I spend most of my time listening to students talking about what interests them (and correcting their English). Even so, here are some of the topics that I've proposed (and books and films that I've read since early 2014).
Economist: The truth hurts - Fake news flourishes when partisan audiences crave it, out-foxed - Orders to local news anchors cause much embarrassment, Your policy is arriving in three minutes - Insurance and the gig economy.
AUTOFAC by Philip K. Dick (Galaxy Science Fiction) and AUTOFAC Episode 2 of Amazon Primevideo's Electric Dreams series.
Advanced grammar: Futures. British Accent 16-20 (have also done 6-15 in last month or two).
Post-apocalyptic fiction: I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Blindness by Jose Saramago.
Economist: The workplace of the future via Artificial Intelligence special report - AI is changing the way firms screen, hire and manage their talent, AI is making companies swifter, cleverer and leaner, AI providers will increasingly compete with management consultancies, Customer service could start living up to its name, Non-tech businesses are beginning to use artificial intelligence at scale, The sunny and the dark side of AI, There will be little privacy in the workplace of the future.
Economist: The porn star and the president, Facebook faces a reputational meltdown.
Advanced vocabulary of Technology 4. British pronunciation homework 10-15.
Economist: Stephen Hawking died on March 14th, America v China - The battle for digital supremacy
Advanced grammar review - past time. Pronunciation homework 3.
Why women kill differently - magazine article. Documentary series on Netflix: Killer Women.
Business English - Economist: Trump's Trade War - several articles.
Sam, This is You by Murray Leinster (Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine May 1955.)
Artificial Intelligence and its effect on jobs. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom. Economist: Labour-monitoring technologies raise efficiency—and hard questions.
What would I change in my house?
El efecto en cascada de los pisos turísticos en Madrid.
Voice/Speech recognition: safwat_saleem_why_i_keep_speaking_up_even_when_people_mock_my_accent. Cape Town water crisis - Time and Economist articles. Also, Youtube video about how well Israel deals with water shortages and a couple of TED.com videos.
Teaching English Pronunciation (Longman Handbooks for Language Teachers) by Joanne Kenworthy.
Advanced vocabulary 2: Education and learning.
Economist: Billionaires and the Falcon Heavy, Making tunnels the way you make spaceships, The Falcon Heavy’s creator is trying to change more worlds than one.
Assigned Philip K. Dick's "Foster, You’re Dead!" and watched associated "Safe And Sound" episode on Amazon's Electric Dreams. (The original short story is available online.) The original short story had to do with America's 1950's bunkers fashion, so I also did recordings of two reports online about a resurgent interest in purchasing bunkers: 7 Doomsday Bunkers for Surviving the Apocalypse, No Matter Your Budget and Inside the 'billionaire bunkers' where the world's super rich will ride out the apocalypse.
Sent British Accent work. Sent Advanced grammar homework - Present time.
Assigned "The Hood Maker" by Philip K. Dick and associated "Electric Dreams" episode. (The original short story is available online on this webpage Luminist.org - The short story is in "Imagination June 1955" page 92.)
Sent a little slang British English Business vocabulary.
Sent a little American English pronunciation work. (I thought some students might be interested in practicing and differentiating both American and British accents over the coming months.)
Grammar and vocabulary - prepositions after nouns and adjectives.
NPR: German Apprenticeship.
Raymond Chandler - Maltese Falcon - Intermediate. (You can also watch the film on Youtube.)
Episode 10 of Amazon's series Philip K. Dick's "Electric Dreams" episode 1 Kill All Others (KAO), based on his short story "The Hanging Man".
Talking About Detective Fiction by P.D. James. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. (You can also watch the film on Youtube.)
National Public Radio: Flu season 2017-2018 - several articles.
Trump's book: Fire and Fury. And 2 Economist articles on same topic. Several Stephen Colbert videos on Youtube: "My Nuclear Button is bigger than yours", "Why do we take immigrants from shithole countries", etc.
Raymond Chandler - Goldfish.
2018 - Goals - New Year's resolutions.
Bright starring Will Smith.
Bitcoin: documentary on Netflix. Economist articles. Scientific American The Future of Money report.
Mindfulness - Documentary: The Secret.
Holocaust. Night (The Night Trilogy #1) by Elie Wiesel, Marion Wiesel. Level 4 The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank. Netflix: Auschwitz. Nazi Concentration Camps. Holocaust Exhibition at Canal in Madrid. Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl.
