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ADDICTION

1. Smoking should be allowed in public places. Smokers have rights too. How far do you agree with this statement? (G)

2.

In many countries the problem of drug-taking is increasing. Governments and the general public are particularly concerned about young people using illegal drugs such as marijuana, ecstasy and heroin. What methods could be used to prevent young people from taking drugs? Is it appropriate to send young drug-users to prison? Give reasons for your answer. (G, A)

3. Most people today are aware that smoking, although perfectly acceptable a few years ago, is now known to do great damage to a person's health and to cost industry and governments a great deal in lost wages and health expenses. What are the dangers of smoking both for smokers and non-smokers? (G, A)

4. Should the same laws which prohibit the sale and consumption of heroin be applied to tobacco? (G)

5. Tobacco and alcohol are drugs that cause addiction and health problems. Should they be made illegal, like other drugs? Or should all drugs be legalized? (, G)

6. Some businesses now say that no one can smoke cigarettes in any of their offices. Some governments have banned smoking in all public places. This is a good idea but it also takes away some of our freedom. Do you agree or disagree? Give reasons. (G, A)

7. Smoking is a habit which claims many lives and is a great drain on health services. One way to combat smoking would be to make it illegal. What are the pros and cons of such a government policy? What alternative strategies can you suggest to combat smoking? (G, A)

ANIMALS

1. Many people have a close relationship with their pets. These people treat their birds, cats, or other animals as members of their family. In your opinion, are such relationships good? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. (G)

2. For centuries people keep dogs in their homes. Some breeds are purposely kept for fun, while other dogs are selected and trained as guards. Nowadays, there are some breeds that represent a big potential danger. There is a lot of information about bad injuries and even deaths caused by dogs. Still, the number of aggressive breeds continues to grow. What can be done to tackle this problem? (G)

3. The importance of animals to people is not always recognized. We should pay more attention to how we look after and protect animals. Do you agree? (G, A)

4. Animals should not be used for the benefit of human beings, unless there is evidence that the animals do not suffer in any way. To what extent is the use of animals in scientific research acceptable? (A)

5. Are our zoos cruel to wild animals? Discuss. (G)

8. Zoos are sometimes seen as necessary but poor alternatives to a natural environment. Discuss some of the arguments for and/or against keeping animals in zoos. (A)

9. We know that many kinds of animals feel pain and emotional suffering just as humans do. It is therefore necessary to support animals rights as well as human rights. Do you agree? (G, A)

10. Human beings do not need to eat meat in order to maintain good health because they can get all their food needs from meatless products and meatless substances.

A vegetarian diet is as healthy as a diet containing meat. Argue for or against the opinion stated above. (A)

CHILDREN AND PARENTS

1. A persons childhood years (the time from birth to twelve years of age) are the most important years of a persons life. Do you agree or disagree? (G)

2. Children below the age of sixteen should not be allowed in public places after midnight unless they are accompanied by an adult who is responsible for them. How far do you agree with this suggestion? (G)

3. Children learn best by observing the behaviour of adults and copying it. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? (G)

4. Children over 15 should be allowed to make decisions about their lives without the interference of their parents or teachers. Society should accept that children mature at a younger age these days and should adjust the law accordingly. Discuss this statement in relation to your own society or society that you know well. (A)

5. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Children should be required to help with household tasks as soon as they are able to do so. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. (G)

6. Every generation of people is different in important ways. How is your generation different from your parents generation? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your answer. (A)

7. Fatherhood ought to be emphasised as much as motherhood. The idea that women are solely responsible for deciding whether or not to have babies leads on to the idea that they are also responsible for bringing the children up. To what extent do you agree or disagree? (G)

8. It is generally accepted that families are not as close as they used to be. Give some reasons why this change has happened and suggest how families could be brought closer together. Include any relevant examples from your experience. (G)

9. In some countries, marriages are arranged by the parents but in other cases, people choose their own marriage partner. Discuss both systems. (G)

10. It is often argued that children must be protected from unsuitable material on TV and the Internet by government censorship. Others say that it is the parents responsibility to control what their children do and watch. To what extent do you think this is true? (G, A)

11. Many people believe that women make better parents than men and that this is why they have the greater role in raising children in most societies. Others claim that men are just as good as women at parenting. Write an essay expressing your point of view. Give reasons for your answer. (A,G)

