Category Archives: Discussion

FREE Resource Pack for English - Holidays

FREE Resource Pack for English – Holidays

FREE Resource Pack for English – Holidays

Do you deserve a holiday? Are you dreaming about a relaxing break or hitting the beach? What about sightseeing in an exotic place? This pack could be the next best thing! Improve your English lessons immensely with our helpful FREE printable resource pack on the topic of Holidays.

Featuring great material to practice:

Vocabulary, English Idioms, Grammar, Tense Conversion, Verb Forms, Word and Sentence Stress, Speaking and Listening, Connected Speech… and much more!

This resource pack is completely free and in the public domain, so please feel free to share it widely!

If you like it, please share it with your friends on social media – and join us on Facebook!

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/holidays-complete-pack.pdf

FREE Resource Pack for English – Holidays

Image by Walkerssk from Pixabay

Discussion Questions about Books - for World Book Day 2019

Discussion Questions about Books – for World Book Day 2019

Discussion Questions about Books – for World Book Day 2019

Talk about books and reading with a partner or small group!

Find out more at the World Book Day website!

This worksheet is free and in the public domain, so please feel free to share it widely!

If you like it, please share it with your friends on social media – and join us on Facebook!

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/books-discussion-questions.pdf

Discussion Questions about Books – for World Book Day 2019

Image: https://www.worldbookday.com/

30 ESOL Discussion Questions about Laughter

30 ESOL Discussion Questions about Laughter

30 ESOL Discussion Questions about Laughter

Discuss the following questions with a partner or small group:

  1. What is laughter? Can you spell it? Can you pronounce it? How do you write laughter in your language, e.g. ‘ha ha!’ in English, but ‘Jajajajaja!’ in Spanish?
  2. When did you last laugh? Who or what made you laugh? How often do you laugh? What would I need to do to make you laugh right now?
  3. Do you like laughing? What is the difference between laughing and smiling?
  4. How do we laugh? What happens to our bodies, especially: a) mouth, b) eyes, c) chest, d) diaphragm, e) heart, f) breath? What does laughter: a) sound like, b) look like, c) feel like?
  5. Where do you usually laugh? Why? What effect does the environment have on the potential for laughter?
  6. What effect would laughter have on the atmosphere: a) at a party, b) at a business meeting, c) in church, d) at a comedy club, e) at a funeral, f) in an exam, g) at a family dinner, h) at the doctor’s?
  7. Are you self-conscious about laughing in front of: a) friends, b) family, c) strangers? Why?
  8. Is it easier to laugh in a big group e.g. at a comedy club or at the theatre? Would you laugh as much if you were the only person in the audience? If no, why not?
  9. Is laughter ever wrong? When is laughter inappropriate? Can it be illegal to laugh?
  10. How would you feel if you couldn’t stop laughing and laughed all the time? What would life be like? Is it possible to die laughing?
  11. What is the point of laughter? Is there any evolutionary advantage? Does laughter send out useful signals, e.g. that the one laughing is not a threat? Do animals laugh? Do animals find things funny? If not, why not?
  12. Can robots laugh? Do you think machines will be able to enjoy our sense of humour in the future?
  13. Have you ever laughed till you cried? Have you ever laughed until you couldn’t breathe and thought you might black out, i.e. uncontrollable laughter? What were you laughing at? Do you like that sensation? Why? / Why not?
  14. Can laughter be subversive? Can it be used as a weapon? In what situation(s)? Does satire make you laugh?
  15. Do you prefer to laugh on your own or with friends? Do you laugh at the same things as your friends and family? Do you believe that laughter is infectious? Why? / Why not? Does the Laughing Policeman song (above) make you laugh?
  16. Is there anything that you wouldn’t laugh at? What? Is it possible to laugh when you don’t really find something funny?
  17. Do you know anybody who doesn’t laugh very often – or who never laughs? Why is that?
  18. Are you good at making people laugh? What are the best ways to make other people laugh? How do you feel when a group of people are laughing: a) because of you, b) at you? What is the difference?
  19. What are the benefits of laughter? Is laughter ‘the best medicine’, for example?
  20. How would you describe your laugh? Are you a loud, moderate, or quiet laugher? How did you learn to laugh?
  21. Describe the difference(s) between these different kinds of laughter: a) chuckle, b) giggle, c) cackle, d) guffaw, e) snigger, f) sneer, g) chortle, h) hoot, i) titter, j) snicker, k) roar, l) snort, m) howl, n) fall about laughing? Do you laugh in all these different ways? In what situations would you laugh like that? Can you give an example of each kind of laughter now?
  22. Do you know the meaning of the following idioms about laughter? a) to have a laugh, b) to have the last laugh, c) to get the giggles, d) laughter is the best medicine, e) to be laugh-a-minute, f) he who laughs last laughs longest, g) to laugh your head off, h) to burst out laughing?
  23. Do adults laugh at different things to children? Do women laugh at different things to men? If so, why?
  24. Do you agree that ‘the couple who laugh together, stay together? Is it important for married couples to have the same sense of humour? Why? / Why not?
  25. Do optimistic people laugh more than pessimistic people? If yes, why?
  26. Is it possible to change your mood from angry to happy by forcing yourself to laugh, thus releasing the feel-good chemicals endorphins in the brain?
  27. Do you make funny noises when you laugh? Do you ever say something immediately after laughing, like ‘Oh no!’ or ‘Oh dear?’ If yes, why?
  28. How would you feel if you were walking down the street and heard the following people laugh? a) a baby, b) a group of women, c) a group of teenage boys, d) a lone man, e) a lone woman, f) a lone child? Why? What would be the difference?
  29. Do the things you laugh at change as you get older, or remain broadly the same? Why?
  30. Do you agree with this quotation from the famous poem ‘Solitude’ by Ella Wheeler: ‘Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone’? What does it mean?
Brexit Terms Explained At Last!

