Monday, January 16, 2006

Controversial? / 논쟁적인가?

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." - Martin Luther King Jr.

"사람들에 대한 궁극적인 판단방법은 그들이 편안하고 안락한 순간에 취하는 태도가 아니고 도전과 논쟁의 시기에 취하는 자세에 있다." - 마틴 루터 킹

I have one fussy high-level class this month who take a lot of work. One lesson that I spent hours designing and creating was reduced to a long po-faced silence in no time. So, working on the concept that I had to come up with a topic for the next class that even they couldn't not have opinions about, I racked my brain for contentious issues. What follows are some of the ones that worked really well (;p), grouped into vague categories for you to peruse.

The goal is to provoke learners (and yourself) think, to present a compelling topic for them to express their views on. It can also be used to practise discussion skills, and potentially debating skills too.

"God is dead." - Friedrich Nietzsche
"Imagination is greater than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
"Eighty percent of success is just showing up." - Woody Allen
"Laughter is the best medicine." - saying
"Innovators are inevitably controversial." - Eva Le Gallienne

“There is nothing wrong with our faces or bodies that social change can’t cure.” - Naomi Wolf

Hitler was the greatest criminal ever.
Beauty is nothing more than a matter of taste.
A woman's place is in the home.

Airbags in cars should be replaced with big steel spikes - people would drive more safely.
People who get plastic surgery are truly happier about themselves.
TV is a huge waste of time.
Monogamy doesn't work.

Military service is a bad influence on Korean men.
"Fan death" is nothing more than a Korean urban legend.
The Korean education system is a robot assembly line.
Harisu (the famous Korean transsexual) is, basically, a man.
English teachers in Korea should be qualified to teach English.
The “East (Asia) Sea” should be referred to by the most widely-used current term – the “Sea of Japan” – until any disagreement has been resolved.
The lack of sleep that Korean high school students put themselves through is damaging.
Japan is actually a bit better than Korea.

A related activity is to play them Savage Garden's catchy song "Affirmation" (lyrics below) and ask, To what extent do you agree?

verse 1
I believe the sun should never set upon an argument.
I believe we place our happiness in other people's hands.
I believe that junk food tastes so good because it's bad for you.
I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do.
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self esteem.
I believe I'm loved when I'm completely by myself alone.

I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned.
I believe you can't appreciate real love until you've been burned.
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side.
I believe you don't know what you've got until you say goodbye.

verse 2
I believe you can't control or choose your sexuality.
I believe that trust is more important than monogamy.
I believe your most attractive features are your heart and soul.
I believe that family is worth more than money or gold.
I believe the struggle for financial freedom is unfair;
I believe the only ones who disagree are millionaires.

verse 3
I believe forgiveness is the key to your unhappiness.
I believe that wedded bliss negates the need to be undressed.
I believe that God does not endorse TV evangelists.
I believe in love surviving death into eternity.

1 comment:

Sean said...

Thanks for the song. I've added it to my list of activities to do this coming semester.