Thursday, May 03, 2007

What shall we talk about?

How is conversation like pulling teeth?
Does this sound familiar? Student: I don't speak English very well. My grammar is good, but my speaking is poor. Teacher: OK. Let's start with movies. Which movie do you like? Student: ummm... The Queen.

And that's it. No opinions, no comments, just two words.

What to talk about? Or discuss here on the blog... Take this survey and let us know the results.

These debate lesson plans come complete with 'for / against' statements to get students going, as well as useful phrases for expressing opinions.

Parts of Speech

Words are used to form patterns of English grammar and syntax. Each word falls into one of eight categories referred to as parts of speech.

Think of parts of speech (& parts of the sentence) as your "toolkit" & "building blocks" for conversation and discussion.


  1. Here are a couple of discussion topics to write about:

    1. Summer & summer plans. Do you take a vacation in the summer?

    If so, where do you usually go and what do you like to do?

    If not, is summer like any other season, or do you have any special summer activities?

    Tell us about - and describe - summer and vacation locations and activities where you live.

    2. Are vacations necessary? What are the benefits? What do you know about the history and development of vacations as we know them today?

  2. Hi Ms. Vanessa,

    Here is my write-up :

    Vacantion plans for summer

    Every year during summer vacations which starts from 15th of May till 15 of July, I go to a hill station in any state. There are many states in India.

    This year I am going to Dehradun which is a hill station near Mussorie and also a capital city of Uttaranchal state. It is one of the beautiful hill stations in India and quite cheap also in comparison to other hill stations. It is quite near to Mussorie which was found and inhabited by Britishers in the 19th Century. This year I am planning to visit Campty Falls. It is a great picnic spot. It is named Campty because during olden days the Britishers had established a camp for collecting and selling tea.

    After 15 days I will return and will joing some social organisation to help the old people. Last year also I had collected a number of like-minded persons to help establish an old age home in my locality. Now a days, young people don't want to take care of their parents. I think it is quite wrong and pitiable. The persons who taught us each and everything about life etc. and who remained with us through thick and thin has no one to speak to in their old age. This is just inhuman.

    Vacations are necessary because human body is after all a machine which needs rest and lubrication in the form of rest etc. There are many advantages of having vacations. It changes our mood and it also distracts of course for a small time from our daily problems and tell us that there are other goals and problems also to attend to.

    I don't know much about vacations but during British days the judiciary used to have vacations in Summer seasons probably due to the fact that they could not tolerate Indian summer season.



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  4. Rajeev & all

    Send us pictures of the view fromt hill station.

    Your plan to work with an organization to help the elderly sounds very interesting. Volunteer work may not be very "vacation like" but sometimes it's the only time we have time. Let us know how that goes too.

    Weakening of traditional networks and, consequently, neglecting the weaker members of society seems to be an unfortunate side effect of progress and modernization.

    Vacations as a cultural practice and the history of vacations are interesting and related topics. Of course, the rich have always been able to take vacations - even in antiquity. Leaving the city for the summer was ahealth measure. Come the industrial revolution, vacations (very short ones!) and recreation began to be recommended for the laboring classes to refresh them and thus keep them working more efficiently and productively.

    Some tend to be workaholics even about vacations. Here are book a couple of links to article and reviews:

    Review of Working at Play at

    "Vacation Starvation" (article in Utne Reader) at

    (partial) Review of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING LAZY: In Praise of Play, Leisure and Vacations at


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