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, 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, 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, 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: 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, 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 2020. 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                                  Being Boring                                  Breaking the Rules                     British Stereotypes            Christmas                                     Competitiveness                        Conspiracy theories                      Control Freak                               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                                 Shoppi ng                                    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

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