Economist and Crime magazine: Charles Manson
The Real Story of Thanksgiving.
Netflix: The Punisher - vigilantism.
Murder on the Orient Express. Agatha Christie.
Dishonesty, The Truth about Lies - Dan Ariely - book and documentary. Donald Trump's biggest flaw: He's not that bright - Chicago Tribune.
Mindhunter (book and Netflix series) and Book: The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson. "Great Crimes" graded reader - Dr. Crippen.
Robert Plant - 4 songs from his new Carry Fire record.
NPR: Halloween and The History of Halloween. The Importance of Being Earnest Upper-intermediate. Oscar Wilde himself (documentary) - YouTube.
Economist: Spain faces a constitutional crisis over Catalonia; Globalization's Losers - What to do with the people who are left behind.
Remains of the Day film and book - Nobel Prizes.
What the Health - Food Fight: GMOs and the Future of the American Diet; Wheatgrass and Spirulina.
Tom Petty article songs and lyrics.
Blade Runner (The Final Cut version). Doc: On the Edge of 'Blade Runner. Three shorts: Blade Runner 2049: Black Out 2022, Blade Runner 2036: Nexus Dawn, Blade Runner 2048: Nowhere to Run. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Philip K. Dick.
Economist: Racial progress and the NFL
Cocaine Cowboys documentaries, Seinfeld (show on Netflix) and (Economist) Catalonia . . . (Also, read McMafia). Catalonia prepares for its independence referendum.
The Mist TV series. Stephen King.
Floods, Hurricane Harvey / Katrina.
Bono and U2. Salud - 2 pages in El Pais on Trumpcare. Altruism - 4 TED videos: Abigail Marsh - Are We Wired To Be Altruistic, Cheryl Steed - Can Altruism Be Learned, Larissa MacFarquhar - How Far Would You Go To Help Others, Peter Singer - How Can We Be More Effective Altruists. Altruism by Matthieu Ricard.
FCE Writing book 1-30, CAE grammar and vocabulary exercises.
Wonder Woman, Gender based violence (violence against women). El Pais articles Porque Matan.
Prophets of Rage 2017 songs Prophets of Rage and Unfuck the World. FCE writing practice 1-5.
Amazon's Whole Foods purchase.
CPE 13 Writing section and Reported speech.
I read "On Tyranny" and Sam Harris recording.
Trevor Noah documentary (and book: Born a Crime).
Pink Floyd, Roger Waters The Wall documentary. The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett story. Chasing Ice documentary.
Economist: King Trump
Fuel of the future - big data.
The Guardian: The internet warriors meet the trolls in their own homes.
This book shows the US really has 11 separate 'nations' with entirely different cultures.
Sherlock Holmes - Wisteria House.
Sherlock Holmes - The Resident Patient - original.
Economist. United Airlines drags a passenger from a flight.
Memento (Memento Mori short story).
Third Conditional review – Game Chrononauts.
Economist: The incarcerated workforce.
Economist: Signs of aliens. Economist: Lunar spaceflight.
Economist: Electric Cars; NYT: When The Fire Comes - Paul Krugman.
CPE 13 - Environment part 1, John Hurt NPR interview, Economist Trump Insurgent.
Economist: Wife beating in Russia, Printed human body parts, The big McCustomisation, China, Trump and the South China Sea, The multinational company is in trouble, Carl Sagan - Dumbing Down America.
Youtube videos: How to Study Effectively with Flash Cards, The Most Powerful Way to Remember What You Study.
Sherlock Holmes - The Adventure of the Resident Patient.
NPR: A couple divided by Trump vs Hilary talk. Economist: A Trump White House on inauguration day, Britain and the EU - a "clean" hard brexit, Gendercide - The war on baby girls winds down. El Pais: El suicidio anglosajon. Paul Krugman: Donald the Unready.
Sherlock Holmes: "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor", "The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet",
"The Adventure of the Copper Beeches", "Silver Blaze", "The Adventure of the Yellow Face",
"The Adventure of the Stockbroker's Clerk",
"The Adventure of the Gloria Scott",
Economist: Equipping people to stay ahead of technological change, Old dogs, new tricks - How older employees perform in the workplace, Learning and earning - Lifelong learning is becoming an economic imperative, Low skilled workers - The elephant in the truck, The return of the MOOC.
