Talking about Smartphones

Do you want a better
English conversation practice?

Read this story in English

Study some new words for this topic:

Take some good questions to the Plaza:

What are your favorite apps?

What apps do you use the most?

Do you think people are addicted to smartphones?

Do you want to use your smartphone less?

How do you feel about smartphones?

Maybe watch this video:

Talking about Space

Do you want a better
English conversation practice?

Read this Story in English

Study some new words for the topic:

Take some good questions to your
next English Lounge or PEP meeting:

  • Do you want to go to Mars in the future?
  • What is your favorite planet?
  • Have you ever seen a falling star?
  • Do you believe in aliens?
  • What’s your favorite space movie?

Maybe watch this video:

Talking about Politics

Do you want a better
English conversation practice?

Read this news story: 

Screen Shot 2020-11-11 at 0.13.59

Study some new words for this topic: 

Screen Shot 2020-11-11 at 0.16.36

Take some good questions
to your English conversation time: 

  • What challenges do Biden and Harris face?
  • Why was this election so intense?
  • What are the big differences between Biden and Trump?
  • What will Biden do when he becomes president?
  • What will they do about the coronavirus?
  • Do you know Shirley Chisholm?
  • How does Harris’s election create hope?

Can you answer these questions?

Maybe watch this video: 

Robots and Society

Robots have increasingly become an important part of society. Engineers have designed many types of robots, such as industrial robots, medical robots, and service robots.

Japanese engineers have been particularly influential in the development of robots. For example, Softbank developed Pepper, a robot who can talk and assist businesses. See the video below to learn more about Pepper.

Today, many businesses are finding new uses for robots. For example, check out the article below about how a restaurant in the Netherlands is using robots during coronavirus to greet customers, take orders, and serve food, just like waiters.

In the future, engineers will continue to develop robots with various applications. What do you think about this? Are robots good for the future, or are there potential negatives associated with robots?

News article: Dutch Restaurant Uses Robot Waiters

In this news article, the writer introduces a restaurant in the Netherlands which uses robots as waiters. Read the article and consider the ways robots will change common businesses, such as restaurants or even schools, in the future.

Video: “We Interviewed Pepper”

Watch the following video in which a journalist introduces and “talks” with Pepper, the Softbank Robot. What do you think about robots like Pepper?

Important Vocabulary related to Robots

Application (noun – definition 2)Electricity (noun)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) (noun)High-tech (adjective)
Battery (noun)Machine (noun)
Control (verb)Robot (noun)
Develop (verb), Development (noun)Robotic (adjective)
Digital assistant (noun)Robotics (noun)

Questions to ask at English Lounge

Have you ever “met” a robot? What was the experience like?

What are some future applications for robots? In other words, what are some other ways robots can help humans in the future?

In your opinion, are robots helpful or harmful to society? Why?

Making Vacation Plans for the Summer

It’s June, which means summer has finally arrived! The temperature is increasing day-by-day, so people will soon be heading to parks and beaches to relax and enjoy this weather.  

Since summer has just begun, it’s a great time to start thinking about our summer plans! Even though we may be limited this year due to coronavirus, we can still imagine what types of things we would like to do during the summer.

Check out the following articles, videos, and learning resources so you are prepared to talk about your summertime plans and vacations!

Video: Easy English 32 – Travel Destinations

In this video, a man asks people in Margate (a beach near New York City) the following question: “If you could go anywhere in the world for your ideal vacation, where would you go?”

Watch the video and listen to the answers. What kinds of places do these people want to visit? What are their reasons for wanting to visit these places?

If you could go anywhere in the world for your ideal vacation, where would you go? Why?

Article: Walt Disney World and the Coronavirus

Many people are looking forward to visiting Tokyo Disneyland this summer. However, although amusement parks like Disneyland are reopening, there are strict rules to ensure that the coronavirus does not spread.

Read this article to learn about some of the precautions that theme parks are taking to limit the spread of the virus!

What kinds of precautions can you take to protect yourself from coronavirus this summer?

Useful Vocabulary to talk about Vacations

General Travel Vocabulary

abroad (adverb)safari (noun)
adventure (noun)sightseeing (noun)
backback (verb)souvenir (noun)
excursion (noun)stay (noun)
foreign (adj.)traveler (noun)
postcard (noun)voyage (noun)
road trip (noun) 

Planning a Vacation

day trip (noun)destination (noun)
tour (noun)brochure (noun)
tourism (noun)visa (noun)
travel agency (noun)honeymoon (noun)
travel agent (noun)package tour (noun)
reservation (noun) 
Cruise (noun)
Theme park/Amusement park (noun)

Hotels and Accommodations

accommodation (noun)double room (noun)
book (verb)room service (noun)
card key (noun)pack (verb)
check-in (noun/verb)unpack (verb)
checkout (noun)guest (noun)
Hostel (noun)
Bed and breakfast (noun)
Cottage (noun)
Villa (noun)
Resort (noun)
Front desk (noun)


camp (verb)explore (verb)
campfire (noun)trek (noun)
campsite (noun)backpack (noun)
tent (noun)sleeping bag (noun)
hiking (noun) 

Day Trip to the Beach

sand (noun)sunbathe (verb)
sandy (adjective)sunscreen (noun)
seaside (noun) 

Money and Travel

budget (noun)exchange (noun)
currency (noun) 

Possible Questions about Vacations to ask during English Lounge

  1. If you could travel anywhere, where would you like to go and why?
  2. What is your favorite part about traveling?
  3. When you travel, where do you prefer to stay? For example, do you prefer a hostel, bed and breakfast, resort, or private villa?
  4. Which do you prefer: going camping or going to the beach? Why?
  5. Have you ever been on a cruise? What was that experience like?
  6. When you travel, how do you budget your money? What do you spend the most money on? What do you spend the least money on?


