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Advanced English discussion lesson: ageism or sexism?

10 minute advacned English discussion lesson

In this advanced English discussion lesson we talk about these sensitive topics: ageism and sexism. 

Practise your fluency and express yourself in English with our thought-provoking and challenging discussion questions!

  • English level: upper intermediate & advanced /  B2 & C1
  • English Skills: speaking, listening, reading
  • Time: 10 mins

Listen & read!

What came out of English Digital Academy's very first Book-Lab session? ... You’d be surprised!

Book-Lab is a new advanced English course that I have been wanting to do for years, but only now have I been able to get it up and running. The concept is beyond simple – my students read a book in English and we meet up (virtually obviously) to discuss what we read, share ideas and talk about interesting vocabulary that comes up.

For the first Book-Lab we choose to read Bridget Jones’s Diary. A surprising choice perhaps, but we had our reasons. (See why here: 8 reasons to read Bridget Jones’s Diary in English)

I was a little nervous about the first class to be honest. No matter how many years teaching experience I have behind me, the first lesson can always be a bit stressful. Add having to use Zoom into the mix, I was really feeling the pressure

Of course the nerves were unjustified and we had a good laugh discussing the first two chapters and even had time to explore some of the many phrasal verbs.  However, more than that, we spoke about some serious topics! This book is more than just a good laugh or simple chick-lit.

This little passage here lead us on to something bigger:

Extract from Bridget Jones

From this amusing passage, we discussed ...

  • How true (or not!) is this statement? 
  • Do women lose power as they age? What exactly does Sharon mean by power?
  • What does this loss of power look like? Is it external– i.e the way society views older women? Or internal – i.e. the way women view themselves? 
  • How has (or hasn’t) this changed over the last 20 years since this book was written?
  • Do younger generations identify with this? 
  • How does advertising and the beauty industry impact the way we look at ageing and the way we look at ourselves?
Then, the very next day this video popped up on my Facebook feed – as if Facebook may be spying on us! (And yes, I do still use Facebook, but only to come across videos like this- and of course to spy on people I used to go to school with!)
 
So here is the video. The whole thing is pretty interesting, but I want you to focus on the first part (until 00.45)
 
(video from Facebook)

Listen & read!

Advanced English discussion lesson: What do you think?!

  • Why doesn’t society value older women? 
  • Is this more a question about ageism or sexism? 
  • When do you recall first noticing age differences? 
  • What beliefs about age/ageing do you carry with you? 
  • Where do you notice ageism in your life? 
Feel free to share your opinions below in the comments or if you want to join in the discussion and practise speaking about these kind of topics in English, check out our Advanced English Conversation Class here. 
 
If you’d like to find out more about Book-Lab you can read all about it here. To join the next course, send me an email to put your name on the waitlist!

See you back here on the blog soon!

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