12. Raising children is the most important thing an adult ever does. Do you agree? (G, )

13. Parents have a greater influence on their childrens future success than the schools do. Governments should therefore provide parent training courses rather than teacher training courses. To what extent do you agree with this statement? (G, A)

14. Some people believe that the best way of learning about life is by listening to the advice of family and friends. Other people believe that the best way of learning about life is through personal experience. Compare the advantages of these two different ways of learning about life. Which do you think is preferable? Use specific examples to support your preference. (G)

15. The average British child between the ages of 4 and 15 watches more than 20 hours of television a week. Studies show he/she only spends about 7 hours per week on physical exercise. How does this compare with the situation in your country? How can parents make sure children get enough exercise? Give reasons for your answer. (G)

16. The position of women in society has changed markedly in the last twenty years. Many of the problems young people now experience, such as juvenile delinquency, arise from the fact that married women now work and are not at home to care for their children. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? (A)

COMPUTERS

1. According to a recent study, the more people use the Internet, the less time they spend with real human beings. Should we worry about the effect this is having on social interaction or should we see the Internet as a way of opening new communication possibilities worldwide? What are your views? (A)

2. Computers have improved the quality of our lives. Do you agree? (G)

3. Children spend a lot of time playing computer games. Many parents point out that computer games have little educational value, so children should be prevented from computer games. Do you agree or disagree to this opinion? (G)

4. We are becoming increasingly dependent on computers. They are used in businesses, hospitals, crime detection and even to fly planes. What things will they be used for in future? Is this dependence on computers a good thing or should we be more suspicious of their benefits? (A)

5. Technology is making communication easier in today's world, but at the expense of personal contact as many people choose to work at home in front of a computer screen. What dangers are there for a society which depends on computer screens rather than face-to-face contact for its main means of communication? (A)

6. 'Telecommuting' refers to workers doing their jobs from home for part of each week and communicating with their office using computer technology. Telecommuting is growing in many countries and is expected to be common for most office workers in the coming decades. How do you think society will be affected by the growth of telecommuting? (A)

7. Many people now have personal computers and the use of electronic services such as the Internet is becoming more widespread. Some parents are concerned about children using the Internet to gamble or buy goods on credit. How can access to electronic services be controlled? (G)

8. Computers can translate all kinds of languages well so our children don't need to learn more languages in the future, do they? (G)

9. Can computerised data collection on individuals be justified even though it endangers the rights of individuals? (A)

10. The Internet could revolutionize the world in the future, if everyone could have easy access to all the information that is available on the World Wide Web. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? (G, A)

11. The Internet has revolutionized the modern world, but many people argue that it has also created new problems and inequalities. What is your opinion? (G, A)

CRIME

1. Crime is nearly always related to the environment in which it occurs. For this reason, international laws and international law courts are unrealistic and will not succeed in reducing crime levels in different countries. Discuss (A, G)

2. The crime rate among teenagers has increased dramatically in many countries. Discuss some possible reasons for this increase and suggest solutions to this problem. (G, A)

3. "When teenagers under the age of 18 commit crimes, their parents should be held responsible." Write an essay discussing this statement and suggest ways to combat teenage crime. (G, A)

4. More and more measures to improve security in many large urban areas have been introduced because of an increase in crime. Do the benefits of increased security measures outweigh the drawbacks?

5. Some people think that murderers should be executed. To what extent do you agree?[11] (G, A)

6. Without capital punishment (the death penalty) our lives are less secure and crimes of violence increase. Capital punishment is essential to control violence in society. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? (A)

7. In recent times, police and security forces have used considerable physical force against demonstrators for peace and environmental issues. To what extent do you believe such force is justified? Give reasons for your answer. (A)

CULTURE, VALUES, FASHION

1. Some people argue that technology has had a positive influence on the music industry because it allows people to show their musical talents without having to play a musical instrument. Others argue that you need to be able to play an instrument in order to prove that you are really talented. Discuss both views. (g)

2. Do you believe it is right for a country to change its flag after citizens have fought and died under the existing flag? Give reasons for your answer. (A)

3. Do young people today make good use of their leisure time? Or do they spend too much time on watching television and playing video games, instead of taking part in more productive activities? (G)

4. It is inevitable that as technology develops traditional cultures must be lost. Technology and tradition are incompatible - you cannot have both together. What is your opinion on this issue? (A)

