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  • djlab09
  • Newgookin

    • 2

    • June 10, 2010, 03:03:03 pm
    • Daegu
Topics for adult free talking classes
« on: April 27, 2011, 02:07:48 pm »
What are some good free talking conversation topics for medium to high level adults?

I am working at an adult hagwon in Daegu and desperately need some new ideas!  :'(

Their English is really good and they are pretty open-minded, and we have covered some pretty controversial topics :P  So anything goes really (So far I have covered some topics ranging from favourite movies to Dokdo, haha)

Much appreciated!


Re: Topics for adult free talking classes
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2011, 02:18:14 pm »
go to koreatimes. com talk about current events. bring some articles in so they can read them if they dont know already.


  • notinKS
  • Super Waygook

    • 279

    • November 29, 2010, 02:59:38 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Topics for adult free talking classes
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2011, 02:23:44 pm »
I used http://iteslj.org/questions/ last semester with a parents' class and I've modified it for use this semester with my after-school class. Lots and lots of options-hope this helps!


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5258

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Topics for adult free talking classes
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2011, 02:37:42 pm »
Basically, it depends on the demographic composition (big words! yay!) of your class, as well as their individual interests.

One topic that I will be using for my teacher teaching class this week is a question about why for Easter we pass around a few hard boiled eggs and listen to wierd music on the PA for a couple of minutes at the beginning of the day (and I work in a Catholic school), while for Buddha's birthday next Tuesday we get a day off and presents and stuff. I'm hoping this will spark some fun arguments. Huzzah for religious trolling  :D.

This sounds really boring, but I've had really good classes comparing the minimum wage of other countries to that of Korea, as well as average earnings, number of annual holidays etc. Office workers like their numbers! Google-ing the stuff before hand takes only a very little time, and makes u look very smart.

Other topics Ive used with some success:

North and South Korea reunification.
Why Japan keeps beating Korea at soccer.
Superstitions in Korea and abroad.
Will the Korean Nuclear power plants just down the road from our school be next?
Internet memes.
Whatshername, that Korean figure skater who just came back from LA. or wherever.


Goodluck!


  • djlab09
  • Newgookin

    • 2

    • June 10, 2010, 03:03:03 pm
    • Daegu
Re: Topics for adult free talking classes
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2011, 02:42:17 pm »
Thanx a lot!
I find this very amusing as I also did the religious trolling thing just last week. They absolutely loved it. (Like I said, very liberal group of people!)

North and South Reunification has also been covered, but I like the whole minimum wage discussion.

Will do some research and work that into my classes tonight.

Cheerz!


  • luanam
  • Adventurer

    • 51

    • March 03, 2011, 08:28:32 am
    • Seoul
Re: Topics for adult free talking classes
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2011, 02:44:07 pm »
I have a fantastic time with my teachers so I wanted to share some Spoken Word with them. I gave them the lyrics to Taylor Mali's "What Teacher's Make" poem and we discussed them- then I showed them a clip of him performing on Youtube and discussed whether this was the tone in which they read the poem and how the tone was different from other poems :P I have attached the lyrics of his poem.
Cheers!


Re: Topics for adult free talking classes
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2011, 02:44:54 pm »
I really enjoy watching a short TED talk with my teacher class, and then discussing afterwards.  You can filter on the website to just see videos that are under 6 minutes.  http://www.ted.com/talks


Re: Topics for adult free talking classes
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2011, 05:26:06 pm »
There's a really great book you can download called "Taboos and Issues".  You can really only use about half the topics (some of them are much too 'taboo' for class) but there are really great lessons about national stereotypes, animal rights, lying, health and sports.  I also teach a free speaking class to adults with a higher level of English, and have to do all my own lesson planning.  Sometimes it can be tough to come up with anything, and this book has saved me more than once.


  • jangng
  • Adventurer

    • 45

    • November 06, 2010, 04:27:48 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Topics for adult free talking classes
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2011, 08:28:43 pm »
One really good topic (especially for women) is Beauty and Plastic Surgery.

I printed out two stick figures (a guy and a girl) and we went through each facial feature and body part and described what is considered "beautiful" and what types of procedures people can get to "beautify" themselves. It's really interesting to see the differences between what's considered beautiful in Western and Korean culture. AND many Koreans used Konglish terms and slang to describe body parts, ie. hip to mean butt, "honey thighs" to mean toned thighs, "v-line" to describe a nice jawline, "s-line" to mean curves, etc.

I've done a lesson on trophy wives and the double standard based on gender (ie. why is it different when a guy has a lot of girlfriends vs. when a girl has a lot of boyfriends.)

I really like teaching about food too-- you can teach popular expressions related to food like "tastes like chicken" or "muffin top."

Other topics include personality (take some fun personality tests), culture shock (ask your students what they think culture shocks foreigners the most and share your experiences), fashion and fads, and complaining (just have your student complain about their boss, job, landlord, mother-in-law).


  • Burndog
  • Super Waygook

    • 418

    • July 16, 2010, 11:49:17 am
    • Suwon
Re: Topics for adult free talking classes
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2011, 09:01:41 pm »
Other topics Ive used with some success:

Why Japan keeps beating Korea at soccer.


