Discussion questions for listening-speaking class

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The following are various questions for discussion on various topics. These are from non-credit college-level listening/speaking courses and first-year college general English courses, so these are at lower-intermediate to intermediate levels. These cover a range of issues, from personal sharing to political discussion. They can be used for stand-alone discussion, for practicing pronunciation, or in conjunction with a relevant reading or video.


1 Personal reflection

See also: icebreaker questions, e.g., "find someone who" questions.


1.1 First-day icebreaker questions

  1. Why did you choose to come to this university?
  2. What did you expect before you came?
  3. What are some differences between high school and this university?
  4. What kinds of problems do university students have? How can they be handled?
  5. Describe your experiences so far. has it been good or bad? why? (academic, social, campus life, etc.)
  6. Are you happy with your decision to attend this school / to come here? why or why not?
  7. Where did you learn to speak English?
  8. Tell us about your family
  9. Are you looking forward to studying at this univ? why?
  10. What do you think is most difficult about living / studying here?
  11. Tell us something you want to learn more about
  12. Do you feel your past education has prepared you well for your future?
  13. Tell me one thing you like and one thing you dislike about your culture?
  14. Do you think your country has a bright future?
  15. How have your first few days here been?
  16. Has it been easy to make new friends here so far?
  17. Favorite childhood memory?
  18. what will your life be like in 10/20 years from now? Were will you be? What will you be doing?
  19. Winter / summer vacation plans?
  20. Favorite book / novel / story / movie / TV show?


How much do you know about your English teacher? Answer the following questions about your teacher. # What state is your teacher from?

  1. How long has your teacher lived in ........?
  2. Does you teacher like spicy food? For example?
  3. Does s/he cook?
  4. Does your teacher have a car?
  5. What other languages can your teacher speak?
  6. How many brothers and sisters does your teacher have?
  7. Is your teacher married? Does he have any children?
  8. Has your teacher visited other places in this country?
  9. What other countries has your teacher visited?
  10. What kind of exercise or sports does your teacher do?


1.2 Personal sharing & discussion questions

These are from a board game that was popular in the 1970s called the Ungame. There is no goal, just randomly giving questions printed on a card or piece of paper to get participants to share their inner thoughts.


1.2.1 Level A

  1. From whom would you like to receive a phone call?
  2. Tell about a funny experience you have had lately.
  3. Talk about your TV viewing.
  4. Describe something beautiful.
  5. What do you do when you are alone?
  6. If you could change your age, what age would you rather be?Why?
  7. How would you describe yourself to someone who does not know you?
  8. How would you change the world to make it better, if you had enough power?
  9. Describe how you behave when you feel angry.
  10. What kind of people are the luckiest people in the world?
  11. Talk about your sense of humor.
  12. What is something you can do well?
  13. What is your favorite food?
  14. If someone could give you anything for your birthday, what would you like it to be?
  15. In what ways do you act like a child?
  16. What is your favorite song?
  17. What would you like to do to become famous?
  18. Describe your best friend.
  19. Talk about a time when you were very irritated.
  20. What does living in this country mean to you?
  21. What part of a big parade would you like to be? (In what way would you participate, and in what kind of parade?)
  22. How do you feel about running for president?
  23. What would you like to invent to make life better?
  24. If you could take only people with you on a trip around the world, whom would you take?
  25. If someone were to write a book about you, what do think they would call it?
  26. If you could become invisible, where would you like to go?
  27. Say something to one member of the group that you think s/he will enjoy hearing.
  28. Complete this statement: Love is ..........................
  29. What would you do if you found $1000 in a vacant lot?
  30. Share three things for which you are thankful.
  31. When are you apt to get"goose bumps"?
  32. Describe one of your favorite birthday presents.
  33. If you could have been someone in history, who would you have been?
  34. What do you like to do in your spare time?
  35. Describe the "ideal" mother.
  36. Tell about a time when you felt proud of yourself.
  37. How do you get along with your neighbors?
  38. What kind of animal would you like to be and where would you like to live?
  39. What is your favorite sport and why do you like it?
  40. Finish this sentence: "The best thing about today is..................”
  41. What is your definition of a happy family?
  42. How do you feel when you are with someone who does not speak your language?
  43. What kind of store would you like to own and operate?
  44. Finish this sentence: "What the world needs now is ...................." Explain why.
  45. If you had to move and could take only three things with you, what would you take?
  46. Share an experience you have had with the police.
  47. Name two famous people you would like to have for parents.
  48. What do you think your friends say about you when you're not around?
  49. Talk about one of your bad habits.
  50. If you were lost in the woods and it got dark, what would you do?