5. Many in favour of bullfighting justify this practice on the grounds of tradition and their right to entertainment but others may say there are traditions that are now better off without. Just because something was accepted in the past should it be allowed to continue? What do you think? (A)

6. Nowadays, more and more people do not want to wear their national clothes, and thus they are forgetting their culture and their history. Should people wear their traditional clothes? (G)

7. Nowadays, the style of clothes varies a lot. But some think, people have become the slaves of the fashions. They think people should choose the cloths according to their likes and the comfort of the clothes. What is your opinion on the issue? (G)

8. Professional sport involves large sums of money and receives enormous media coverage. Meanwhile serious culture, including music, art and theatre, is badly neglected. This is making our society more shallow. Do you think this is the case? (G, A)

9. The increasing role of English in the world today means that the learning of other languages is being neglected. This will have serious results for the continued use of these languages and their cultures. What is your opinion on this statement? (G, A)

10. The government spends about £220 million a year supporting museums and galleries in the UK, and a similar amount subsidising the visual and performing arts. This is a huge sum to spend on minority interests, and the money would be better spent on more important things. It should be up to the people who enjoy cultural attractions to pay for them. What are your views? (G, A)

11. There are many different types of music in the world today. Why do we need music? Is the traditional music of a country more important than the International music that is heard everywhere nowadays? (G, A)

12. Schools and parents often require their pupils to wear school uniforms. The pupils, however, usually dislike this. There are acceptable arguments both for and against the wearing of school uniforms. Explain some of the arguments both for and against the wearing of school uniforms and state your own opinion on the subject. (G)

13. Some schools ask the students to wear the students uniforms. Some think it has some disadvantages to the development of the students' characters. What is your opinion? (G)

14. Sometimes it is very difficult to learn the way people do things in a new culture. What can we do to make life easier for newcomers? (G)

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15. Too much money is spent on sport and not enough on serious culture such as music and art. This is making our society shallow. Do you agree? (G, A)

16. Young people are said to have lost the traditional values of the older generation. This does not matter, because the old values have no relevance in the modern world. We have to develop a whole new set of values. Do you support this statement? (A)

17. Learning about the past has no value for those of us living in the present. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. (A)

18. Should a city try to preserve its old, historic buildings or destroy them and replace them with modern buildings? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. (G, A)

19. Advertising can tell you a lot about a country. Do you agree? (G)

20. Modern technology is creating a single world culture. How far do you agree? (A)

21. When people move to another country, some of them decide to follow the customs of the new country. Others prefer to keep their own customs. Compare these two choices. Which one do you prefer? (G)

22. Some people prefer to plan activities for their free time very carefully. Others choose not to make any plans at all for their free time. Compare the benefits of planning free-time activities with the benefits of not making plans. (G)

23. People behave differently when they wear different clothes. Do you agree that different clothes influence the way people behave? (G)

24. All students should be required to study art and music in secondary school. Do you agree? (G)

25. Some high schools require all students to wear school uniforms. Other high schools permit students to decide what to wear to school. Which of these two school policies do you think is better? (G)

26. What can films tell us a lot about the country where they were made? (G)

27. People listen to music for different reasons and at different times. Why is music important to many people? (G)

ECOLOGY, ENVIRONMENT, POLLUTION, RECYCLING

1. Action such as recycling cannot be left up to the good will of the individual. It must be forced on us by government. Do you agree? (A, G)

2. To what extent is recycling domestic waste beneficial? Discuss ways in which a householder can help to conserve valuable resources. (A, G)

3. Damage of the environment is an inevitable consequence of worldwide improvements in the standard of living. How far do you agree? (A)

4. Forests are the lungs of the earth. Destruction of the world's forests amounts to death of the world we currently know. To what extent do you agree or disagree? (G, A)

5. Humans are the most intelligent beings, so nature should be fully exploited for our betterment. How far do you agree? (A,G)

6. Industrialisation is leading to the destruction of the earth as a home for humans and animals. To what extent do you agree that this is true? (A)

7. It is generally agreed that the world is facing serious environmental problems of pollution, global warming and the loss of resources such as fresh water. Some people believe that these problems can be solved by technological developments, while others feel strongly that we can only solve these problems by consuming less, and living simpler life-styles. What is your opinion? (G, A)

