Social issues extended speaking

Choose one of the topics below related to jobs and talk about it as long as you can. Your partner will listen and add anything they think you have missed.

• Brain drain

• Casual jobs

• Child labour

• Childcare

• Dropping out of corporate life

• Graduate jobs

• Inequality

• Job insecurity

• Jobs in the future

• Lifetime employment

• Long term unemployment

• Manufacturing in Japan


• Outsourcing

• Post-industrial society

• Public servants

• Retirement

• Sexual harassment

• The black economy/ underground economy

• The glass ceiling

• The knowledge economy

• The service sector

• The sex industry

• The working poor

• Traditional arts and crafts

• Unions and union action (strikes etc)

• Work visas

• Youth unemployment

Do the same with issues from the list below. This time your partner will listen and tick off the sub-topics you mention, then ask you about anything you haven’t said yet.

Abortion Ageing population

Alcoholism Assisted suicide


Body image problems (e.g. anorexia/ bulimia)

Breakup of marriages (e.g. divorce and separation)

Bullying Censorship

Children in care Community activism

Control of the internet Corruption

Dangerous dogs Data protection problems

Debt Discrimination

Domestic violence Drinking and driving

Drop in belief in religion Dropping educational standards

Falling birthrate Gambling addiction

Gentrification Globalisation

Graffiti Hard drug use

Health scares Homelessness

Human trafficking Illegal gambling

Illegal weapons, e.g. firearms Immigrants not assimilating

Lack of affordable quality housing

Lack of blood bank blood/ donated organs

Lack of giving to charities Lack of health insurance

Lack of local democracy Lack of respect for elders

Lack of respect for teachers Lack of social mobility

Loneliness/ Social isolation Malnutrition

Multilingual classrooms

Neighbourhood watch organisations/ Vigilantism

Obesity Old people’s homes

Organised crime (e.g. mafia and gangs)

People released from prison not being able to fit back in to society

Political extremism Pornography

Poverty Prescription drug addiction

Problems with pest control (e.g. rats and cockroaches)

Protests/ Demonstrations Recidivism

Rise in crime Runaway children/ Missing children

School absenteeism School violence

Self-harm Shrinking middle class

Single member households Stress-related illnesses

Single parent families Smoking

Soft drug use Squatters

Suicide Teenage pregnancy

Terrorism Underage sex

Youth violence

Listen to your partner talk about their topic and tick off the topics below that they speak about. When they have finished speaking, ask them questions about any relevant topics they haven’t mentioned.

o Reason for choosing this topic

o Reasons for this thing/ Who is to blame

o Connections to other issues

o Consequences/ Effects

o How big an issue it is

o Statistics

o The history of this issue/ Trends

o Similarities to other issues

o Things heard, read or seen related to this issue/ Media coverage of this issue

o This issue in Japan and abroad

o Where it is a big issue

o Who is most affected

o Who is most concerned about it

o Feelings about/ Opinions on it, including what other people think about it

o The future of this issue

o Attempts to solve this issue/ Possible solutions for this issue

o Reactions by (local or national) government

o Reactions by international organisations

o Reactions by NGOs

o Reactions by the general public

o If it is a common topic of conversation or not and why

o If it is controversial or not, and why

o Personal experience


PDF for easy saving and printing: social issues extended speaking

Related pages

Social issues page

Extended speaking page

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