1.2.2 Level B

  1. What TV or movie star would you like to invite to your birthday party?
  2. What would you do if you had a magic wand?
  3. If you could live any place in the world, where would it be?
  4. What kind of trophy or award would you like to win?
  5. What is one of your hobbies?Why do you like it?
  6. What kind of TV commercial would you like to make?
  7. Describe the "ideal" father.
  8. Where would you like to go for a vacation if you could go any place in the world?
  9. What is your favorite party game?
  10. If you were a doctor, what ailment or disease would you like to cure?
  11. What kind of job would you like to have?
  12. What is your description of success?
  13. What is your favorite room in your house? Why?
  14. What color do you think of when you think of happiness?
  15. If you received $5000 as a gift, how would you spend it?
  16. What do you like to daydream about?


1.2.3 Level C

  1. How do you feel about growing old?
  2. What do you think it's like after you die?
  3. If you could give any gift in the world, what would you give to the person on your right?
  4. If you wrote a book today, what would the title be?
  5. Complete this statement: "One thing I missed during my childhood was __________.”
  6. If you were told you only have one week to live, how would you spend it?
  7. Describe the "perfect" husband or wife for you.
  8. Share one of the happiest days in your life.
  9. How would you describe peace?
  10. What is your definition of security?
  11. What talent do you wish you had?
  12. What do you want to be doing in ten years?
  13. How do you feel when someone laughs at you?
  14. Tell about a time when you were frightened.
  15. What piece of advice would you give to a young man or woman who is about to get married?
  16. Thinking back, what can you identify as a turning point in your life?
  17. Say something about war.
  18. What lifetime dream are you still trying to make come true?
  19. Complete this statement: "Words can't describe how I felt when _______.”
  20. Do you ever feel lonely?When?
  21. What seems to complicate your life?
  22. What do you like most about yourself?
  23. What do you dislike most about yourself?
  24. What do you think is your purpose in life?
  25. Describe your life at age 7.
  26. Describe the "ideal" life.
  27. Share something that you fear.
  28. What is something that really annoys you?
  29. Share a big disappointment in your life.
  30. Complete this statement: "If I could live my life over again, .............................”
  31. What advice would you give to a young bride?
  32. When do you get angry?
  33. How do you feel about first impressions?
  34. Give three worlds to describe how you feel right now.
  35. If you could receive a sixth sense, what would you want it to be?
  36. What qualities do you look for in a friend?
  37. Tell about a time when you where courageous.
  38. When do you feel disgusted?
  39. What natural disaster do you fear the most?
  40. If you have ever been financially poor, tell about it.
  41. Describe the best teacher you ever had.
  42. Complete this statement: "A new world opened up to me when...........”
  43. What is the best advice you ever received?
  44. Describe the "perfect" wife or husband.
  45. If you could hang a motto or saying in every home in the world, what would it be?
  46. When was the last time you cried?Why?
  47. Talk about a happy marriage.
  48. What talents do you have? (Don't be modest!)
  49. Of all the material possessions you have, what do you enjoy the most?
  50. When do you feel frustrated?
  51. What four things are most important in your life?
  52. What would you like to be remembered for after you die?
  53. What feelings do you have the most difficulty expressing?


1.2.4 Level D

  1. What do you think about when you can't fall asleep?
  2. What is the most sentimental possession that you have?
  3. Give an example of "heaven on earth”.
  4. What does freedom mean to you?
  5. When do you want to be alone?
  6. Complete this statement: "I think it is wonderful when _______________.”
  7. When do you feel sad?
  8. Share a time when you had hurt feelings.
  9. What activity do you engage that involves all of you---mind, soul, and body?
  10. How would you define love?
  11. What is the meaning of life?
  12. What is the meaning of love?