8. Many governments are now trying to prevent global warming and the effect it has on our environment. They are trying to reduce the things which contribute to global warming such as pollution from cars and destruction of the rain forests. Describe what you think the problem is and the actions you think your government should take to solve it. (G)

9. Most cities suffer from traffic congestion. What do you think should be done about it? (G, A)

10. The government should spend more on public transport and discourage private car ownership to reduce air pollution in major cities. Do you agree or disagree? (A, G)

11. Most pollution, especially air and water pollution, is caused by industry. If we want to protect the environment we should make factories and other forms of industry pay for the pollution that they cause. That is the only way to make sure that the owners will make a serious effort to reduce the pollution they cause. To what extent do you agree with this opinion? (A)

12. The environment is the most important issue of the world today. Discuss. (G, A)

13. The environment is one of the most important issues of the world today, but governments are not doing enough about it. To what extent do you think that individuals can help to protect the environment? (A)

14. The rising levels of congestion and air pollution found in most of the world cities can be attributed directly to the rapidly increasing number of private cars in use. In order to reverse this decline in the quality of life in cities, attempts must be made to encourage people to use their cars less and public transport more. Discuss possible ways to encourage the use of public transport. (G, A)

15. The responsibility for the environment rests with the individual and not only with the government. Do you agree? (G, A)

16. Some people believe that the Earth is being harmed (damaged) by human activity. Others feel that human activity makes the Earth a better place to live. What is your opinion? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. (A)

17. Some people think that human needs for farmland, housing, and industry are more important than saving land for endangered animals. Do you agree or disagree with this point of view? Why or why not? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. (A)

18. Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources, such as forests, animals, or clean water. Choose one resource that is disappearing and explain why it needs to be saved. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. (G, A)

19. What are the key problems facing the worlds cities in the 21st century and what can be done about them? (G)

20. Describe some of the problems that overpopulation causes and suggest at least one possible solution. (G)

ECONOMIC ISSUES AND PROBLEMS

1. As there is increasing employment in the world, while at the same time those who have jobs are working harder and harder, it would be better to have a four-day working week for everyone, and so to create more jobs. What is your opinion about this suggestion? (G)

2. Coins and paper money will soon be replaced by credit and bank cards. Eventually we will have a cashless society which will be safer and more convenient for everyone. Do you agree or disagree? (G)

3. Governments often spend large sums of money on spectacular displays to celebrate national events of significance. This money could be better spent on improving social conditions in the country. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Give reasons for your answer. (A, G)

4. Improvements in health, education and trade are essential for the development of poorer nations. However, the governments of richer nations should take more responsibility for helping the poorer nations in such areas. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion. You should use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence. (A)

5. Should wealthy nations be required to share their wealth with poorer nations by providing such things as food and education? Or is it the responsibility of the government of poorer nations to look after their citizens themselves? (A)

6. To what extent should university courses be geared to the economic needs of society? (A)

7. To what extent will migration from the developing world to the developed world become a social and political issue in the 21st century? (A)

8. The best way to help developing countries is to give them financial aid. Write an essay either agreeing or disagreeing with this statement. Suggest alternatives to this policy. (A)

9. The international community should reduce or eliminate the debts of the worlds poorest countries. To what extent would you support or reject this proposal? (A)

10. Improvements in health, education and trade are essential for the development of poorer nations. However, the government of richer nations should take more responsibility for helping the poorer nations in such areas. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? (A)

11. In some countries, teenagers have jobs while they are still students. Do you think this is a good idea? (G)

12. In many countries children are engaged into some kind of paid work. Some people regard this as complete wrong, while others consider it as valuable work experience, important for learning and taking responsibility. What are your opinions on this? (G)

13. Some people say that advertising encourages us to buy things we really do not need. Others say that advertisements tell us about new products that may improve our lives. Which viewpoint do you agree with? (G)

14. Some famous athletes and entertainers earn millions of dollars every year. Do you think these people deserve such high salaries? (G)

EDUCATION

1. As more and more students enter universities, academic qualifications are becoming devalued. To get ahead of many professions, more than one degree is now required and in future it is likely that people will take a number of degree courses before even starting work. This is undesirable situation. Do you agree or disagree? (A,G)

2. Boys and girls should attend separate schools. Do you agree? (G)

3. Disruptive school students have a negative influence on others. Students who are noisy and disobedient should be grouped together and taught separately. Do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer. (A,G)