Brexit Terms Explained At Last!

 


Find 20 words about Brexit with our amazing Brexit word search!


Brexit Terms Explained At Last!

1. Brexiter (Brexiteer) vs. Remainer (Remoaner)
Brexiteer = the boldest of the three musketeers, who loved breaking things asunder. (Not to be confused with brexitear = a tear shed by Remain voters as they contemplate Brexit Britain.) Remoaner = one who wishes to run a contest again and again until they win.

2. no deal is better than a bad deal
The original name for the popular Noel Edmonds-hosted quiz show on Channel 4.

3. leave on WTO rules
A way of doing something without thinking about the consequences, e.g. ‘Shall we pay for our meal now?’ ‘Nah. Let’s leave on WTO rules.’

4. crash out
To sleep after energetic activity, e.g. after a hard day on a Remain march or painting faces with the EU flag – or both.

5. People’s Vote
Non-technical, easy-to-understand name for a referendum.

6. kicking the can down the road
A fun activity for kids after Brexit.

7. Brexit means Brexit
A very clear way of explaining what something means, e.g. book means BOOK, grandma means GRANDMA, etc.

8. the will of the people
A document stating what should happen to the people’s assets in the event that Brexit causes mass death (see Project Fear, below).

9. Project Fear
A way of making the German word for four (vier) appear on a wall by means of light passing through a thing.

10. transition period
The greatest ever album by Gerry Rafferty.

11. Northern Irish backstop
A delightful folk trio from Ballymena; their first album was called ‘Blame it on the Backstop’; their second was ‘Don’t Blame it on the Backstop’, and their third will be titled: ‘Don’t Mention the Backstop’.

12. Withdrawal Agreement
A verbal agreement in which both parties agree to be very careful and avoid having children.

13. cliff edge
A prominent leave supporter, Cliff lives alone with his mother in Ramsgate, Kent. Motto: ‘Hey ho! WTO – let’s go!’

14. Brexit fatigue
The unfortunate condition of not having heard enough about Brexit for the past three years.

15. hard border
A tough guy who lives in a boarding house.

16. divorce bill
A situation where you take all of your money and either burn it or give it to a firm of lawyers – your choice.

17. extend Article 50
What happens when you make Article 50 longer, e.g. Aaaaaaarrrrrtttttiiiiiiccccccllllllleeeeeeee5555555555000000000000000000.