1.3 Show us what you do best...

You are to give a short presentation (about ½ to one minute) about one of your special talents or abilities. You should explain how you discovered this ability, show or explain how to do it, and demonstrate it. For example, if you're a good singer, you can sing a song for us. If you're good at cooking, explain how you developed this skill and explain how to cook a favorite dish of yours. Maybe you have other talents like fixing a computer, impersonations or imitations, telling stories, telling jokes, or more unusual talents like holding your breath for a long time, putting your leg behind your head, or turning invisible.


1.4 Stress relief...

What's your favorite method of releasing stress? Or can you think of a creative new method of dealing with stress? Maybe it's sleeping, bungee jumping, or chocolate. You and your group will present a brief demonstration and/or explanation of your favorite method. Each person should play an equal part, and you will present your ideas to the class – about a one-minute presentation.


1.5 Shooting the breeze (idioms practice)

In groups of 3-4, discuss the following questions:


  1. Would you raise a stink if your friend were always late?
  2. What do you think of people who always toot their own horn?
  3. How do you fell when someone sells you short?
  4. Have you ever spread yourself too thin and gotten burnt out?
  5. When you're angry, do you often jump down someone's throat?
  6. Do you bend over backwards to get good marks in school?
  7. If you parents are angry at you, are you afraid to face the music?
  8. Do you think most men's bark is worse than their bite?
  9. Is it better to let sleeping dogs lie between friends and relatives?
  10. Have you ever paid thru the nose for something you wanted?
  11. Do you think a lot of criminals get away clean in your country?
  12. Do you usually make a summer vacation plan or do you play it by ear?
  13. Do y our younger brothers and sisters often get in your hair?
  14. If you believe in something, do you always stick to your guns?
  15. Do you think there's something fishy about people who are too friendly?
  16. Is there anyone who puts you in stitches or cracks you up?
  17. Do you think that it's hard to make ends meet in today's society?
  18. If you wanted a job in your friend's company, would you ask him/her to try to pull some strings to get you in?
  19. How often do you dress to the nines and paint the town red?
  20. Do you think money talks when it comes to education?
  21. Do people who always spill the beans turn you off?
  22. After a very difficult exam, do you and your friends go out and kick up your heels?
  23. When you're at the end of your rope with someone, ho w do you keep your cool? Do you often blow up or loose it?
  24. Do you believe everything you're told, or do you usually wait to hear things straight from the horse's mouth?


1.6 Childhood (habitual verbs like 'used to')

Interview a classmate about what s/he did in his/her past; s/he will also ask you some questions. Use the past habitual tenses in your questions, as well as other past tenses. In your answers to your classmate's questions, also try to use past habitual as well as other past tenses.

  • earliest childhood memory
  • played ____ when you were a child
  • when you were younger, wanted to be ____ when you grew up
  • favorite TV program as a child
  • something you were punished for whey you were a child
  • best subject in school when you were younger
  • used to ____in junior high / middle school
  • used to ____in the first semester of college / last semester of high school


1.7 Past regrets...

  1. Do you regret many things in your past?
  2. Is there some that you did not stay in touch with, and regret it?
  3. Is there anyone that you regret meeting?
  4. Is there someone you regret not meeting, though you could have?
  5. Do you regret any past romances?
  6. Do you regret wasting your time doing something? What was it?
  7. Do you regret doing something as a child? Would you like to tell us about it?
  8. Do you think people dwell too much on their past regrets? Do you? [dwell on = focus thoughts or attention on something]
  9. Some say that you must have regrets in order to learn or become more mature. Do you agree?
  10. What do you think you will regret when you are old?

2 Hypothetical and conditional topics

2.1 What if...?

Below are some unusual questions. Think about them, describe and discuss what life would be like, and what you would think about that kind of situation.