4. Do the benefits of overseas education justify the difficulties? What advice would you offer to a prospective student? (G, A)

5. Education is recognised as vital to the future of any society in today's world. Governments throughout the world should make education compulsory for all children between the ages of 5 and 15. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? (G, A)

6. Education is the most important possession a person can have. How far do you agree? (G,

A)

7. Education is the most important source of childrens development. No matter what their background, if children have good schools and teachers they can progress. Governments should therefore put their major resources into school education. Do you agree? (A)

8. Education is the single most important factor in the development of a country. Do you agree?

(A)

9. Free tertiary education is essential for every country since tertiary graduates are the only qualified and educated people that can help countries to progress in the modern world. How far do you agree? (A)

10. In order to be able to study well, students need an attractive, clean learning environment. Universities and colleges should make efforts to provide this. Discuss. (A, G)

11. In the past, education used to be viewed as training only for the young. However, nowadays, it is commonly viewed as a life-long process. Explain this change. (G, A)

12. It has been said, Not everything that is learned is contained in books. Compare and contrast knowledge gained from experience with knowledge gained from books. In your opinion, which source is more important? Why? (G)

13. It is often said that the subjects taught in schools are too academic in orientation and that it would be more useful for children to learn about practical matters such as home management, work and interpersonal skills. To what extent do you agree? Which subjects should be taught in school? (G, A)

14. Millions of people every year move to English-speaking countries such as Australia, Britain or America, in order to study at school, college or university. Why do so many people want to study in English? Why is English such an important international language? Give reasons for your answer. (G)

15. Most education systems rely on examinations to encourage children to study, but as a result children suffer from too much stress and never learn to be creative. Therefore, examinations should be abolished. Do you agree? (A)

16. Nowadays many school and university students take part-time jobs while studying. Is it good or bad for their educational achievements? (G, A)

17. People who have original ideas are of much greater value to society than those who are simply able to copy the ideas of others well. (A, G)

18. Some people argue that there are no fundamental differences between the way men and women approach academic study. Others insist that there are big differences in areas such as organization, attitude and ambition, and that these differences inevitably have an impact on student life. What is your opinion on this? (A)

19. Some people believe that childrens leisure activities must be educational; otherwise they are a complete waste of time. Do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your experience. (G)

20. Students have to absorb a great deal of information. Describe quick and efficient ways to do this. (G, A)

21. Tertiary education is of greater benefit to the individual receiving it than to the society as a whole. It is therefore not desirable for governments to spend the taxpayers money on supporting students just so that they can earn more money in future. Do you agree? (A)

22. The idea of going overseas for university study is an exciting prospect for many people. But while it may offer some advantages, it is probably better to stay home because of the difficulties a student inevitably encounters living and studying in a different culture. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Give reasons for your answer. (G, A)

23. The idea of having a single career is becoming an old fashioned one. The new fashion will be to have several careers or ways of earning money and further education will be something that continues throughout life. Present a written argument on this topic.

24. The only focus of education should be preparing individuals for participation in the workforce. How far do you agree? (G, A)

25. To be successful in education it is more important to be a good student than to have good teachers. Would you support this statement? (G)

26. To improve students chances to find better jobs, secondary schools should spend less time on general subjects, such as history and literature, than on teaching special communication skills or business. Do you agree? (G)

27. Too much emphasis is placed on testing these days. The need to prepare for tests and examinations is a restriction on teachers and also exerts unnecessary pressure on young learners. How far do you agree or disagree with this view? (A, G)

28. Training for work is far more important than providing a broad-based education. How far do you agree? (G, A)

29. When students are in large classes it is very hard for the teacher to give every student individual attention. What can educational authorities do about this? (G)

30. Universities should give the same amount of money to their students sports activities as they give to their university libraries. Do you agree or disagree? (A)

31. Some people believe that university students should be required to attend classes. Others believe that going to classes should be optional for students. Which point of view do you agree with? (G)

32. Some people believe that a college or university education should be available to all students. Others believe that higher education should be available only to good students. Discuss these views. Which view do you agree with? Explain why. (G, A)

33. Some people think that children should begin their formal education at a very early age and should spend most of their time on school studies. Others believe that young children should spend most of their time playing. Compare these two views. Which view do you agree with? Why? (G)

34. Some people say that physical exercise should be a required part of every school day. Other people believe that students should spend the whole school day on academic studies. Which opinion do you agree with? (G)