Korea have played Japan 74 times...won 40 times...drawn 22 times and lost only 12 times.  It pays to research PRIOR to selecting a topic  :D

As for conversation topics...I find looking at the English language Korean rags and choosing a topical discussion point can help...but you have to make sure that it suits your group.  My teachers are all young women...so any hope that I have of hosting a discussion class on football is greatly diminished (forcing me online to chat about football in the most unlikely places...such as this thread).

Good luck!!


  • daveb
  • Super Waygook

    • 284

    • March 07, 2011, 10:08:52 am
Re: Topics for adult free talking classes
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2011, 09:03:59 pm »
breakingnewsenglish.com


  • CultureShock
  • Adventurer

    • 67

    • September 13, 2010, 12:25:26 pm
    • Ulsan, South Korea
    more
Re: Topics for adult free talking classes
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2011, 09:23:29 pm »
I've had 4 classes so far and these are the topics I've done so far...

Lesson 1 -  Partner interview. I had 10 questions for everyone to answer. I had each person interview the other. After they asked each other the questions they had to introduce that person to the class. I had an odd amount of people, so I did the exercise with one of my students.

Lesson 2 - Tactful criticism. I made a lesson revolving around how to give an appropriate opinion. For ever negative there had to be one positive. My topics were North Korea, Japan, and foreigners in Korea. Each person talked about one subject each.

Lesson 3 - Would you rather. I gave them Would you rather questions, and had them create 5 of their own to share with the class.

Lesson 4 - Norae class. After listening to the interests from the first lesson, all of them liked specific genres of music. I had them translate the Korean music into English and then we learned a song in English.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I meant what I said, and I said what I meant, an elephant is faithful one hundred percent!
-Dr. Seuss


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5258

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Topics for adult free talking classes
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2011, 07:26:36 am »
Other topics Ive used with some success:

Why Japan keeps beating Korea at soccer.


Korea have played Japan 74 times...won 40 times...drawn 22 times and lost only 12 times.  It pays to research PRIOR to selecting a topic  :D


Of course I (usually) do my research before teaching, but I find that opening a class with something controversial tends to make for more animated classes. I mean, for example, if I had asked why Korea wins so often, I would have gotten something like "Because we are better of course." accompanied by a class-full of wise nods. This way, I got a few moments of stunned silence, then 45 minutes of outraged denials.  ;D


  • Florence7
  • Adventurer

    • 69

    • October 28, 2010, 01:08:53 pm
    • Korea
Re: Topics for adult free talking classes
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2011, 08:17:40 am »
Advantages and disadvantages of Hagwons - the Hagwon Culture in Korea
Women join the Korean Army?
Problem of negative birth rate in korea - more men than women, searching for wives in other countries.

Jack of all trades versus Being an Expert
To get them talking I would introduce the idea of being someone who is a Jack of All trades. They have to write down three things they consider themselves to be an Expert in. (Write it on a piece of paper and then fold it so it makes a kind of 'name' plate). Someone chooses a number and they have to talk about it nonstop for 1-2min (depending). Encourage questions etc. People like to talk about things they know about.


  • MsAlpha
  • Waygookin

    • 10

    • May 13, 2010, 01:19:12 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Topics for adult free talking classes
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2011, 08:22:38 am »
My adult classes really like the conversation worksheets from this website:

http://bogglesworldesl.com/adultesl1.htm


  • cowboy7
  • Super Waygook

    • 282

    • October 05, 2010, 01:47:27 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Topics for adult free talking classes
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2011, 08:27:15 am »
Ted Talks are a gold mine for excellent material.  If you are not familiar with them, they are speeches made by influential people in the areas of health, design, and entertainment (I think). Speaker's bios range from teachers to scientists to CEOs to biologists, etc.  Notable speakers include U.S. President Bill Clinton, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Biologist Jane Goodall. 

And one of the best parts, when you use the official website (ted.com) there is usually a button at the bottom of the video to be able to add subtitles.  And yes, Korean is usually there. 

If you do go on there, I suggest you watch these videos:

Sheena Iyengar - The Art of Choosing (has a little snippet of why Asian kids do better when told what to do)

Sir Ken Robinson - Do Schools Kill Creativity?


Re: Topics for adult free talking classes
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2011, 08:34:25 am »
I agree with the comment on Ted Talks. My co-teachers watch them a lot in their down time. ^^

My teachers were (surprisingly but not surprisingly) interested in singing, so if that's something you're down with, pick some popular (but fairly simple) songs and practice with them. I would do the 'Song Week' about once a months and it was always really popular.

If you have teachers who are really interested, it also might be good to ask them what they would be interested in talking about. ^^

Lastly, when I couldn't think of something to do, sometimes I would pull ideas from this list:

http://iteslj.org/questions/

Have fun with it and good luck!
The Who and Why is in the Where and When.
http://www.playswithelephants.blogspot.com


  • Death Walrus
  • Adventurer

    • 60

    • March 09, 2011, 08:33:12 am
    • Daegu, South Korea
Re: Topics for adult free talking classes
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2011, 08:52:13 am »
-marriage, internet dating, difference in relationships between countries, traditional marriage?, divorce

-colors in the classroom. use article. pictures.

-watch video showing sample classroom. http://media.edunavi.kr/vodBoard/view.do?mt_id=25888&ct_id=721

-desk work is bad for health article. discuss health topics. possibly find video related. compare health approach between cultures.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/01/10/tv.heart.health/index.html

-plastic surgery. http://news.yahoo.com/video/health-15749655/bullied-child-gets-plastic-surgery-24902719