How to discuss a topic in a group

How to discuss a topic in a group

-Hi! My name’s Rebecca, and in today’s lesson you’ll learn how to participate effectively in a discussion in English. Something you may need to do in your personal, professional, or academic life, okay? Now, the topic we’ll use as our sample is this one: Is it better to study online or in a regular classroom? Okay, you’ll have a chance to hear a discussion by native English speakers on this topic. What I’d like you to do is listen for any special expressions and phrases that they use during the discussion. Afterwards, I’ll review the expressions and phrases with you, okay? Now, today I have some special friends who have agreed to help me with this lesson and they’re waiting in the classroom next door, so let’s go and say ‘hello!’ to them.



-Hi! Well, look who’s here!





-Thank you for joining me, and thanks for helping with this lesson, guys.

-No problem.

-No problem.

-So, you know we’re talking about discussions, and the topic is: Is it better to study online or in a regular classroom? Okay, who wants to go first?

-Okay, so I’ll start , and I think that it’s actually very good to study online because it’s very convenient, because you can study whenever you want, and at your own pace. For example, someone like me, I like to study at nighttime. So, for me, online works better because it’s quiet at night, no one disturbs me, and I can do what I need to do.

-Okay, that’s true, but if you’re going to study online…

-Sorry, but…

-Sorry, please let me finish. As I was saying, that’s true, but if you’re studying online you do need to motivate yourself, so I think it’s better to be in a classroom where you have other students and a teacher who can motivate you.

-That’s true, but some people can’t afford to go to a classroom and don’t have enough money or resources to actually go to a big school. So, studying online you can actually do it for free.

-Me? Well, I would like to add. May I say something?


-Soft skills. That’s not usually talked about in schools, but when we talk about «soft skills» it’s actual interaction. Utilizing your English when you’re with other people. and that’s hard to get online because you’re watching a screen and not actually interacting with other people.

-You make a very good point, but I would also like to add that sometimes having classmates takes you away from your focus because you have to, maybe, review things many times for other people to catch up, or you have to do topics that are interesting to other people, not to yourself, so it’s a little distracting sometimes too.

-However, focus is a good thing. I mean it’s not a bad thing to repeat something because sometimes people don’t catch the material the first time. So that way you go over the material, and they, you know, you get depth. So, you get to learn more, and people who don’t understand get the opportunity to ask questions and learn from it again.

-Yeah, but sometimes the resources that you get in a classroom are boring. And online you can just look up whatever you need on the Internet, and you’ve got it right there. You don’t have to rely on a textbook. Sometimes it can be a bad textbook.

-Okay. Don’t get me wrong. I mean, there are good resources on the Internet, like


-Check it out.

-Anyway, it’s a good website.

-So, as I was saying don’t get me wrong. I think there are excellent resources online. However, some students who are just learning English for the first time might not know how to judge the quality of the resources. So I think if you go to a school, if you are inside a classroom you are with a teacher who is trained, is a professional, who can give the resources you need to improve your English.

-Well, it’s a good thing you said about professional teachers because at we all have professional teachers ready to teach you.

-So, in conclusion, in a nutshell, can we just, kind of, sum up and say that studying online or in a classroom will help everyone?

-Sure. I think so.

-I can agree with that.

-Okay, all right, thank you very much for your help, guys.

-No problem.


So, now I’ll review some of the phrases and expressions that you heard in the discussion.

«I think that it’s actually very good to study online.»

-«I think» is used when you’re going to express your opinion. You could also say «I believe» and so on.



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