  1. What if everyone went bald every time it rained?
  2. What if soccer were played with a basketball?
  3. What if you were born old and grew younger?
  4. What if men turned into women and women turned into men at age 21?
  5. What if classes were only held on Saturdays and Sundays?
  6. What if baseball were played under water?
  7. What if all TVs were outlawed?
  8. What if men wore dresses instead of women?
  9. What if students gave teachers exams rather than teachers giving students exams?
  10. What if you were ugly and everyone else was beautiful? Or what if you were beautiful and everyone else was ugly?
  11. What if you had to drink alcohol before class?
  12. What if the library was only for sleeping?
  13. What if you had to eat your book if you failed an exam?
  14. What if people could fly?
  15. What if you had a robot for a teacher?
  16. What if computers could think like humans?
  17. What if we discovered intelligent life in outer space?
  18. What if children were born from eggs?


Now as a group write five "what if's" of your own.


2.2 What would you do?

Discuss the following and explain your answers.

  1. What would you do if you were on a plane that was being hijacked?
  2. If you had a chance to speak on TV (in English) for five minutes, what would you say?
  3. If you had next week free, a lot of money, and a passport, what would you do?
  4. If you could meet anyone from history, who would you want to meet?
  5. If you woke up one morning to discover that you were a child again, what would you do?
  6. What would you do if you met an alien from outer space?
  7. If you were supreme ruler of the world, what would you do?
  8. If your company sent you to a foreign country to live and work, where would you want to go? What would you do there?
  9. What would you do if you were on a sinking ship?
  10. If you met your ideal partner (future wife/husband) but discovered that s/he had been married before, what would you do?
  11. If you saw a gun in your friend's bag, what would you do?
  12. If you could make yourself invisible, what would you do? Where would you go?


2.3 Would you consider...?

In selecting a boyfriend/girlfriend or future mate, would you consider the following possibilities for a future partner?

Questions for men

  1. Would you consider marrying a woman who is taller than you?
  2. Would you consider marrying a woman with more education than you?
  3. Would you consider marrying a woman who is several years older than you?
  4. Would you consider marrying a woman who is not very beautiful?
  5. Would you consider marrying a woman who makes a higher salary than you do?
  6. Would you consider marrying a woman who is more intelligent than you?
  7. Would you consider marrying a woman who is more athletic than you?
  8. Would you consider marrying a woman who knows more about cars, computers, or household repair than you?


Questions for women

  1. Would you consider marrying a man who is shorter than you?
  2. Would you consider marrying a man with less education than you?
  3. Would you consider marrying a man who is several years younger than you?
  4. Would you consider marrying a man who is not very handsome?
  5. Would you consider marrying a man who makes a lower salary than you do?
  6. Would you consider marrying a man who is less intelligent than you?
  7. Would you consider marrying a man who is less athletic than you?
  8. Would you consider marrying a man who is a much better cook than you?


2.4 Would you rather...

With a partner or in small groups, ask each other complete sentences, give complete answers, and explanations for the following. For example:

“Would you rather listen to classical music, or jazz?”

“I prefer listening to jazz.”

“Why?”

“Because jazz is cool. It has as much complexity as classical, but it is a music form from the common people.”


  1. watch TV / listen to music
  2. formal or casual clothing
  3. Japanese or Western food
  4. go to the movies / go dancing
  5. short stories / novels
  6. swimming / bowling
  7. meet your boyfriend/girlfriend in the day or evening (& where would you prefer to go?)
  8. your middle school or high school teachers
  9. take the subway or bus
  10. travel to the mountains or to the beach
  11. sleep in ( = sleep late on purpose) / get up early
  12. summer sports / winter sports
  13. your male friends / your female friends
  14. live in a house or apartment
  15. take a shower or bath
  16. dogs or cats (do you have any pets?)
  17. go drinking / go to church
  18. study / watch TV
  19. kiss / eat pizza
  20. yak meat / rabbit stew
  21. buy your English teacher a cup of coffee / buy yourself a soda


2.5 Silly vocations

This one is facetious, and maybe too lame, so you might want to change these. You could have students talk about these as if they might want to do such jobs, or pretend that they are doing them.

