Discussion

Discuss: Hard to say “No”?
Josef Essberger
Do you find it so hard to say “No” that you often do things for people that you don’t want to do? If yes, why is that?

The Queen’s Coronavirus broadcast: ‘We will meet again’
Josef Essberger
In a rare speech, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II delivers a special message to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth during the coronavirus pandemic; and echoes the words of Vera Lynn’s wartime song, ‘We will meet again.’

What’s your New Year’s Resolution 2019?
Josef Essberger
New year, new start. Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for the coming year?

Should Facebook control what art you see?
Josef Essberger
Sir Peter Paul Rubens was a European artist who lived from 1577 to 1640. He is world-famous for his paintings, many of which include nude and semi-naked people and cherubs. Rubens’ works of nudity are displayed in museums and art galleries all over the world, but one place where you cannot see them is on […]

I am not a number
Josef Essberger
I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered…

Discuss: How would you give away $1,000,000?
Josef Essberger
Imagine this: somebody gives you $1 million on condition that you donate it anonymously to a stranger or to a good cause of your choice. What would you do? How would you dispose of it? (Please leave your ideas in the Comments box below ↓) on condition that (phrase): with the stipulation that donate (verb): […]

Discuss: Where would you go?
Josef Essberger
Let’s suppose you can take a one-month trip anywhere in the world. Money is not a consideration. Where would you go? And what would you do? (Please leave your ideas in the Comments box below ↓) suppose (verb): think or assume that something is true; imagine a trip (noun): a journey; a holiday a consideration (noun): […]

Discuss: Do you believe in ghosts? Would you sleep in a haunted house?
Josef Essberger
Do you believe in ghosts or evil spirits? Would you be prepared to spend a night alone in a remote, allegedly haunted house? (Please leave your ideas in the Comments box below ↓) ghost (noun): the spirit of a dead person, which appears to living people evil spirit (noun): a bad ghost; a ghost with […]

Discuss: Can you give me some money to buy a train ticket—please?
Josef Essberger
You are approached in the street by a well-dressed man who says that he has lost his wallet. He asks politely and apologetically if you could give him $12.85 to buy a train ticket. What do you do? (Please leave your ideas in the Comments box below ↓) approach (verb): come near; walk up to wallet […]

Superlistening – The BUWOG Affair
Josef Essberger
Here’s a superstory about supercorruption in superclean Europe. Supersound makes for superlistening practice. Great English-language voiceover. I recommend this video for general listening practice. The English is clear, well pronounced and reasonably slow. The video is a graphic novel that explains “the BUWOG Affair”—one of the biggest cases of corruption in Europe. Teachers may like […]

Your own personal staff. Which will you choose?
Josef Essberger
Imagine that you win a contest and the 1st prize (free for 1 year) is your own personal secretary driver butler cook housekeeper OR masseuse Which will you choose? And why?!! You can tell us your ideas in the comment box below ↓ 🙂

Your New Year’s Resolutions for 2016
Josef Essberger
What’s your main New Year’s resolution for 2016?

Colour of the Year 2016
Josef Essberger
Here is the Colour of the Year for 2016 chosen by paint company Benjamin Moore: It’s WHITE 🙂 Which raises two questions: Is white a colour? What’s YOUR colour of the year? Please leave your answers in the comment box below. Thanks!

Change the World
Josef Essberger
What is this advertisement trying to say? It appears to show two different “worlds”, but which should be changing to which? Should they both be changing to something else? Please give your views about the implications of the photograph. Why? What? Where? When? How? extreme (adjective): to the greatest degree; very great; very severe; very […]

Hiroshima 80000 / Nagasaki 40000
Josef Essberger
A tale of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – one day 80,000 civilians, another day 40,000 civilians—killed

Who would you have dinner with?
Josef Essberger
Imagine that you could have ONE dinner with any ONE person in the world — rich or poor, famous or unknown etc. Who would you choose? Please give your reasons!

Is the world better or worse today?
Josef Essberger
Do you think the world today is better or worse than it was 100 years ago? And will it be better or worse 100 years from now?

