English conversation: The subjects

 

I have a full A-Z list below of all the subjects, but for those students who only want to discuss particular areas, I have broken the topics down into these sections:

Activities: being boring, conversation, driving, exciting stuff, good cook bad cook, laziness, music, pets, procrastination, Polish TV, public holidays, reading, shopping, sport, summer/annual holidays 

Attitudes and Perceptions: apathy, being boring, conspiracy theories, cynicism, dares, dilemmas, ecomentalism, exciting stuff, good or evil, grumpiness, happiness, humour, laziness, motivation, nimbyism, perceptions, public relations, procrastination, snobbery, spontaneity, town mouse or country mouse, vanity, wimpy kid, young at heart

Business/Work: breaking the rules, competitiveness, control freak, customer service, dilemmas, email, English language, ethics at work, give us a job, good boss, good job bad job, human resources, man or a mouse, meetings, motivation, negotiations, public relations, presentations, procrastination, public holidays, risk, self-esteem, speaking, stress at work, success or failure, team player, thick skin, typical errors in English, typical errors in English 2, workaholism

Difficult topics (subjects that are not usually discussed, may have an emotional impact, or other areas which might come with a warning): are you financially savvy, are you getting old, bad language, fear and terror, good or evil, health and illness, hypochondria, man or a mouse, money, pets, politics, religion, romance, stress at work, thick skin, vanity, wimpy kid, workaholism, young at heart

Education: Bad language, conversation, English language, geography, intonation, phrasal verbs, presentations, present perfect tenses, reading, social media, speaking, typical errors in English, typical errors in English 2

Finance and competition: Are you financially savvy, competitiveness, money, negotiations, nimbyism, shopping

Health: anger, being boring, control freak, health, health and illness, hypochondria, procrastination, self-esteem, stress, stress at work, thick skin, workaholism

Leisure: Christmas, conversation, driving, English language, exciting stuff, good cook bad cook, laziness, living abroad, music, pets, reading, shopping, sport, summer/annual holidays, town mouse or country mouse

Psychological: are you a good friend, anger, are you getting old, arrogance, breaking the rules, conspiracy theories, control freak, fear and terror, good or evil, happiness, humour, hypochondria, introvert or extrovert, man or a mouse, motivation, nimbyism, optimism or pessimism, procrastination, risk, self-esteem, spontaneity, stress, stress at work, success or failure, temper temper, thick skin, vanity, workaholism, would I lie to you?

Stereotypes: American, British, French, German, Polish, Russian, living abroad

Technology: driving, mobile phones, Polish TV, presentations, social media, technophile or technophobe, the internet

 

You will notice that some topics appear in more than one section, but often the subjects covered will mean there is some degree of overlap.

All these subjects that include a piece of text to read that is connected to the topic, along with a vocabulary list (that usually - but not always! - have no more than twenty words or phrases) for further practice. These are usually prepared as handouts. Those subjects in red are recent new additions that have been added in 2021. Afterwards, there is usually a fun quiz in the form of a PowerPoint presentation and sharing screen.

American Stereotypes

Anger

Apathy

Are you a good friend 

Are you financially Savvy

Are you getting old

Arrogance

Bad language

Being Boring

Breaking the Rules

British Stereotypes

Christmas

Competitiveness

Conspiracy theories

Control Freak

Conversation

Customer Service

Cynicism

Dares

Dilemmas

Driving

Ecomentalism

email

English language

Ethics at Work

Exciting Stuff

Fear and Terror

French Stereotypes

Geography

German Stereotypes

Give Us a Job

Good boss

Good Cook Bad Cook

Good job bad job

Good or evil

Grumpiness

Happiness

Health

Health and illness

Human Resources

Humour

Hypochondria

Intonation

Introvert or Extrovert

Laziness

Living Abroad

Man or a Mouse

Meetings  

Mobile phones

Money

Motivation

Music

Negotiations

Nimbyism

Optimism or pessimism

Perceptions 

Pets

Phrasal verbs

Polish Stereotypes

Polish TV

Politics

Presentations

Present perfect tenses

Procrastination

Public Holidays

Public relations

Reading

Religion

Risk

Romance

Russian Stereotypes

Self-esteem

Shopping

Snobbery

Social Media

Speaking

Spontaneity

Sport

Stress

Stress at work

Success or failure

Summer (or annual) holidays

Team Player

Technophile or technophobe

Temper temper

The Internet

Thick Skin

Town Mouse/Country Mouse

Typical Errors in English

Typical Errors in English 2

Vanity

Wimpy Kid

Workaholism                           

Would I lie to you?

Young at Heart

More subjects will be added to this list over the next few months. And years, probably, but I'm aiming to have a total of 100 subjects, and I hope to have completed this by 2022 at the earliest.

I also have a series of 'random' topics which used to be in the form of PowerPoint presentations, but have now been replaced by something more random; shuffling cards. These are also ideal for students from pre-intermediate levels and also for older primary school children onwards. I have three sets of cards, labelled 'questions' 'yes no why' and 'choices'.

A nice little subject called Four weeks on a desert island is almost always the first topic I do with a new student, as they discuss what things they would take to the island for four weeks, whilst allowing me to get to know them a little more. The taboo topics are those subjects which, as a general rule, teachers should avoid completely when taking classes. My questions do not go into personal detail, but should a student choose this topic, they are reminded of the fact that the very subject makes it controversial and that they are free to change the subject.

To give you an idea of the kind of conversations I have, I'm going to give you one of the subjects listed above. There will be ten questions, followed by some additional comments by myself as to how the lesson was conducted at that particular point.

You will need a pencil and paper to record your answers!

If you're ready...

Author, cartoonist, language instructor, English text proofing, and a definite sense of humour

All media on this website is © Roger Hartopp 2021, except where noted that they are the copyright of a contributor.

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