HEALTH

1. Advanced medical technology can extend the life of the sick and aged to well beyond the age of 70. discuss the possible effects of increasing natural life-span. (A, G)

2. Many people feel strongly that health services should be provided by the government and should be freely available. Others argue that only privatized health care can provide good quality health services. To what extent do you believe that health and medical services should be privatized? (A, G)

3. Nowadays, food has become easier to prepare. Has this change improved the way people live? (G)

4. People have different ways of escaping the stress and difficulties of modern life. Some read; some exercise; others work in their gardens. What do you think are the best ways of reducing stress? (G)

5. Prevention is better than cure. Out of a countrys health budget, a large proportion should be diverted from treatment to spending on health education and prevention measures. To what extent do you agree with this statement? (A)

6. Should parents be obliged to immunize their children against common childhood diseases? Or do individuals have the right to choose not to immunize their children? (A,G)

7. The costs of medical health care are increasing all the time. Governments are finding it difficult to balance the health care budget. Should citizens be totally responsible for their own health costs and take out private health insurance, or is it better to have a comprehensive health care system which provides free health services for all? Discuss. (A)

NUCLEAR POWER

1. To what extent is nuclear technology a danger to life on Earth? What are the benefits and risks associated with its use? (A)

2. At present we rely on oil for most of our energy needs. However, oil is a fossil fuel and it causes air pollution, and it will eventually run out. Nuclear energy is the only practical and clean source of energy for the world. Do you agree? (A)

3. Following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster it has become increasingly obvious that nuclear reactors constitute a potentially devastating threat to human and environmental health. Should government continue to maintain and develop nuclear power plants? What are the risks of benefits associated with nuclear power production? (A)

4. Nuclear energy is the only possible solution to our energy needs in the future. Do you agree?

(A)

5. The threat of nuclear weapons maintains world peace. Nuclear power provides cheap and clean energy. The benefits of nuclear technology far overweigh the disadvantages. Do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer. (A)

SAFETY

1. Why do you think some people are attracted to dangerous sports or other dangerous activities? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. (G, A)

2. In every city the car is king of the road. Cars cause death and injury and air pollution and they make life dangerous for others. It is time to reduce the number of cars in our cities and to encourage other means of transport. Do you agree with this opinion? (G, A)

3. Many lives are in danger when hastily erected buildings collapse because safety standards have been sacrificed to hopes of a quick profit. To prevent disasters of this kind, governments should play a greater role in setting and enforcing safety standards for building construction. (G, A)

4. The high road toll ( ) is robbing our society of many people who could otherwise be leading useful and productive lives. How can society protect itself from these losses? (G, A)

SOCIOLOGICAL PROBLEMS

1. Enormous effort is put into researching and marketing the perfect potato crisp while research into stress at work, for example, is ignored. How important are staff working conditions? Should employers research and improve the working conditions of their staff or should they concentrate more on their product? (G,A)

2. In achieving personal happiness, our relationships with other people (family, friends, and colleagues) are more important than anything else. Issues such as work and wealth take second place. Do you agree or disagree? (G)

3. In Britain, when someone gets old, they often go to live in a home with other old people where there are nurses to look after them. Sometimes the government has to pay for this care. Who should be responsible for our old people? Give reasons. (G, A)

4. In most countries disabled people are not catered adequately, e.g. buildings are often inappropriately designed. Governments rely too heavily on charities and voluntary organizations to provide assistance and funding. What further measures could be taken to assist disabled people? (A,G)

5. In some countries the average worker is obliged to retire at the age of 50, while in others people can work until they are 65 or 70. Meanwhile, we see some politicians enjoying power well into their eighties. Clearly, there is little agreement on an appropriate retirement age. Until what age do you think people should be encouraged to remain in paid employment? Give reasons for your answer. (G, A)

6. In developed and developing countries, people are moving from countryside to city in order to live in better conditions. What are the problems in the countryside that make the rural population migrate? (G, A)

7. In the late twentieth century, the proportion of the worlds population living in cities has increased substantially. People have moved in ever-growing numbers from rural to urban areas. As migration from rural areas to the cities continues, it is inevitable that the infrastructure in these cities will collapse. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? (A)

8. In your opinion, should government intervene in the rights of the individual with regard to family planning? (G, A)

9. It has been claimed that workers over 50 are not responsible to rapidly changing ideas in the modern workplace and that for this reason younger workers are to be preferred. To what extent would you support or reject this idea? (A)