What would you take to a desert island?
Josef Essberger
You have to stay alone on an uninhabited desert island for a year. But you can take five things of your choice (no animals). What five things would you choose to take with you and why? uninhabited (adjective): without inhabitants; with nobody living there desert island (noun): a small tropical island in the middle of the […]

Would you choose the Future or Past?
Josef Essberger
Somebody locks you in a time-machine and you have to go forward (the future) or backward (the past). You will never come back to “now”. You can go any length of time, one day, a thousand years, a million years… Which would you choose? Future or past? And why? Please leave your comments below 🙂 […]

Would you like to be famous?
Josef Essberger
Would you like to be famous? And what would you like to be famous for? If achieving fame meant that you would lose all your friends, would you still want to be famous? Please leave your comments below 🙂 famous (adjective): known by many people achieve (verb): successfully get or reach fame (noun): the state of […]

What Are Your New Year Resolutions for 2015?
Josef Essberger
resolve (verb): decide firmly to do or not to do something (for example: He resolved to discuss the matter with his boss.) resolution (noun): a firm decision to do or not to do something (for example: He never regretted his resolution to stop drinking.) 2015 is upon us. Pray tell us. What have you “resolved” to […]

What to call the UK if Scotland independent?
Josef Essberger
On Thursday 18th September 2014, the people of Scotland will hold a referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country. Currently, and for more than 300 years, Scotland has formed part of the UK, whose full name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Great Britain comprises England, Scotland and Wales. […]

Do you have any New Year Resolutions for 2014?
Josef Essberger
For 2013 there were nearly 500 answers to a similar question. Have you kept those resolutions, and what do you plan to do this coming year?

What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2013?
Josef Essberger
When we “resolve” to do something, we decide firmly to do it. It’s like a promise to ourselves. The verb is “resolve” and the noun is “resolution”. Typically, at the start of each year, people make New Year’s Resolutions such as:

Have you ever seen a ghost?
Josef Essberger
Where? What? When? Who?

If you ruled the world…
Josef Essberger
If YOU were the master of the universe for one week, what would you do?

Who would you like to be today?
Josef Essberger
If you could change for one day and be anybody on earth (present or historical), who would it be? And why?

What do you think you were in your last life?
Josef Essberger
?!

We are all basically selfish
Josef Essberger
What do you think about this statement: “We are all basically selfish“? Is it true? At the end of the day, are we all only interested in ourselves? Or are some people genuinely selfless and altruistic? Wordchecker selfish (adjective): having no consideration for other people; being interested in one’s own personal well-being, profit or pleasure […]

Alcohol should be illegal
Josef Essberger
“ALCOHOL SHOULD BE ILLEGAL.” ???????????!!!!!!!!!! What do you think about THAT?!

Mobile Phones Dangerous?
Josef Essberger
Some scientists now say that mobile phones are dangerous and may damage our brains or cause cancer. But not all scientists agree. What do you think?

How do you use the Internet?
Josef Essberger
How do you use the Internet? What do you do? How often? Why? Do you mainly use the Internet to play games, find friends, learn online, shop online…? What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of the Internet? Do you have any tips and suggestions you would like to give others?

Best holiday
Josef Essberger
Tell us about the best vacation (holiday) you’ve ever taken. Where did you go? Why did you like it?

Perfect age?
Josef Essberger
What do you think is the perfect age? Why?

Next life
Josef Essberger
What would you like to be in your next life? Why?

What do you want to own?
Josef Essberger
If you could own one special thing, what would it be? Why?

Rainy day
Josef Essberger
What’s your favourite thing to do on a rainy day?

Around the World in 80 Days
Josef Essberger
If you had 80 days to travel around the world, where would you like to go? Where would you start? Tell us about the places you’d want to visit, how you would travel and who you would like to meet.

New Year’s Resolution
Josef Essberger
At New Year (1st January) many people resolve or decide to do something or not do something. That is called a “New Year’s Resolution”. For example, they might resolve to do more exercise, or to stop smoking, or to work harder. What is your New Year’s Resolution be for 2008? And why?

My Favourite Food
Josef Essberger
Leave a comment to describe your favourite food. When do you eat it? Why do you like it?