~ TLW ~ News for Discussion ~ Group One ~

~ The following procedures are recommended for studying the topics in this curriculum ~


1) Before class, read through the text and questions in order to prepare for your discussion.

2) When study begins, as a class, in groups, or in pairs, read the text and discuss the content and vocabulary. 

3) After that, in a similar fashion, choose the questions you¡¯d like to answer or create your own questions.

4) Take some time to prepare meaningful responses to the questions (with the teacher or in pairs/groups).

5) Take part in the class discussion with your peers, and follow your teacher¡¯s prompts and suggestions.


Click to print questions: .docx /.doc

~ News Discussion ~ 101 ~ Social Networking and the Internet ~


Your Facebook Friends Are Really Not That Into You ~ Adapted from TechNewsWorld.com


Most of your friends on Facebook may not care much about you at all, suggests an Oxford University study published last week. Friendships involving interactions over social networks are not that different from traditional real-world friendships, found Robin Dunbar, the professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford who conducted the research.


"The conclusion is that despite the pressure to befriend all and sundry with some tenuous link to you via someone else on social media, the fact is that most people just sign up to the friends they have in the offline world...," he told TechNewsWorld. "In other words, people are more savvy than social media!"


Known as the "Dunbar Number," the maximum number of friends that the human brain can handle is about 150. Those in your circle beyond your top 150, whether online or offline, are likely just acquaintances...


In any case, teenagers have been moving away from Facebook toward more intimate networks like Snapchat, WeChat, Vine, Flickr and Instagram, Dunbar pointed out, reserving Facebook largely for making social arrangements¡¦


"Social networks encourage people to interact in ways they may not necessarily choose to offline," said Kevin Krewell, principal analyst at Tirias Research. "Facebook encourages you to accept friend requests and there's social pressure against rejecting friend requests."


"The fact that people do not seem to use social media to increase the size of their social circles suggests that social media may function mainly to prevent friendships from decaying over time in the absence of opportunities for face to face contact," Dunbar wrote in the report on his research.


Group A

1) Do you use social networking sites (SNS)? If yes, why? If not, why not?

2) What social networking sites do you use? Why? Which sites wouldn't you use? Explain.

3) What kind of information are you comfortable sharing with your friends?

4) Have you ever shared information with the public that you later regretted? Tell the tale.

5) Is it possible to make true friends online (that is, without meeting face-to-face)?


Group B

1) Is it expensive to access the Internet by mobile phone in your country? Describe.

2) In your country, do men and women use the internet for the same purposes? Explain.

3) When do you use the internet for fun? How about for education? Other? Explain.

4) What problems can social media solve? What problems can it create? Discuss.

5) Was life better or worse for you before the internet? Tell the tale.


Group C

1) When did you first use the internet? Social media? Online shopping? Other? Tell the tale.

2) How does the internet influence music and the arts? What values are expressed? Explain.

3) Can generation gaps be closed through social media? Family misunderstandings? How?

4) Do you think governments have the right to censor the Internet? Talk about it.

5) What could make people uncomfortable about social media and the internet? Discuss.






drop someone a line ~ If you drop someone a line, you write a letter to them.
I always drop her a line to wish her a Merry Christmas.


hear through the grapevine ~ If you hear of something through the grapevine, you learn about it informally, for example through friends or colleagues. 
"How did you hear that?" "Oh, through the grapevine as usual!"

hot off the press ~ Something hot off the press has just been published and contains the most recent information on the subject.
I just got it hot off the press; another bank has gone bankrupt.


touch base ~ If you touch base with someone, you make contact or renew communication with them.
I'll try to touch base with you next week in London.

out of touch ~ If you are out of touch, you no longer communicate with someone, or you are unaware of recent developments.
I've been out of touch with Jenny since we left college.


spread like wildfire ~ If news, rumors or gossip spreads like wildfire, it becomes widely known very fast.
As soon as the nomination was announced, the news spread like wildfire.

Warm~up: Related idioms from Learn English Today:

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