miércoles, 9 de noviembre de 2016

Talking point: Opportunities

This week's talking point is opportunities. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below so that ideas come to mind more easily the day you get together with your friends and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.

What opportunities have you had in your life? Think about education, travel, meeting people, work.
Have you ever taken the opportunity to do something very scary or difficult, like doing an extreme sport or talking in public?
What would you do if you had the opportunities below?
  • Learn a new skill or sport: What would you learn? Why?
  • A free holiday to anywhere in the world with a friend: Where would you go? Why? Who would you take?
  • Meet a famous person: Who would you choose? What would you say or ask?
  • Travel in time: What period in history or year would you travel to? Why?
You are going to tell the story of a past event that made your life better. Make notes about one of these topics:
A good friend, and how you meet him/her
A sport or hobby, and how and why you started doing it
An accident and how it happened
A job and how you got it
A big decision and how you made it

Think about the important events in your story.
What were the consequences of what happened?
How would your life have been different if you had done something differently?
Share your stories with other classmates and ask each other questions to find out more about them.

To illustrate the topic, watch the video below where immigrants who work at White House talk about the reasons why they decided to grasp the opportunity to leave their home countries and emigrate to the States.

Monika (Poland):
We have all these stories, and we have this interwoven experience of having come here for a common purpose, which is to make a better life. And from that, you know, we can aspire to so much as people, as immigrants, as children of immigrants, to achieve really amazing things.
Todd (Korea):
America has this incredible power to bring people to its shores, to help build a brighter future for our country.
Namrata (India):
I think what's at stake here is that we need to make sure that we are a place where our actions continue to match our ideals and we continue to be a place of opportunity and hope for the rest of the world.
Leandro (Dominican Republic):
People still risk their lives to come here. And why is that? Because obviously they have a passion for something and really believe that they can still fulfill those dreams here.
Tina (China):
Our own competitiveness, our strength as a nation, our ability to have new innovation, be at the cutting edge and leading the world, is at stake as well, because the talent that comes into the United States and the drive and the ambition to build new things and build new companies and find new technologies also comes with immigrants.
Beth (Philippines):
We're a nation of immigrants, and I'm a perfect example of that.
Nancy (Argentina):
We're a nation of immigrants, and immigrants lend to the richness of our life here.
Gautam (India):
These are the stories of real people, of real families, of husbands and wives and kids who all want to be together in one country.
Araz (Iran):
My parents literally left everything behind in Iran. And when we came here, we started from scratch.
Nadeem (Pakistan):
Initially, my father, when he moved to this country, he came with only $500 in his pocket and, you know, a family.
Dad came to the United States first to start looking for some jobs. He's a doctor.
Slowly and surely, we learned English, mostly through "Sesame Street." And we began to make friends and do really well.
Toniann (Italy):
This country was built on dreams with people trying to better themselves, and it seems to be a universal thought, that people come here to do things that they never thought they could do anywhere else.
Matias (Argentina):
I'm very thankful for the opportunity that this country has provided me and the opportunity for my children.
Fernando (Mexico):
We are a nation of immigrants. We bring together different ideas, different cultures, different races.
David (Portugal):
So, as we look forward, when you think about what's at stake for immigration reform, it's a continuation of what we've always been: both a nation of laws and nation of immigrants.
Although we all came from different places, we're sort of bound up in some very shared goals,
and we all want the same kind of future for our kids, who are all going to be Americans who come after us.