Sherlock BBC Season 4 on Netflix, The Real Life Story of Jerome Caminada (Sherlock precursor) - Documentary: How Sherlock Holmes changed the world.
Economist: Catalexit, Word of the year 2017.
Sherlock Holmes: The Man with the Twisted Lip, The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, The Adventure of the Speckled Band, The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb.
Sherlock Holmes: A Study In Scarlet, The Sign of Four, A Scandal in Bohemia, The Adventure of the Red-Headed League, A Case of Identity, The Boscombe Valley Mystery,
The Five Orange Pips, Benedict Cumberbatch Reads Sherlock Holmes Rediscovered Railway.
Economist: Europe's Looming Brexit Disaster, Phillipines Killer Dictator.
Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. Conway.
Luke's Podcast: Christmas – It’s all about Family and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas by Lewis Black.
Hacksaaw Ridge. Desmond Doss documentary. Noel Chavasse article. Mel Gibson documentary.
Rise of Robots. Economist article on abortion.
CPE 15 - Work.
The Valley of Spiders - H.G. Wells. - Short story.
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell.
Economist: Obituary of Chinese revolutionary Jia Jinglong, Treasure Hunting with Forrest Fenn.
No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State. Film: Snowden. Docu: Citizenfour. Snowden on TED.
Grapes of Wrath - Film and book. Steinbeck.
Cell by Stephen King - film and book.
Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People
Economist: Trump: How it Happened. A couple of Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert videos. Michael Moore's Trumpland.
Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future
Hitler: Ascent. WWI docu series The Great War.
All I want - Upper int graded reader.
proficiency - Freedom and democracy. Why democracy matters - TED.com
proficiency - Strange happenings, Ghosts, etc., The Lottery - Shirley Jackson. (Scary story for Halloween.) Economist: More on Brexit, Canada's example to the world with CETA free-trade agreement.
proficiency - Relationships - Trump's groping. Sexual Assault (in America). Docu: The Hunting Ground. VICE Doc: Burundanga - Scopolamine - World's Scariest Drug-
The Pearl - Steinbeck.
proficiency - Globalization and from Economist - Anti-globalists.
Sleep: Scary Health Effects Of Sleep Deprivation During The Teen Years, luke's guided sleep meditation....
Short Story - In the forest of Villefére by Robert E. Howard. Book of Horror Stories.
Trump Hilary debates.
Can we trust our own predictions? (The Future SA), Isaac Asimov's 1964 article Visit to the World's Fair of 2014.
Short Story: Uncle Fred Flits By - PG Wodehouse
Economist Adoption articles - The desire for children
advanced Travel. advanced holidays. Yes-Mag Dream tour. Economist: Politicians and Lying, Spanish politics. Self-Driving Cars - interesting points, proficiency Travel.
Sept. 2016 : advanced Intelligence, proficiency Clothes
Angels and Demon -- Dan Brown. (read 4 books)
Sports - Olympics 2016 - Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup. olympic sports SAMind 2016. Russia's Olympian drug habit.
Economist: Angola Prison rodeo; Forest Fires in U.S.
Short Story: Curious Case of Benjamin Button and film.
advanced News and views
Economist: Brexit aftermath.
Book: No One Would Listen - Bernie Maddoff.
Economist: Brexit or Bremain. Luke's podcast.
proficiency Changes, advanced Persuasion.
Nuclear War - Book: On The Beach. Alas Babylon. Bunkers. Survivalists.
Economist - The Bathroom Wars (transexual toilets), Facebook and politics (neo-cons complain to Mark Zuck)
More Tales of Shakespeare- Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Othello. And Yes-mag special.
Economist: Yellow Fever, Infectious diseases, Education in Finland.
Upper intermediate food and
Game of Thrones season 6.
Economist: Harriet Tubman, The Future of English.
Upper intermediate: Endangered Animals. Dogs and Oxytocin
Economist: Crow War Chief obituary, Intelligent maps, the music industry.
David Bowie - Luke's Podcast - 2 of them.
Economist: Business in America, Artifical Intelligence and Go, Team Spirit, Tesla's mass-market ambitions, Religion ethics and the workplace.
Last of Mohicans – comic and movie
Economist: Gogglebox, Financing divorces, Mexico open for business.
Upper intermediate: Books. proficiency: Reading. Upper intermediatebooks vocab.