Version 1. In groups of 3-4, each person should select one of these professions for his/her career. Pretend that this is your actual career. Then do dialogues in which you ask and explain to each other (1) what you do; (2) why you enjoy this job, and (3) how you came to chose this career by discussing your past interests, experiences, and activities. A few vocabulary items that you may need are provided. Or explain why you might want to choose this career.

Version 2. Giving some of the items below as examples, have students come up with their own strange, silly, or very unlikely career choices, and explain them - what their job would involve, and the reasons for their career choice.

Careers:

  1. yak herder
    vocabulary: herd, horn, Tibet, Mongolia
  2. eggplant farmer
    vocabulary: purple, stir-fry
  3. penguin groomer or caregiver
    vocabulary: Antarctic, Antarctica, emperor penguin, king penguin, beak, groom, veterinarian
  4. garbage collector
    vocabulary: trash/garbage can, trash/garbage collector, sanitation worker, garbage truck, landfill; stench, reek (= bad smell)
  5. chewing gum salesman / salesperson
    vocabulary: sticky, yummy
  6. dinosaur genetics expert
    vocabulary: Jurassic, lizard, DNA, cloning, clone
  7. ambassador to alien planet
    vocabulary: diplomat, embassy, extraterrestrial, Mars, Martian; Vulcan, Klingon (Star Trek)
  8. president of your country
  9. igloo repairman / repairperson
  10. chocolate taste tester
  11. beer / wine taste tester
  12. English teacher


3 Social topics

3.1 Blind justice

Blind justice is an expression meaning that justice should be totally fair – it sees everybody as equal; no one receives special favor or treatment. In light of that, discuss the following questions about crime and justice.

  1. What crimes are considered most serious in your country?
  2. Should there be a death penalty (capital punishment)?
  3. Are there many unreported crimes in your country? What kinds?
  4. Do you agree with the punishments for serious crimes in your country? How should they be changed?
  5. Have you ever been stopped by the police? What happened?
  6. Are you afraid of the police? Would you go to them for help?
  7. What would you do if you witnessed a crime? Would you intervene?
  8. Do you think guns should be allowed? Who should be allowed to have them?
  9. Do you feel safe in your city?
  10. Have you ever been robbed? Have you ever met a criminal?
  11. Do criminals look like other people?
  12. Could anyone become a criminal? Could you?
  13. Where are prisons located in your country? Are they secure? Are there many escapes?
  14. What would you do if you found your neighbor was a wanted criminal? Would you turn him/her in?
  15. Do people mainly commit crime for money, power, or some other reasons?
  16. Are the police effective in stopping crime here? Do you think they are corrupt? How would you improve the police department?
  17. What crime is most common? Have you or anyone you know been the victim of a crime? What happened?
  18. Do you think political prisoners should be given special consideration? How so?


3.2 Public nuisances or annoyances

This regards an article by David Barry, entitled "Ban cell phones -- unless you're attacked by giant squid."

  1. What is the point of Barry's article? Do you agree with Barry's view of cellphones?
  2. Do you think cellphones are an annoyance in Korea? What should be done?
  3. Do you consider the following to be public annoyances? What should be done about them? How do we balance the rights of individuals with those of society?
  • smoking
  • strong perfume / cologne
  • people with body odor
  • beggars

What other nuisances can you think of?

3.3 Internet culture

  1. How often do you use the Internet? What do you use it for (surfing, email, chatting, messenging, on-line games, file-sharing...)?
  2. How well do you know computers? What kinds of computer skills do you have?
  3. Do you have a web page? Do you like to create web pages? What method or software do you use?
  4. Do you remember when you first used computers or the Internet? Can you recall a time in your life when the Internet was not a part of your culture? (Compare your responses with classmates from different generations.)
  5. Are you addicted to the Internet? Do you know anyone who is? Do you know someone who is addicted to computer games What is considered Internet / game / computer addiction? (Do you have any other addiction?)
  6. Do you think the Internet is an "equalizing force" in society – something that can bridge gaps between social and economic classes – or something that reinforces those gaps?
  7. How well would you trust your children on the Internet? What could be done to make it safer for kids? Do people need to be educated about using it, and if so, how?


