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Topics for discussion

1. What shapes our personality: our genes or the environment in which we grow up? Justify your opinion.
2. Does our nationality determine the way we think and act? In what way?
3. Do you believe in horoscopes? Can our date of birth influence our character?
4. Is there a person in your family with an interesting biography? Describe him or her.
5. Would you ever consider having plastic surgery? Why? Why not?
6. Does changing our appearance (hairstyle, clothes) change our personality as well?
7. Would you agree to have a heart transplant? Can having another person’s heart change your identity?
8. ‘Rarely do great beauty and great virtue dwell together.’ (Petrarch (1304 – 1374), De Remedies) Comment.
9. ‘My home is my castle.’ Explain the proverb and discuss it.
10. Household duties (doing the washing up, cleaning, hovering etc) are relaxing and give us pleasure and satisfaction. Do you agree?
11. ‘Show me your home and I’ll tell you who you are.’ Explain the saying and discuss it.
12. Neighbours are often as important in our life as family. Do you agree? Discuss.
13. ‘Good fences make good neighbours.’ Do you agree?
14. Schools would educate much more effectively if teachers didn’t have to give grades. Discuss.
15. All schools should become integrated schools, where physically and mentally handicapped children learn with other kids. Discuss.
16. School should not only give you factual knowledge but teach life and social skills as well. Discuss.
17. Education is something permanent, we never stop learning. Discuss.
18. Knowledge and happiness are incompatible: the more you know, the more you worry. Discuss.
19. Is private education better than state education? Why?
20. What are trade unions? Are they essential in the world of work? Justify your opinion.
21. Why do so many people in the modern world become workaholics? Could this be called a disease?
22. Retirement should be made compulsory for everyone at the age of 60. Discuss.
23. Having a happy family and personal life is more important than a successful career. Discuss.
24. How important is good education and qualifications in finding a job? Is there a relationship between the education/qualifications you have and the money you earn?
25. Should teenagers work, e.g. take up part-time or holiday jobs, in order to earn some money of their own? At what age should people start earning money?
26. What, in your opinion, motivates people most to go to work: boredom, the need to make a living or the need for respect and social recognition? Can you think of other reasons?
27. Research shows that married people are healthier and live longer. Why do you think this is the case?
28. The generation gap is inevitable – parents and children will always argue about their lifestyles and values. Discuss.
29. A large family with a lot of children is happier and healthier than a family with an only child. Do you agree?
30. Manifestations of affection (kissing, embracing, hugging) in public is embarrassing and should be banned.
31. Old people are the biggest treasure of each community. How do you understand this?
32. A hobby can make you a bore or a very interesting person. Discuss.
33. What are the most common eating habits in Poland? Do we eat in a healthy way?
34. Why is dieting so popular with women and not so popular with men? Discuss.
35. What restaurants do you like going to? What criteria may people use when choosing a restaurant?
36. Eating can be a therapy for unhappy and stressed people. Discuss.
37. Is it better to invite people for a meal at home or to a restaurant?
38. You are what you eat. Do you agree? Discuss.
39. A supermarket or a corner shop. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of them and which do you prefer?
40. More and more shops, supermarkets and shopping centers are open on Sundays. What’s your attitude towards this phenomenon and why?
41. Consumer society (where people buy more and more things) is heading for its own destruction. How do you understand this sentence?
42. Aggressive advertising makes us buy a lot of things we would normally never buy.
43. Why do companies spend billions of dollars on advertising aimed at children?
44. What way of traveling do you prefer? Why?
45. Traveling broadens the mind. Discuss.
46. If you had a visitor from abroad, which places in Poland and in your home area would you like to show him/her? What would you say about them?
47. Do you think that going on a package tour is the best way of visiting foreign countries? Why?
48. If you had enough money to travel wherever you wanted, where would you go? Why?
49. Music makes life much more enjoyable. Do you agree?
50. People in Poland watch much more television now than twenty years ago. Why? What programmes are the most popular?
51. Cinema is generally much more popular than theatre. Why?
52. Film adaptations of famous literary works are usually a poor version of the original, so there is no point in making them. Discuss.