The Revenant - Di Caprio - other films.Trump by Paul Krugman.
proficiency Consumer Society, Shopping, Advertising; Upper intermediate Business English - Advertising. Truth in digital advertising (SA).
Scientific American: Conquer yourself, conquer the world. Self-control, willpower, Let's get motivated. Am I normal? Distracted - Wired. advanced: Decisions.
The Willpower Instinct - How Self-Control Works. Upper intermediate Decisions.
Economist: Trump anti-christ. Apple's Encryption problem. Supreme Court Scalia. Trump, inc. Grexit of Companies from Greece.
Luke: Are you a good learner of English?
Upper intermediate: Hobbies, Living Life to the Full or Hobbies, proficiency: Happiness.
Upper intermediate: Crime. Fake Crime report Scott Johnson. Upper intermediate Questions.
Reading books in English - Luke's podcast.
Sherlock Abominable Bride. Book: Hound of Baskervilles. TMS - Detective Fiction - From Victorian Sleuths to the Present. The Maltese Falcon - Film. Humphrey Bogart documentary.
High price of oil.
Luke's English podcast - How to Learn English.
Star Wars The Force Awakens, Upper intermediate - Space.
(Around the world in 72 days article.) Round the World in Eighty Days (Penguin Readers (Graded Readers)) Jules Verne
advanced: Topic: Climate, Global warming, weather.
Documentary: Merchants of Doubt. Years of living dangerously - 9 episodes of environmental. Economist:
Global Warming Special Report.
Upper intermediate: environment, overpopulation, population.
Upper intermediate/advanced: Education, Further study.
Upper intermediate/advanced: Technology and inventions. Book: Inventions that Changed the World.
Explorers: Marco Polo, Ibn Batuta. Holiday logistics from Yes-mag.
Phantom of the Opera. Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
Upper intermediate/advanced: Working life, jobs, work & business. Yes-Mag: Job interviews.
Economist: repair the damaged american democracy, how spain deals with migrants.
Monuments Men on art theft. Art Crimes against creativity, etc. BBC the art that hitler hated. Dustin Yellin artist Vanity Fair- Vanity Fair article.
All arts issue of yes-mag
Best songs and lyrics. Beatles documentary.
The Beatles Anthology Tune In.
Upper intermediate Music and Topic.
Volkswagen - emissions test defeat device scandal - how air pollution is killing us.
Book: The Body Graded reader. Film Stand By Me. Also, Stephen King and The Shining. Yes-Mag article.
Best way to learn English. d 3.
Book: Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.
Gangsters - prohibition.
Book: The Godfather.
Book: Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34.
Book: Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana - Medical, Recreational and Scientific.
Terminator franchise, 80s movies, Artificial intelligence.
Gay marriage law of the land. Bruce Caytlin Brenner. Transgender. Gender stereotypes.
Guns, Confederate flag, American Charleston Massacre, Once Again, Americans Debate Gun Violence:
Starbucks gun ban, Guns and Ammo documentary, An American gun magazine for kids, Rolling Stone gun-industry, more guns to save people,
More guns, bigger safes, Obituary - Mikhail Kalashnikov.
Dinosaurs. Jurassic World.
Upper intermediate/advanced: Family. Adoption, parenting.
Book: Business leaders graded reader - see above. Steve Jobs, Elon Musk.
Women in Business - Anita Roddick, Madonna, Oprah, Coco Chanel, Hanae Mori. Management Gurus.
Vanity Fair recording. The new establishment about "disrupters", etc..
Upper intermediate Sport, Vocab: sports and risk, gender issues. FIFA corruption..
Upper intermediate growing up. advanced language. Childhood. Age. Ageism.
Earthquakes, Upper intermediate: Natural disasters "Unexpected Events", Nepal earthquake. San Andreas film article.
Ted: 8 secrets of success. Why we do what we do: The puzzle of motivation.
The surprising science of happiness. The happy secret to better work.
Upper intermediate: Mixed emotions. Avengers Age of Ultron.
Melville - Moby Dick graded reader. Stress, relaxation, self-hypnosis.
Upper intermediate/advanced Celebrity Culture. Illegal immigration. Economist: Reforming Islam and Illegal Immigration. Book: Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Southern fried chicken. Apple sauce. Oatmeal/Banana/applesauce cookies.
Writing essays. Yes-mag: Free-speech debate. Economist: American Power, Jews, Europe's recovery, Obama's popular in South America, Hillary Clinton, Rand Paul.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King.
