I recently had a lesson with a 4th year university student who is planning to go to Canada to study for 6 months. He will study for 3 months for TOEIC test improvement and the last three months will be spent studying business in English. I am sure that he will have a great time and will learn a lot there. He is taking a 6 month holiday from my school to do this. In his recent lesson, since he only had 3 lessons to go before he left, I decided to work with him on how to discuss the following:
- Talk about himself (self-introduction): He already has been doing this for a while but I tried to expand his description of himself by getting him to talk about which movies he likes and why.
- Global Warming: His opinion on whether it is a real potential problem, why and what can individuals and governments do to stop it or slow it down.
- Japan’s “peace” constitution: Should it be changed to allow Japan to have an offensive army?
- The potential increase in the consumption tax in Japan: Is it necessary or reasonable?
- Japan’s future: What kind of changes are taking place now that will affect Japan’s future?
These are difficult topics but he was able to discuss them with a little bit of help. He brought up the topics of “outsourcing” and the trend to move from “a manufacturing economy to a service industry related economy” by himself when we talked about Japan’s future. I asked him to write his thoughts down for next time and we will correct his English and he can then practice them so as to be prepared to talk with Canadian’s about these issues. He appreciated this lesson as it will help him to prepare for his experience in Canada. I explained that to get into a conversation, one must first have something to talk about and have an opinion. He agreed and said that he will prepare his thoughts for the next lesson.
This was a fun lesson and I felt that he learned a lot and was very happy to cover these topics. The study of English can enable the students to develop their own opinions on many issues and this will help them to have conversations with other English speakers when they travel. Great fun!