18. no deal – no problem
What you say when the bank turns you down for a loan, but you want to look nonchalant then walk away whistling to yourself.

19. soft / hard Brexit
What would happen if Brexit were pillows: soft Brexit = very comfortable and nice, but maybe too squishy; hard Brexit = something is awry here; it feels like there is a rock in it, but it’s good for your back – and your morale.

20. BRINO
An extremely rare kind of Brexit Rhino, with union jack (flag) colouring and a dainty unicorn horn instead of a big rhino one.

21. future relationship
Unfortunately there isn’t any space to discuss thi…


Oops. Sorry, there was a slight error there. Gremlins in the works. Er… Right.

Below are the actual definitions. Match each definition to a Brexit term, above.


Brexit Terms Explained At Last!

a) A 21-month period after leaving the EU on 29th March 2019 when the UK remains in the EU while a trade deal is (hopefully) drawn up.

b) Leave the EU without a deal. (Remainer term)

c) The official deal for leaving the EU, drawn up by the UK Government and the EU.

d) It would be preferable to leave the EU without an agreement, if that agreement was unsuitable.

e) Leaving the EU means a complete break with the EU.

f) Acronym for ‘Brexit in name only’. The Brexiter fear that a deal will make it look as though we have left the EU, when we haven’t. (Brexiter term)

g) A second referendum on leaving the EU. (Remainer term)

h) A payment of €39 billion to be made to the EU by the UK, covering money promised for projects and membership of the EU to the end of the transition period.

i) Putting off making a decision until a future date, as the deadline approaches.

j) The idea that there are varying ‘shades’ of Brexit, from virtually remaining in the EU (soft Brexit) to leaving without a deal (hard Brexit).

k) The fear that leaving the UK without a plan will lead to the end of life in the UK as we know it – a bit like recklessly jumping off a great precipice.

l) The decision to leave the EU, which was made by the majority of voters in the June 23rd 2016 referendum.

m) The idea that Article 50 could be extended by several months or years after the legal deadline of 29th March 2019.

n) A deliberate campaign organised by certain Remainers intended to spread fear and panic regarding the implications of leaving the EU. (Brexiter term)

o) Rely on default trading rules from the World Trade Organisation, rather than having a deal with the EU.

p) A guarantee agreed by the UK and the EU that there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, no matter what the UK’s future relationship with the EU may be.

q) The feeling of being sick and tired of hearing about Brexit.

r) Leave supporter (positive nickname) vs. Remain supporter (negative nickname).

s) The idea that leaving the EU without a deal would be unproblematic. (Brexiter term)

t) A border between Northern Ireland and Ireland that requires a passport, ID, or customs form to cross.

Answers:

1. r)
2. d)
3. o)
4. b)
5. g)
6. i)
7. e)
8. l)
9. n)
10. a)
11. p)
12. c)
13. k)
14. q)
15. t)
16. h)
17. m)
18. s)
19. j)
20. f)


Images: https://pixabay.com

Reading the Bible – Discussion Questions

Reading the Bible – Discussion Questions

Reading the Bible – Discussion Questions

Get more FREE Bible study worksheets [Click Here]

This material is free and in the public domain, so please feel free to share it widely!

If you like it, please share it with your friends on social media – and join us on Facebook!


Discuss the following questions with a partner or small group:

  1. What is your favourite: a) book of the Bible (Old and New Testaments), b) verse in the Bible, c) story in the Bible, d) psalm, e) proverb, f) parable of Jesus, g) letter in the New Testament? Say why.
  2. Which person in the Bible do you relate to the most? Why? Compare two characters from the Bible – one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. What features make the Old and New Testaments different? What do they have in common? Which do you prefer to read? Why?
  3. When do you read the Bible? What is the best time of day? How long do you spend reading the Bible? Where do you usually read the Bible? Do you have a favourite place to go? Do you like to read the Bible with others or alone? Why? Have you ever attended a Bible study group?
  4. Which version of the Bible do you prefer? Why do you like it more than other versions? Have you ever tried to understand the Bible in its original languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek? How did you get on?
  5. Describe your Bible. What does it look like? How old is it? How long have you had it? Where did you get it from? Are you thinking about replacing it? Have you ever used a Bible app or an eBible online?
  6. Do you use any tools to help you understand the Bible, e.g. concordances, reading notes and plans, websites, etc.? How do they help you? Do you enjoy hearing the Bible read aloud? Do you listen to readings from the Bible online or on Bible apps?
  7. How important is the Bible to you personally? Why do you read it? Have you ever been encouraged or helped by reading the Bible? Tell me about it. How do you apply the message of the Bible in your life? Do you think you could function as a Christian without reading the Bible? Are you ever reluctant to read the Bible? Why? How do you start reading again?
  8. What would you do if you couldn’t read the Bible anymore? What about if the Bible was outlawed in your country? Do you ever take your access to the Bible for granted? Have you ever been bullied for reading the Bible or being a Christian? How did you respond? Have you ever distributed Bibles?
  9. Did anyone teach you to read the Bible? How did you first hear about the Bible? Have you read the whole Bible? If not, what is stopping you? Would you consider trying to read the whole Bible in a year with a special plan or app? What do you think would be the difficulties? What would be the rewards?
  10. How do you know that you can trust the Bible? Do you believe that everything in the Bible can be taken completely literally? If not, which parts cannot? How do you know?
  11. Do you like to memorise verses of Scripture? How many do you know? Can you tell me some of them now? Why do you do it? How do you memorise verses?
  12. Is the Bible relevant to non-Christians? How? How often do you talk to your non-Christian friends or colleagues about the Bible? What is their response?

Image: https://pixabay.com


Get more FREE Bible study worksheets [Click Here]


 

Hashtag Improve Your Life in Four Words - ESOL Game

Hashtag Improve Your Life in Four Words – ESOL Game

Hashtag Improve Your Life in Four Words – ESOL Game

This is a fun ESOL game inspired by the recent Twitter hashtag: #ImproveYourLifeIn4Words

Method:

  1. SS (students) work in pairs or small groups. They access the hashtag on Twitter and select ten (or more, or fewer) tweets. T (teacher) monitors and helps.
  2. They write the four-word phrases onto a sheet of paper, then delete one of the words from each phrase. SS could focus on deleting words from a particular word class, e.g. verbs, adjectives, or prepositions, etc.
  3. Next, SS exchange their paper with another pair or group, who have to complete each gap with one word only – or more than one word, if you want the game to be easier. Then both pairs of groups come together and compare their answers with the original tweets.
  4. Twist: SS have to suggest more than one word that could possibly fit, e.g. five words – the funnier the better!
  5. The whole class come together and different groups present their work to the class.
  6. Final quick-fire round #1: T (or a student) collects all of the four-word phrases and reads them to SS going round the whole class in a circle. The reader omits the final word and the student has to say the first thing that comes to mind, e.g. “I would buy…” “Sausages.” / “Bread.” / “A pizza.” – and so on. You could make it competitive by putting a five-second timer on each student – if they can’t think of anything, they sit out, and the game continues until there is one student as the winner!
  7. Final quick-fire round #2: T (or SS) collect a number of four-word phrases from the hashtag on Twitter. Play the quick-fire round, as above, but this time SS must come up with the real final word from the tweets. You could play it competitively too, as above.

By the way, don’t forget to follow Purland Training on Twitter! [Click here.] and let us know how it goes!


Example (with tweets below):

Education gives children __________.    e.g. headaches

Pledge to go __________!    e.g. green

Learn to love __________.    e.g. homework

__________, then laugh more.    e.g. eat

Laugh whenever it’s __________.    e.g. raining

Think about others __________.    e.g. sometimes

Go to bed __________.    e.g. late

Watch the Penguin __________.    e.g. film

A Weekend In __________.    e.g. Grimsby

Read more, sing __________!    e.g. less


#Education gives #children choices #ImproveYourLifeIn4Words pic.twitter.com/yOYzPDNfAR


Title image: https://pixabay.com

Are You Addicted to your Smartphone? - QUIZ

Are You Addicted to your Smartphone? – QUIZ

Are You Addicted to your Smartphone? – QUIZ

Are you the kind of person who just can’t stop fiddling with your smartphone? Do you feel alone when your phone is in a different room? Do you get anxious when you have to do some kind of real-life activity – like having a bath or making a sandwich – and you can’t fondle your phone or give it your full attention?

