Tuesday, January 15, 2008

So, exactly what is it that I do at work?

In case any of you were curious, I felt like posting a little in answer to this question. Right now I'm teaching a very interesting Special Topics class. These students are very high level English speakers, and the class revolves around discussing articles, social issues, and teaching any of the necessary vocabulary that goes along with it. It's really fun because I get to pick the articles I think are interesting and make my own material. Recently we discussed this article in class, and here's the vocabulary and discussion that went with it:

to keep something "in check"
late-term abortion
“fall on deaf ears”
"not-too-distant future"

1. What do you think of China’s one-child policy? What are the pros and cons of this policy?
2. Why are so many human rights groups opposed to this policy?
3. Has the policy adequately lowered China’s population, or have other factors contributed to the lowering of China’s birth rate more than the policy? What are some other factors that contribute to a lower birth rate?
4. What are some unintended consequences of China’s low birth rate? How can China counteract these consequences?
5. What do you think of China forcing women to undergo late-term abortions? Is it more acceptable for China to force women to have abortions early in a pregnancy?
6. Should other countries adopt a one-child policy? Think of some arguments that can be used “for” and “against” a one-child policy.
7. Do you think other countries should adopt a policy similar to China’s, but a little more relaxed? How should the problem of overpopulation be handled?

We also discussed this article, and then talked about this:

"downright ________"
join the ranks

Discussion Questions
1. What do you think is more important in today's world -- looks or personality?
2. Do you think Gonzalo Otalora is wasting his time on a ridiculous cause, or do you think he's doing a good thing?
3. Do you agree with Otalora that beauty is a natural advantage? What kind of advantages do beautiful people get in life? What are some disadvantages of being beautiful?
4. Is it fair to tax good-looking people? Explain.
5. If you are good-looking, are you more likely to ...
get a good job?
get married?
have a lot of friends?
do well in school or your career?
live a happy life?
6. Would you rather marry an ugly person with a good personality, or a beautiful person who is very arrogant and selfish?
7. Do you believe that an extremely good-looking person is less likely to have a good heart/personality? Explain.

I find that BBC usually has a lot of interesting articles, but I can always use more. If you come across any send them my way!


  1. Forgive my ignorance, but who is Gonzalo Otalora? I scanned the article, but did not see his name. Sounds like your students are a lot more on the ball than I am!

  2. You pick hard articles and I bet you get some great discussions going. Would be fun to see others opinions on these.

  3. Thanks for the great post! I can see now why you find teaching adults so rewarding!My students are great! Thanks for all your help! I also take some of my articles from a lot of books as well...do you?

  4. Guy,

    Don't worry, you're still on the ball! Gonzalo Otalora is the guy in the article who wrote the book, Ugly.


    The articles are hard, but I only use them in the really advanced classes. =)


    yes, I definitely prefer teaching adults. I like getting paid for stimulating conversation!

  5. Now that is a job that I think I would love.I love getting into good discussions. Looking at why we think the way we do.
    How fun. And I am sure ya'll get a wide variety of thoughts and beliefs.
    Maybe I missed my calling. :)

    Don't worry about commenting. I do enjoy coming and reading and I know that you do not get to post often. Maybe you can leave me a comment when you post?
    I had to slim down on the blogs I read at the beginning of the year.
    I had to remind myself that blogging for me is not a social thing. I started doing this for relationship. I found that I was spending so much time trying to keep up with those not really interested in relationship that I did not have time to keep up with those who did. Does that make sense? I want to get to know my sisters in Christ so that I can encourage them and pray for them.
    I have prayed for you often and I remember what is going on in your life.
    So you post when you get a chance. And you just know that you have a sister in Christ who cares and is praying for you as you do the work our Father has lead you to.
    I am here.


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