The Pros and Cons - 25 Engaging Topics for Adult ESL Students

Grade Levels
11th - 12th, Higher Education, Adult Education
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
167 pages
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About The Pros and Cons

The Pros and Cons is a 25-unit series that allows ESL students to look at a variety of situations from different angles, as well as engage in activities that revolve around those situations.

This workbook is designed to help ESL teachers create engaging and fun classes, covering a wide range of topics, and to help those students build fluency by providing ample activities that guide them to be creative and speak out. It's designed to be straight-forward and easy to use, so the teacher can pick it up and go into class with it with minimal preparation.

In addition, this workbook focuses on getting ESL students of intermediate and advanced English levels to engage with each other, and the teacher, in the case of one-to-one classes, through activities and questions that promote discussion and decision-making. They will be challenged to think critically, and solve problems, all while using English as the mode of communication to deal with a variety of different tasks.

Target Audience

These presentations are aimed at students with an intermediate level of English or higher (IELTS 5.0+), and age 14+. In addition, I recommend using this workbook with university students or adults, as some of the topics involve more mature themes.

What topics are included in this workbook?

  1. Arranged Marriages
  2. Helping the Poor
  3. Telling White Lies
  4. War
  5. Adoption
  6. Colonizing Mars
  7. An International One-Child Policy
  8. Living Together Before Marriage
  9. Dating a Colleague
  10. Moving Abroad
  11. Being Child-free
  12. Cloning
  13. Dating During High School
  14. Making Kids Earn Their Allowance
  15. Banning Smoking
  16. Going Completely Green in 5 Years
  17. Nuclear Weapons and Energy
  18. Open International Immigration
  19. Marrying Outside of Your Culture
  20. Harsher Punishments
  21. Dating Students
  22. Being Your Own Boss
  23. Divorce
  24. Dating Apps
  25. Using Tablets Instead of Textbooks

Each topic, or unit, includes new vocabulary, discussion questions, activities for group- and pair-work, as well as statistics and a closing activity, or closing discussion questions.This workbook shines the most when used with groups of students, but can also be adapted to work well in one-to-one situations with VIP students (in the case of some language training schools) or private students.

What are the benefits for teachers?

  • Minimal preparation is needed.
  • Your TTT will be driven down significantly.
  • Each unit can be adjusted to fit a 1-hour or a 2-hour class.
  • If you do one class a week with your students, you have enough material for either 6 months, or a year.
  • The workbook can be used with large groups, small groups and 1-to-1 classes.
  • The use of vibrant images from means that vocabulary and activities are easier to explain.
  • The back of the workbook contains a vocabulary bank of potentially problematic words in each unit.
  • Collaborative activities means students will work together. This frees up the teacher to circulate, and give feedback.
  • Useful tips are provided to the teacher to help maximize his or her efficacy in class with this workbook.

What are the benefits for students?

  • Maximum STT.
  • Students build English fluency naturally.
  • Students are challenged to think critically and flexibly.
  • Unique topics to engage students, and keep them from becoming bored.
  • The workbook is so easy to use that students can create study groups by themselves.
  • Statistics in each unit allow the students to potentially change their views of the world.
  • Fluency tips are included to help students learn new habits to build better fluency.

Author's Note: As a teacher myself, I can say that the Pros and Cons has been my longest running series, and it has proven to be popular at every language training school I've used it at, and the content has continuously evolved over the past five years. The students are actively engaged, and even the quietest students find that they have something that they want to contribute to the discussion and the activities. My classes tend to be made up of students from lower-intermediate to advanced, and from age 14 to 60, and all have been able to participate and contribute to the conversations, as well as have many opportunities to speak out and engage with others.

Total Pages
167 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Semester
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