Talking about the Corona Virus

Lately, the corona virus is often in the news…

Some questions you can ask in English:

  • What would you do if you were on that cruise ship?
  • Are you washing your hands properly?
  • Are you hoarding anything?
  • Did you buy a lot of masks or hand sanitizer?
  • Do you have any friends or family in (city name)?
  • Are you scared? Are you worried?
  • What are you doing with so much time at home?
  • Are you taking any precautions?
  • Do you think they will cancel the (event)?
  • Are you having trouble buying anything?
  • How are you staying in touch with (friends)?

Some things you might hear:

  • “I heard that many people don’t even know they have it”
  • “I heard that it’s only dangerous for the elderly
  • “I’m worried about all the people in (city name) “
  • “I hope they find a vaccine soon”
  • “I miss my friends”
  • “I can’t find any (toilet paper)”

Some useful words for this topic:

ache 動詞 serious 形容詞  
ache 名詞 severe 形容詞  
attack 名詞   severely 副詞  
bacteria 名詞   sickness 名詞  
be sick 慣用句 sneeze 動詞  
catch 動詞 sneeze 名詞  
collapse 動詞 spot 名詞  
condition 名詞   spread 動詞  
cough 動詞 stomach ache 名詞  
crisis 名詞 suffer 動詞  
develop 動詞   sufferer 名詞  
fever 名詞   suffering 名詞  
germ 名詞   symptom 名詞  
headache 名詞   temperature 名詞  
ill 形容詞   toothache 名詞  
illness 名詞   transfer 動詞  
infection 名詞   trouble 名詞  
pain 名詞   unconscious 形容詞  
painful 形容詞   unfit 形容詞  
painfully 副詞   unwell 形容詞  
pale 形容詞   upset 形容詞  
react 動詞   upset 動詞  
reject 動詞   upset 名詞  
seasick 形容詞   virus 名詞

Here’s a good news article about the corona virus:

Why everything is closing for Coronavirus:
It’s called “flattening the curve”

“All the closures are costing money. So are the delayed events. Still, sporting events and businesses are being canceled. This shows how serious the spread of coronavirus is. 

Talking about Thanksgiving

When we talk about the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, we often talk about shopping and food. Here are some questions and words to help you have a good conversation about shopping and food:


  • What does your family do for Thanksgiving?
  • What are your favorite Thanksgiving foods?
  • Where do you go shopping on Black Friday?
  • Do you buy a lot of stuff on Black Friday?
    • What will you buy on Black Friday?
  • Do shop online? Do you shop on Cyber Monday?
    • What are you gonna get?
  • Do you watch any football games on Thanksgiving?
    • Who’s playing this year?
  • Do you go to see a parade at Thanksgiving?
  • What do you miss the most about Thanksgiving?
  • How long do the leftovers last?
  • What do you want for Christmas?


In stores… At the table…
bargain bowl
bargain butter knife
barter carving knife
basket chopstick
browse cloth
buy crockery
carrier bag cutlery
discount dessertspoon
discount dish
haggle doily
high street finger bowl
impulse buying fish knife
mall fork
mallrat glassware
plaza knife
queue ladle
queue napkin
receipt place mat
reduction plate
retail therapy serviette
sale setting
sample side plate
saving silverware
shopaholic table mat
shoplifting tablespoon
shopping teaspoon
special offer tureen
spendthrift roast
splurge salad
splurge side dish
spree side salad
steal snack
store starter
tester supper
trolley sweet
try on takeaway

Oxford Learner’s Dictionary

Talking about Travel

  • When was the last time you stayed in a hotel?
  • Do you know what a hostel is?
  • Have you ever stayed in a Bed & Breakfast?
  • Have you ever done a homestay? How was it?
  • What’s your favorite place to stay?

Come to the English Lounge and talk about places to stay when you travel.

These words will help you:

all-inclusive foyer room service
bed and breakfast front desk single
board full board star
book half board suite
check in housekeeping twin bedroom
checkout lounge upgrade
desk reception vacancy
double room reservation visitors’ book
en suite room wake-up call


Talking about Business Deals

Google is one of the largest technology companies in the world, and Fitbit is a popular health and fitness watch that many people wear. Recently, Google purchased Fitbit for about $2 billion dollars. Do you think this was a good idea? What will Google do with its new fitness technology? What should Google do next? What Google products do you use? What fitness products do you enjoy? Come to the English Lounge and tell us what you think.

You might need some of these words below:

accept dissolve offer
acquisition draft plug
approach draft pressure
bargaining power fall through proposal
bid hardball pull
bid horse-trading pull out
broker hostile reject
broker ink schedule
buyout leverage table
contract meeting take over
deal merger takeover
dealing negotiation