If you answered ‘Yes’, ‘Yes’, and ‘YES!’ to these questions, you may be addicted to your smartphone! Take our fun quiz to find out whether you have nomophobia – the technical name for the fear of being disconnected from your smartphone.

Say whether you agree or disagree with the following statements, and keep a note of your answers – if you can manage that without being distracted by your messages…

  1. My smartphone is the first thing I look at when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing I look at before I go to sleep.
  2. I often bump into people when I’m walking down the street, because I’m looking at my smartphone.
  3. My smartphone goes everywhere with me.
  4. I have a pet name for my smartphone.
  5. Nobody is allowed to touch my smartphone except me.
  6. I need to be connected at all times, but I don’t know why.
  7. When I’m not using my smartphone, I’m usually thinking about using it.
  8. My phone is almost an extension of my hand.
  9. I would rather chat on my smartphone than talk to my friends in person.
  10. I can spend hours on my smartphone without noticing the time.
  11. I’m jealous because my friend has a newer smartphone.
  12. I’m never bored, thanks to my smartphone.
  13. I feel anxious when I’m not near my smartphone.
  14. I don’t think it’s rude to repeatedly use my smartphone during a romantic meal with my partner.
  15. It is rude of people to expect me to stop looking at my smartphone just because they’re talking to me.
  16. I don’t see any problem with children and young teens having their own smartphones.
  17. I can’t sit through a film at the cinema without checking my smartphone multiple times.
  18. I recently started wearing glasses – so I can see my smartphone screen better.
  19. People often tell me that I’m addicted to my smartphone.
  20. I love my smartphone.
Are You Addicted to your Smartphone? - QUIZ

Do you believe that you are never alone with a smartphone?

Results:

Mostly agree: You may be showing signs of smartphone addiction. Your phone is more than just a device to you – it’s your friend. Maybe even your best friend. Try spending time away from your smartphone. Go outside; speak to other people; write a letter to a friend and walk to the post office to mail it; spend time doing active hobbies which don’t require you to stare at a small screen for hours on end. Start off with short bursts of non-smartphone activity, then build up to longer, more sustained periods of normality, until – finally – you are ready to downgrade to a dumb phone.

Mostly disagree: You seem to have a more balanced approach to your smartphone. To you it is really just a tool – something that has many useful functions, but not something that you need to physically handle all the time. It’s useful to have it when you need to call someone or send the odd message or text – which is not very often, to be honest. Maybe you just don’t have enough friends to make a smartphone really essential. In any case, you are happy to leave your phone at home in the sock drawer – or even completely forget where you’ve put it, and you do not feel disturbed if you experience – from time to time – the strength-sapping feeling of boredom. For you, it’s normal, and nothing to fear. On the contrary, it is nice not to keep having to check constant updates.

Are You Addicted to your Smartphone? - QUIZ

Do you feel that keeping your head down and your eyes focused on a tiny screen is a good look?


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Images: https://pixabay.com and Samuel Zeller

Robot Vacuum Cleaners - 15 Discussion Questions for ESOL Classes

Robot Vacuum Cleaners – 15 Discussion Questions for ESOL Classes

Robot Vacuum Cleaners – 15 Discussion Questions for ESOL Classes

Robot vacuum cleaners are those little round space-age gadgets that trundle around the floor in your flat or house and promise to clean the carpet. Have you ever seen one in action? Have you considered buying one? Maybe you already own one.

Whatever you think of them, robot vacuum cleaners are probably going to be everywhere soon, so why not create an ESOL class based around this topic, using the activities and discussion questions below?