10. Some governments say how many children a family can have in their country. They may control the number of children someone has through taxes. It is sometimes necessary and right for a government to control the population in this way. Do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer. (G)

11. Many famous pop and sport stars earned millions of dollars each. Many other entertainment and sport personalities also have very high incomes. On the other hand, most people in ordinary professions like nurses, doctors and teachers earn only a small fraction of the incomes of these stars. What do you think about stars receiving very high salaries? Is it fair that people with jobs that directly help people are paid much less? Give reasons for your answer. (G)

12. Money cannot buy happiness it is often claimed. But with money you can buy most of the things that are necessary for happiness: good food; accommodation etc. No wonder most people want to make as much money as possible. Discuss. (G)

13. People can no longer expect a job for life. What should individuals and governments do to prepare the current and future environment for different working conditions? (G, A)

14. People in modern cities live under too much stress and something should be done about it. Do you agree? (G)

15. People should not work too hard - they should remember the importance of leisure activities. Do you agree? (G, A)

16. The age of Information technology has taken a lot of people by surprise. While it has become a way of life for some, others know very little about it and may be unlikely to learn. Eventually we will have a polarized society and this will lead to serious social problems. To what extent do you agree with this statement? (A)

17. To what extent has the traditional male role changed in the last 20 years? (G, A)

SPORT

1. It is very important that children should study hard at school. Time spent playing sport is time wasted. Do you agree? (G)

2. International sports competitions are the best way to prevent conflict. National feelings can be expressed in friendly competitions, rather than fighting and sports heroes are better role models than fighters. The large sums of money spent on international sport competitions such as the Olympic Games are therefore justified. Do you agree? (G, A)

3. Popular events like the football World Cup and other international sporting occasions are essential in easing international tensions and releasing patriotic emotions in a safe way. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? (A, G)

4. Sports which depend on violence for their entertainment, such as boxing and wrestling, have no place in a civilised society and should be banned. To what extent do you support or reject this idea? (A)

1. computers are essential in the modern office these days. Write about the advantages and disadvantages of relying on computers to run a small business. (G, A)

2. Mobile phones have changed our lifestyles for ever, but not all the changes are for the best. Discuss pros and cons of owing a mobile phone. (G)

3. Advances in science and technology and other areas of society in the last 100 years have transformed the way we live as well as postponing the day we die. There is no better time to be alive than now. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? (A)

4. Describe the role of the Internet in modern society. (G)

5. In the future robots will be used in many everyday life situations. We hear about their benefits, but closer examination reveals many more disadvantages. There are more advantages than disadvantages to robots. Do you agree? (A)

6. In what ways has information technology changed work and working practices in the past 10 years? (G, A)

7. Many people believe that the Internet is the most revolutionary new invention of the last century. Do you agree? (A)

8. Modern science and technology can solve environmental problems, such as pollution and global warming, if we apply enough resources to research. How far do you agree with this statement? (A)

9. Modern technology has increased our material wealth but has decreased our personal happiness. To what extent do you agree? (A)

10. People throughout the world are ignoring the dangers of environmental pollution and of global warming in the hope that science and technology can find solutions. This is not true. We all need take the responsibility for the damage we are causing, and must change our lifestyles. Do you support this opinion? (G)

11. There have been many technological developments in the 20th century, for example in transport, telecommunication and health. What technological development do you think has been the most important? How has it changed peoples lives? Have all the changes been positive? Give reasons for your answer. (G, A)

12. We live in a technological age. However, technology cannot solve all the worlds problems. Therefore some people argue that we need to place less emphasis on technological solutions and more on other values. To what extent do you agree with this opinion? (A)

13. Will modern technology, such as the Internet ever replace the book or the written word as the main source of information? (G, A)

14. What do you consider the major achievement of the 20th century? (G)

15. When a country develops its technology, the traditional skills and ways of life die out. It is pointless to try and keep them alive. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? (A)

16. Face-to-face communication is better than other types of communication, such as letters, email, or telephone calls. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? (G)

17. Some people say that computers have made life easier and more convenient. Other people say that computers have made life more complex and stressful. What is your opinion? (G, A)

18. Some people think that the automobile has improved modern life. Others think that the automobile has caused serious problems. What is your opinion? (G, A)