53. Fewer people become interested in traditional forms of art such as opera and ballet, so they will die out one day. Discuss.
54. Modern art is only understood by the artist and a few critics. Discuss.
55. Sport has become purely a money-making enterprise. Do you agree?
56. Professional sport has nothing to do with a healthy lifestyle. Discuss.
57. Only amateurs should participate in the Olympic Games. How would the Games change if this was the case?
58. Men are more interested in sport than women. Discuss.
59. In many countries football is a national obsession. Explain why.
60. Risking life by doing extreme sports should be forbidden by law. Discuss.
61. Are Poles generally healthy? Justify your opinion.
62. Alternative therapies (acupuncture, aromatherapy, and homeopathy) are becoming extremely popular. Explain why.
63. Being a doctor is the best profession one can have. Discuss.
64. Medical care should be free in all countries. Discuss.
65. Are there enough facilities for the handicapped in your school and town? Describe the situation.
66. How, in your opinion, could drug taking among children and teenagers be prevented?
67. Necessity is the mother of invention. Explain this saying.
68. Having a telephone at home is both a blessing and a curse. Discuss.
69. People from communities that live without all the benefits of modern civilization are much happier than we are. Discuss.
70. Environmental problems are mostly the effect of developing technology. Discuss.
71. Genetic experiments should be banned for ethical reasons. Do you agree?
72. Funding science is a waste of money. Discuss.
73. Some people don’t trust modern technology and some are obsessively scared of it. How can you explain this phenomenon?
74. No more nuclear power plants should be built and the old ones should all be closed down. Discuss.
75. Rich developed countries are morally obliged to help developing countries. Discuss.
76. Natural disasters are a from of punishment for the horrible things people do to nature. Discuss.
77. Large-scale recycling of paper, glass, metal and plastic isn’t realistic in Poland.
78. It’s unreasonable to spend so much money and effort on the protection of animals when people die of hunger. Discuss.
79. Space exploration is a waste of money. Do you agree with this opinion and why?
80. Can legalizing some less harmful drugs reduce crime? Explain how.
81. Can very severe punishments (the death penalty or long prison sentences) and severe prison conditions deter criminals from committing crimes? Justify your opinion.
82. Should domestic violence be punished as severely as other crimes? Why?
83. Can you suggest any ways of reducing the number of alcoholics in Poland? What could the government and various organizations do to change the present situation?
84. What can be done to prevent football hooliganism in Poland? Explain.
85. Why are small towns usually safer places than large cities? Discuss.
86. The family is getting weaker and family ties will gradually disappear. Discuss.
87. Which English speaking country have you visited? What was your experience? What did you like and what didn’t you like? Why?
88. Which English speaking country would you like to visit most? Why?
89. People still believe in the idea of the ‘American Dream’. Is the USA still a promised land?
90. America is a country with extreme diversities in all walks of life. How can you explain this?
91. If you were to live abroad, which English speaking country would you choose to settle down in? Why?
92. The British have the best sense of humor. Do you agree?
93. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of living in a small town or large town/city. What do you prefer?
94. A lot of people try to have a healthy lifestyle. What do you think “a healthy lifestyle” is and how does it compare to your own lifestyle?
93. Do you think that violence in the films can affect people’s behaviour?
94. Because of heavy pollution man can become extinct in 100 years. Do you think it is probable? What can we do to protect our environment?
95. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of watching television.