War of Art - Steven Pressfield.
- advanced - Arts, Colour.
Tom Merritt's book - Citadel.
Charles Dickens. Great Expectations, Signal Man, To Be Read At Dusk.
Upper intermediate/advanced Travel. Hotel Vocabulary and an article about tourism in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Economist: Apple Watch, Vatican Museums.
Led Zeppelin book When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin and docu: It Might Get Loud.
Upper intermediate Computer games, internet - VR and mobile.
Steinbeck - East of Eden.
Upper intermediate and advanced lessons - Upper intermediate advanced - Fashion.
Writing neutral emails and messages. Practical English - Favours, making excuses, politeness, expressing thanks, asking for permission, being assertive, expressing concern
John F. Kennedy.
11/22/63 by Stephen King.
Cuba Bay of Pigs. Doc series: The Men Who Killed Kennedy.
Film: JFK 1991 (Kevin Costner). Doc series: The Sixties. Articles on assassination.
Wang Jianlin -
Business - Alibaba - largest companies in the world.
Charlie Hebdo and news vocabulary.
Women - yes mag articles: Book: America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines. When everything changed.
Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights.
Holiday - Christmas
The Adventures of The Speckled Band, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The real-life sherlock holmes, Cumberbatch, how sherlock holmes changed the world,
Dr. Joseph Bell.
The Stolen Letter.
Neville - Sherlock Holmes mystery. The Murders in the Rue Morgue. Poe.
Business: bank, numbers, statistics, graphs, charts, globalization, homelessness, alternatives to money, free market for labour, financial inclusion, end of the american dream, understanding balance sheets.
Crime - Crime vocabulary and Economist articles on capital punishment, race relations, etc.
Bad TV programmes - yes-mag.
Penny Dreadful, Constantine. Halloween stories - The Unlucky Theatre, The Mezzotint (both level 5 from Stories of detection and mystery)
El Mexicano - About boxing - The Game. Sea Wolf - The Call of The Wild..
Also - I am Ali, Hurricane.
Poetry and metaphor.
Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society, Rolling Stone article.
Way with Words 3 Poetry by Prof. Drout. Robert Herrick.
Dylan (No Direction Home)
Bob Dylan Chronicles
Grammar - verb + to +infinitives and ing
Ebola and Pandemics
Expressing Anger - Taboo language.
Grammar Book - Taboo English, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue Fry's English Delight
Joseph Conrad - The Black Mate - Secret Agent.
Scotland Independence - Easier articles:
Scotland - self-determination, Things I find hard to do.
Difficult articles and videos:
Scotland For Richer or Poorer BBC Documentary,
Time For Scottish Independence?
A History of Scotland BBC documentary series.
Basketball (and sports) Easier
- Sports basketball,
Upper intermediate sports speaking,
- Banning basketball.
History of the English Language. Documentary series on same subject on Youtube.
History of English Language graded reader.
Books and films.
Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat
Docu: Sea the Truth
Food & Restaurant.
Electric cars, Google Car – connected cars.
Docu: Tesla Motors - The Future of Electric Cars http://youtu.be/i7J-tlrkVEE
Car Technology of the Future
Uber, Airbnb, Sharing Economy, Trust, Reputation, Age of context.
Age, aging. Docu: " Up" Series
Great Gatsby film and book
Lost Fleet Steadfast Jack Campbell.
Economist's Guide to the European Union
Docu: Legalize Democracy
Docu: After Democracy
Democracy and Europe
Gurtel articles, corruption in Spain, vocabulary for talking about politics.
The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy narrated by Fionnula Flanagan .
In the Name of the Father
The Wind that Shakes the Barley
Docu: The Story of Ireland five parts on youtube
* Flash Boys – Michael Lewis.
Wolf of Wall Street
"60 Minute Interview"
Is the U.S. stock market rigged?
Drift - Rachel Maddow.
Harry Potter 7 – About the movies.
House of Cards.
DIY - Upper intermediate.
Bionics (prosthetic devices) Robocop, Elysium
Economist: Plagiarism in science, The disappearing
Robots - The Second Machine Age.
Scarlett Johansson, poss best female actresses
. Her – premieres
February 21 - Romance – Artificial Intelligence AI.
Ukraine and Russia.
Advertising, Upper intermediate.
Facebook, What’s Up and MobilePhone articles