19. Telephones and email have made communication between people less personal. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? (G)

20. Some people think governments should spend as much money as possible exploring outer space (for example, traveling to the Moon and to other planets). Other people disagree and

think governments should spend this money for our basic needs on Earth. Which of these two opinions do you agree with? (A)

21. A report written in the 1960s made the following claim: Machine translation (MT) is slower and less accurate that human translation and there is no immediate or predictable likelihood of machines taking over this role from humans. To what extent do you think this is still true today? Could a machine ever take the place of a human translator or interpreter? (A)

TV, MASS MEDIA

1. Children spend far too much time in front of television and computer screens. How their time could be controlled? (G)

2. Do we become used to bad news? Would it be better if more good news was reported? (G)

3. Have newspapers become a medium of the past or do they still play an important role in peoples lives? (G)

4. In almost every country there are laws regulating the content of films, videos, books and newspapers. Should the media be controlled in this way? What are the benefits and risks of censorship? (G, A)

5. It is often claimed that television and films encourage violence. What is your opinion? (G)

6. Many modern children spend a great deal of their time sitting in front of a television or computer screen. This is extremely harmful for their development. Therefore parents should strictly limit the time that children spend this way. Do you agree? (G)

7. Many newspapers and magazines feature stories about the private lives of famous people. We know what they eat, where they buy their clothes and who they love. We also often see pictures of them in private situations. Is it appropriate for a magazine or newspaper to give this kind of private information about people? Give reasons for your answer. (G)

8. News editors decide what to broadcast on TV and what to print in newspapers. What factors do you think influence their decisions? (G, A)

9. Television does more harm than good, according to many critics. Do you agree with this? (G)

10. Television is now widespread in all communities. Almost everyone has access to this medium on a daily basis. However, the effects of television are not always positive. What are some of the negative effects of television? What can be done to minimize these bad effects? Give reasons for your answer. (G, A)

11. The mass media, including TV, radio and newspapers, have great influence in shaping people's ideas. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Give reasons for your answer. (G, A)

12. The average British child between the ages of 4 and 15 watches more than 20 hours of television a week. Studies show she/he spends about 7 hours per week on physical exercise. How does this compare with the situation in your country? How can parents make sure children get enough exercise? Give reasons for your answer. (G)

13. TV: could you be without it? Discuss. (G)

14. How do movies or television influence peoples behavior? (G)

15. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television has destroyed communication among friends and family. (G)

16. We are surrounded by advertising. Some people think that it is good because it gives us choice as consumers, but others argue that it makes people selfish and greedy for more and more goods. Do you think there should be less advertising? (G, A)

17. With modern telecommunications, even people who live in very remote areas have access to television. However, even though television is clearly very popular, the effects on people of

watching television are often negative. What can be done to protect the community from these negative effects? (G, A)

18. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television, newspapers, magazines, and other media pay too much attention to the personal lives of famous people such as public figures and celebrities. (G)

19. It is generally agreed that society benefits from the work of its members. Compare the contributions of artists to society with the contributions of scientists to society. Which type of contribution do you think is valued more by your society? (A)

20. When famous people such as actors, athletes and rock stars give their opinions, many people listen. Do you think we should pay attention to these opinions? (G)

TOURISM

1. It has been suggested that in the not-too-distant future, people will take their holidays on the moon. How realistic do you think this is? What type of holidays do you think people will take in the future? (G)

2. According to those in the travel business, the nature of the average holiday is changing. Rather than seeking a relaxing break in a far-away place, people now want excitement on their holidays and are keen to participate in an unusual and challenging activities. Do you agree or disagree? (G)

3. Give useful tips for a foreigner coming to your country: how to become successful in everyday communication in Russia? (G)

4. Most of the worlds poor live in countries where tourism is a growing industry. The issue is that tourism does not benefit the poorest. How can income generated by tourism benefit the poor? And how can we ensure that tourism does not destroy traditional cultures and ways of life? What are your views? (A)

5. Tourism is becoming increasingly important as a source of revenue to many countries but its disadvantages should not be overlooked. (A)

6. Tourism is a modern form of colonialism. It distorts local economies, causes environmental damage and ruins the places it exploits. To what extent do you support or reject this idea? (A)

7. Some people prefer to live in places that have the same weather or climate all year long. Others like to live in areas where the weather changes several times a year. Which do you prefer? (G)

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