96. What is your opinion about advertising and commercials in mass media? Can they really affect people?
97. Violence on television and in the cinema is a big problem. Do you think that it can affect people’s behaviour?
98. American movies are not very good. European films are much better. Do you agree?
99. Being famous may be a horrible experience. Discuss.
100. Reading is a disappearing pastime. Do you agree with this statement?
101. Mass-media are used to manipulate people. Discuss.
102. Crime and violence are the problems of our civilisation What can be done about it?
103. Teenagers’ have difficult lives. Discuss.
104. “Woman is the nigger of the world” ( J. Lennon).Discuss
105. Sport is pleasure and all good for you. Discuss.
106. Travel broadens the mind, but it also makes us dirty and tired. Discuss.
107. Young people can’t do without modern inventions like the Internet and mobile phones. Discuss
108. If we didn’t take risks, we wouldn’t survive, or at least we wouldn’t succeed in life. Discuss.
109. “ Money makes the world go round” they say. Discuss.
110. People careful with money are mean. Saving money does not make sense. Discuss.
111. People are equal. “But some are more equal than others”. Discuss.
112. You should always eat what you enjoy, not what is good for you. Discuss.
113. Mothers and fathers should have an equal share in looking after the house and their children. Discuss.
114. It doesn’t matter how small your home is as long as you have a home. Why is it so important to have a home of your own and what is your idea of an ideal home?
115. ‘Travel wide, travel wise”, says a slogan in a tourist brochure. What does this statement mean to you and why is it important to travel wise?
116. Advertisements and commercials play a very significant role in modern society. What role is it and what’s your attitude towards them?
117. Terrorism is sometimes the only means that minority groups have of being heard. Can terrorism ever be justified and why?
118. It is believed that education is the key to successful life. What is your idea of success in life and to what extent can education help to achieve it?
119. Some people treat the Internet as “a window to the world”. How do you understand this and what other inventions do you consider most important for the improvement of quality of life?
120. According to a common saying ”children are the future of the nation” How do you understand this saying and to what extent does it reflect reality?
121. “Environmental pollution can lead to total disaster”. What problems are hinted in this headline and how can we prevent this disaster?
122. The expression ”slow food” has recently been coined in opposition to “fast food”. What does “slow food” mean to you and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
123. William Shakespeare, Agatha Christie and Joanne K. Rowling are among the most widely read British authors. What is the reason for this and what makes a good book?
124. “A bad workman blames his tools”. How do you understand this proverb? What makes a good worker and what advice would you give to those dissatisfied with their jobs?
125. In sports, winning at all costs can do more harm than good. How do you understand this statement and what is your opinion on unfair behavior in competitive sport?
126. A pre-war sayings says: :Man is a wage-earner, woman is a housewife”. Do you agree with this statement and what is your idea of partnership in marriage?
127. New York is often characterized as a place that never sleeps. Why do you think we perceive New York in such a way and what is your idea of a busy city?
128. Many people believe that one is never too old to learn. What are the benefits of education and would you agree with this statement and why?
129. Cloning-a blessing or a curse? What could be the advantages and disadvantages of cloning and would you consider it risky? Why?
130. “All that glitters is not gold”. In what way can this saying refer to human beings and what values in people do you regard most highly and why?
131. Good company and favorable weather conditions are among factors that make holidays successful. Why are they so important and what factors can spoil a holiday?
132. “If you want a speech to be made, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman” (Margaret Thatcher). Do you agree with this statement? Justify your opinion.
133. Some people say that the governments should spend money on space exploration rather than on the arms race. Do you agree with this and what would you suggest in order to make the world a safer place to live in?
134. Holiday jobs for young people- a must or fashion? Give your opinion and justify it.
135. “An asteroid could collide with earth in 2014”, says a newspaper headline. What other natural phenomena and disasters can, in your opinion, influence life on planet Earth and in what way?
136. Modern architecture is often criticized for being too superficial and artificial. What is it that makes people say this and how do you judge modern buildings?
137. Polish cuisine, unlike Italian or French cuisine, is not of world renown. How does it compare to other cuisines and what aspects could make it popular in the world?
138. More and more young people dream of becoming professional sportsmen/women. Why, do you think, is the case and what are the advantages and disadvantages of being a professional athlete?
