing out of tune? How can you judge that? Would you like to be able to sing? Have you ever had singing lessons? Do you believe that the ability to sing is genetic or can anybody learn to sing? Is there any advantage in being able to sing? Is it possible to improve your singing technique? Research has shown that only 2% do not possess the required skills[1]. Do you agree?
  1. Who is your favourite singer? Why? Do you prefer male or female voices? Do you prefer a solo singer or a group who sing in harmony together? Why? Who is the best singer of the past fifty years in your opinion? Who is the best current singer? How many different kinds of singer can you think of? What is the difference between singing and rapping? Do you like rap music? Why? / Why not?
  1. Why do people sing? What uses does singing have, for example: to celebrate, to worship, to mourn, to entertain, and so on. Is singing a necessary function of life? Do we all sing in private? Why do children make up their own songs and sing so often? Do you believe that only humans can sing? Do birds sing, or is the sound that they make produced mechanically rather than by choice?
  1. How do we sing? How are the following parts of the body used: a) diaphragm, b) larynx, c) vocal cords, d) tongue, e) teeth, f) chest, g) head? Have you ever watched a very good singer and noticed how they use their bodies to sing? How do professional singers warm up their voices and how do they take care of them?
  1. Do you think that it is a good job to be a professional singer? Why? / Why not? What would be the hardships and pleasures of this kind of job? How much money do you think they make? Is it worth being a busker – singing in the street all day? Imagine a day in the life of… a) an opera singer, b) a pop singer, c) a busker, d) a vocal coach, e) a singer in a West End musical, f) a children’s entertainer… and so on.
  1. Have you ever joined a choir? Tell me about it. If not, would you like to? Why do people sing in their spare time for free? Is community singing enjoyable? Why? / Why not? Have you ever sung in a foreign language? Do you sing in church, or as part of a service of worship? Does singing have a spiritual significance for you?
  1. What is your favourite song? Have you ever heard it sung by another person? What is the effect when different people record a version of the same song? Have you ever written a song? Would you like to be a famous singer-songwriter? Why? / Why not?

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2015/may/22/why-cant-we-all-sing-well-the-science-of-song-eurovision

Media – Discussion Questions – Agree or Disagree?

Do you agree or disagree with these statements? Say why. Find out what your partner thinks,
and mark the boxes with a tick for agree and a cross for disagree:

1. I really need a new mobile.

2. “Radio is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome.” – T. S. Eliot

3. We have so many TV channels, but there’s never anything to watch.

4. I set aside “me-time” especially to read my favourite magazine.

5. The media is too invasive. I feel like I’m being overwhelmed by the constantly updated flow of information.

6. I’ve never listened to a podcast in my life. I don’t see the point.

7. Online news and blogging is sounding the death knell for traditional newspapers.

8. I love reading the latest celebrity gossip.

9. I hate people who give away free newspapers in the street. They’re always getting in my way – and they won’t take no for an answer!

10. The media continually distracts us from what is important in life.

11. “Where ignorance is bliss it’s foolish to borrow your neighbour’s newspaper.” – Kin Hubbard

12. I wouldn’t recognise any of the artists in the Top 40, I’m afraid!

13. I’m in charge of the remote control in my home.

14. “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx

15. Most of what the news media produces is either speculation or downright lies, with very little information that is actually true.

16. Children and teenagers should not have the internet in their rooms.

From Talk a Lot Intermediate Book 1, by Matt Purland