Do you know what the following abbreviations mean? Do you use them in email, chatting, etc.? Can you think of others?

  • btw
  • lol rofl
  • brb
  • cu
  • ic
  • imho
  • l8r
  • tgif
  • ttyl
  • pls / plz
  • ppl
  • g/f or GF
  • b/f or BF

What are emoticons? What do the following mean? Do you know of others in other cultures or languages (for example, Korean emoticons)?

  •  :)
  •  :-)
  •  :|
  •  :~
  •  :(
  •  :-(
  • ;)
  •  :P
  •  :D
  •  :o
  • ;)


3.4 Men & women

Discuss the following questions. Be sure to give reasons for your opinions. (These are within an East Asian cultural context.)

yes / no:

  1. Is it okay for a woman to smoke in public?
  2. Are campus couples a good idea?
  3. Is it okay for couples to hug or kiss in public?
  4. Is it okay to wear shorts or mini-skirts in public?
  5. Should you only marry someone that your parents approve of?
  6. Is love the most important thing in marriage?
  7. Should you respect older people, in any situation?
  8. Are co-ed schools a good idea? (co-educational, boys and girls together)
  9. Should a wife always obey her husband?
  10. Is the oldest son important than any other child?
  11. Should a man help his wife in the kitchen?
  12. Should women work after having children?
  13. Are long hours at work a good idea?
  14. Are arranged marriages a good idea?
  15. Should a daughter-in-law always bow to her in-laws?
  16. Should high school students have more free time?
  17. Are men and women equally qualified to do any job?
  18. Is a woman's education as important as a man's?
  19. Should the eldest son live with or support his parents?
  20. When is divorce acceptable?
  21. Should people have large families? Is it a good idea?

4 Academic topics

4.1 Pop psychology

Discuss the following types of pop psychology. Why are they considered pop psychology? Do they have any factual basis, or are they entirely wrong? Why do people believe them?

  • graphology (or graphoanalysis) – handwriting analysis to determine one's personality, etc.
  • phrenology – an old belief that skull shape, size, and bumps indicate personality, intelligence, etc.
  • emotional intelligence
  • One website boasts the following:
  • EQ: emotional intelligence quotient. Examining your emotional responses: anger, love, hate, jealousy, guilt, sadness, and fear. Eliminate anger/ hate. Move away from fear and sadness today. Drop jealousy and guilt. Actualize loving! Emotional intelligence changes often take time, but free online quizzes can be accomplished today.”
  • personality tests, for example, those that classify your personality into one of four basic personality types
  • hypnosis & hypnotherapy
  • dream interpretation
  • left brain / right brain differences, and the belief that people are "left-brained or right-brained”
  • the claim that "you only use 10% of your brain"
  • books or media for improving self-esteem, and similar self-help books

Can you think of other types of pop psychology?

Consider the following quote. What does this writer mean? Do you agree?

More and more writers are publishing books on psychology for the general public. These books (and also videos and tapes) help authors and psychologists get their theories and ideas out to a broad public, hence the term "pop(ular) psychology". The good news is that people unschooled in psychology can learn from these kinds of books even if they unlikely to read psychology textbooks or professional journals . The bad news is that people unschooled in psychology can learn from these kinds of books even if they are unlikely to read psychology textbooks or professional journals.(http://www.work911.com/articles/poppsych.htm)

  1. What role does the media play in promoting pop psychology, and what do you think of this?
  2. What is the difference between pop psychology and "real" psychology?
  3. Is it helpful or harmful for people to follow various kinds of pop psychology? Can pop psychology theories be helpful, for example, in business or education, or for people with some kinds of problems?


Note: There is some research validity to a few of these like emotional intelligence, but the truth is greatly distorted by the media, popular books, and popular web sites.


4.2 Dreams and sleep

  • How many dreams do you have (or remember) each night?
  • According to psychologists, people actually have ____ each night (how many do you think?).


4.2.1 Content of dreams

According to one study of 10,000 dreams of normal people, the content of dreams breaks down like this:

  • 64% were associated with sadness, apprehension, or anger
  • 18% were happy and exciting
  • 1% were associated with sexual involvement
  • 2 hostile acts by or against the dreamer, such as a murder, attack, or denunciation.