139. “If you are tired of London, you’re tired of life”, says a slogan on a poster. How do you understand this and what things make a place worth visiting?
140. Alternative medicine seems to be gaining more popularity nowadays. What are possible benefits and dangers of such treatments and would you recommend it? Why? Why not?
141. “ We always give more than we take”, says a slogan in a charity organization brochure. How do charity organizations operate and what is your opinion on their work?
142. Fewer and fewer people nowadays use banknotes and coins. Why are credit cards so popular and what are the risks associated with using them?
143. Famous artists lead their lives ‘in the limelight’ but often pay a high price for such fame. Discuss this and justify your opinion.
144. What are the advantages and disadvantages of distance learning such as correspondence courses and how can it influence different aspects of future life? Do you consider it a good idea and why?
145. The world is constantly changing. How does modern technology influence our lives and what are your predictions for the future?
146. Shopping in shopping centers has become a way of spending one’s free time. Why is this the case and what other ways of spending one’s leisure time are currently gaining popularity and why?
147. Animal rights watchers are very busy today. Why does the issue of the protection of species arouse so much interest and how can we prevent the animals from becoming extinct?
148. According to many psychologists television kills social life What is your opinion on this and what are other possible threats to social life?
149. Hooliganism and crime are on the rise all over the world. What do you think is the cause and what can be done about it?
150. In spite of television people still visit museums and art galleries. Why is that so and what benefits can one draw from art?
151. Drug abuse has been on the increase in the past few decades. What makes people take drugs and what can we do to prevent them from doing so?
152. It was once believed that ‘corner shops’ would not be able to compete against supermarkets. Has this really happened? Why? Why not?
153. ‘You are as old as you feel’. How do you understand this saying and what’s your opinion on it? Justify your opinion.
154. Nothing can replace job satisfaction. Do you agree? What are other sources of satisfaction in man’s life?
155. The world is changing. So is family life. How is modern family life different from the life in the past? Are the changes good or bad? Justify your opinion.
156. ‘Honesty is the best policy’. Is it really in all situations? Give examples and justify your opinion
157. What are the most important achievements of the 20th century? Why?
158. What are the most harmful forms of bullying? Is bullying at school a big problem in Poland. What can be done to reduce it?
159. What are the advantages and disadvantages of space exploration ?
160. The disabled have difficult lives. What is being done or what should be done to make them easier?
161. Should all people learn languages? What are the best ways of learning them?
162. Every man is the architect of his own fate. Discuss,
163. ‘Words are loaded pistols’ How do you understand this quotation and how does it apply to political life and to your own private life?
164. Plastic surgeries have become very popular. What are their advantages and disadvantages? Should they be covered by insurance?
165. Is working during studies a good or a bad idea? Why do you think so?
166. Extreme sports have become very popular recently. Why do people do them? Should some of them be banned? Justify your opinion.
167. Should we trust politicians? Why don’t Polish people trust them? What can be done about it?
168. How does mobile technology influence human behavior and how is it changing society?
169. Prisons do not teach to live in society. Do you agree? What is the best punishment for different crimes?
170. Can immigration and minorities be a problem? Why? What can be done about it?
171. ‘One man’s meat is another man’s poison’ Discuss.
172. Should supermarkets be closed on Sunday? What are the arguments for and against? What is your opinion?
173. What is the best means of transport? Why? What are the advantages and disadvantages of different means of transport.
174. Is marriage out of fashion? Discuss.
175. What are the most dangerous threats and disasters in today’s world? What can be done to help people suffering because of them?
176. Everybody is responsible for their health, so should we pay for some treatment? Why?
177. School exams and tests are a nuisance. Should they be banned? Why?
178. Today’s youth don’t respect any values and authorities. Do you agree? Justify your opinion.
179. Should some computer games and TV programmes be censored? What would be the best solution? Why?
180. Are charity organizations needed? Why?

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