Discuss the following questions with a partner or small group:

  1. Do you do the vacuum cleaning in your home? Do you like doing it? When do you do it? How long does it take? Do you find it a chore? What would you do with the time if you didn’t have to do it? If not, who does it? How well do they do it?
  2. Tell me about your vacuum cleaner. What kind is it? What make is it? When did you buy it? Where did you buy it? How much was it? Why did you choose it? How efficient is it at cleaning different kinds of floor? Are you planning on replacing it soon? Why? / Why not?
  3. Do you have a robot vacuum cleaner? If yes, tell me about it. Why did you buy it? If not, why not? Are you planning to buy one? Do you think they look cool? Do you think your friends, family, and colleagues would be impressed if you had one?
  4. Compare a robot vacuum cleaner to your current vacuum cleaner. Do you think it would work better than your current regular vacuum cleaner? Why? / Why not?
  5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of robot vacuum cleaners? Do you think that the benefits outweigh the potential problems/costs? Is it worth spending up to £1,000 to buy a top-of-the-range robot vacuum cleaner? Why? / Why not? Is it worth cutting costs and buying a cheaper model, e.g. for £150? Why? / Why not? Are you happy for it to stand there in your living room or corridor all the time, instead of in a cupboard? How good is it if it can be stopped by a stray sock? Could it be a tripping hazard, especially if it is a quiet model and you don’t see it coming? Can it be better than a human doing the job, when it can’t pick up and move anything, or reach high places?
  6. If you bought a robot vacuum cleaner would you keep your old cleaner? Do you think you need both kinds of cleaner to do a good job? How could a robot vacuum cleaner clean hard-to-reach areas, e.g. corners of ceilings?
  7. Would you feel embarrassed to let a robot do the housework, when you feel that you should do it? Would you feel embarrassed about a robot doing a better job than you? Or would you feel thrilled to chill out on the sofa while a machine is doing your duties? Wouldn’t it be healthier to be active and move around doing your own cleaning, than resting? Do you have a dishwasher? Did you have misgivings before buying one, thinking that you could do better? How do you feel now? How is a robot vacuum cleaner any different?
  8. How do you define a robot? Do you have any other robots in your home? How do you think robot vacuum cleaners could be improved? How will they develop and improve in the next: a) five years? b) ten years? Do you think that every home will have a robot vacuum cleaner in time? Is this inevitable progress? Do you think that people complained about vacuum cleaners replacing sweeping brushes?
  9. Can you think of any other ways in which robots improve your life at present? What jobs would you like a robot to do for you, in an ideal world?
  10. Do you believe a robot could do your job? Could you be replaced by a robot? Why? / Why not? What about robot cars? Will they become popular? Why? / Why not?
  11. What is your favourite household appliance? If you had to keep only one, which would it be? Why? How long have you had it? What value does it bring to your life?
  12. Do you think that robot vacuum cleaners are helpful for disabled people? How could they help?
  13. Could we use robot vacuum cleaners to save money on cleaning staff costs at places like office blocks and hotels, which have large areas for cleaning? Why? / Why not?
  14. Is this kind of cleaner good for the environment? Why? / Why not?
  15. If somebody gave you a robot vacuum cleaner as a gift, how would you feel? Would you try to sell it?
Robot Vacuum Cleaners - 15 Discussion Questions for ESOL Classes

Robot Vacuum Cleaners – 15 Discussion Questions for ESOL Classes

Other fun communicative activities you might like to try:

  • Find video reviews online and discuss / compare two different robot vacuum cleaner models. You could use the table below to make notes about each one:
Compare Robot Vacuum Cleaners - Table

Compare Robot Vacuum Cleaners – Table

Then write 10 sentences comparing the two models.

  • Make a list of advantages and disadvantages of buying a robot vacuum cleaner. Discuss them, and try to appreciate the opposite point of view for each point.
  • Write 5 wh- questions and 5 yes/no questions that you would ask a shop assistant about one of these gadgets. Find a real model online and write down the answers to your questions.
  • Role play a conversation between a customer and a shop assistant re. buying one. It could include an in-store demo.
  • Role play a conversation between a customer and a shop assistant re. getting a refund due to… a) broken model, b) unwanted gift, c) too difficult to use, d) inefficient.
  • Choose one model and imagine that you bought it. Write a review about it in your notebook. Give it between one and five stars. Match your review to the star rating accordingly. Read it aloud to the class.

Images: https://pexels.com (top), https://pixabay.com