(www.epub.org.br/cm/n02/mente/bibliomente.htm#7)

For your dreams...

  • What would be the breakdown of your dreams by content?
  • How often do you have bad dreams or nightmares? When?
  • What are some of your more interesting or strange dreams you've had?
  • Do you have a favorite dream? A least favorite?


4.2.2 Purpose of dreams

  • Do animals dream?
  • What is the purpose of dreaming? Why do you think humans dream?
  • Why do people have bad dreams and nightmares?
  • Why are dreams often so strange?
  • You may know the famous, traditional Freudian view of dreams. What is this theory? Do you believe it? Does it explain your dreams well? Does it explain different kinds of dreams fully?
  • What might be some other explanations for dreams?


Here is part of a description of another common theory of dreaming:

In studies with neural simulation in computer's network, an advanced technology in computational neuroscience, which is believed to be operated in a way similar to the brain, the authors demonstrated that the nets became overloaded when it was attempted to store an excessive amount of information in them. In this case, the net produced bizarre associations (which may be compared to "fantasies" in dreams), and it tended to return the same result, whichever input data were provided ("obsession"), and could respond to inappropriate input signals, which normally didn't produce response (hallucinations). This theory predicts that flaws in the ability to process REM sleep, can generate fantasies, hallucination and obsession. (http://www.epub.org.br/cm/n02/mente/significado_i.htm)

  • What is this theory like? What does it compare the brain or mind to? Do you agree? Would it explain your dreams?
  • Why do people move, talk, or sleepwalk in their sleep? Have you done such things in your sleep?
  • What then is your belief about dreams?

5 Social and political issues

5.1 Globalization

  1. How would you define globalization? To you, is it a positive or negative force?
  2. Do you agree that corporations cannot survive unless they globalize?
  3. How much does globalization affect average citizens in this country?
  4. How is globalization affecting business practices? The way that companies hire new employees? If so, how? What skills do they look for nowadays?
  5. How can today's young people prepare for a globalized world? What majors or courses should college students take to prepare themselves?
  6. Would you prefer to work for a domestic-only company or an international company? Why?
  7. What factors have contributed to the worldwide globalization trend? Why is it so much more popular, and controversial, now than ten years ago?
  8. What specific problems are opponents of globalization concerned about (e.g., environment, jobs)? What are their specific criticisms, and do you think they are valid?
  9. What are other criticisms or objections to organizations like GATT, WTO, IMF, the World Bank, or treaties like NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)? Are these criticisms valid? How should they be addressed?
  10. What do you think of the way protestors have demonstrated against and globalization?
  11. Could these problems be solved in such a way that globalization could work and its critics could be satisfied?
  12. Is globalization better or worse for Korea? Do you think it is unfairly more advantageous to the US than to Korea?


5.2 Blind justice

Blind justice is an expression meaning that justice should be totally fair – it sees everybody as equal; no one receives special favor or treatment. In light of that, discuss the following questions about crime and justice.

  1. What crimes are considered most serious in your country?
  2. Should there be a death penalty (capital punishment)?
  3. Are there many unreported crimes in your country? What kinds?
  4. Do you agree with the punishments for serious crimes in your country? How should they be changed?
  5. Have you ever been stopped by the police? What happened?
  6. Are you afraid of the police? Would you go to them for help?
  7. What would you do if you witnessed a crime? Would you intervene?
  8. Do you think guns should be allowed? Who should be allowed to have them?
  9. Do you feel safe in your city?
  10. Have you ever been robbed? Have you ever met a criminal?
  11. Do criminals look like other people?
  12. Where are prisons located in your country? Are they secure? Are there many escapes?
  13. What would you do if you found your neighbor was a wanted criminal? Would you turn him/her in?
  14. Do people mainly commit crime for money, power, or some other reasons?
  15. Are the police effective in stopping crime here? Do you think they are corrupt? How would you improve the police department?
  16. What crime is most common? Have you or anyone you know been the victim of a crime? What happened?
  17. Do you think political prisoners should be given special consideration? How so?