The Internet TESL Journal

Discussion Topic: The Home

Gerard Counihan
profesorSs [at]

Activity A

Brainstorm on this:

Get your students to say the first thing that comes into their heads (or the second) when they are asked to define the concept of "home" and what it means to them. My students gave these answers:

(Do not show them yet).

You can discuss the opinions that are given, and then show the students my contributions. Get them to comment, and maybe even see if the definitions of "home" vary from culture to culture. Do American students, for example, think that their home is the centre of their life?

Activity B

Why do we have a house? What is the function of a house?

Get your students to give their comments as well, and also have them justify anything they suggest. (A teacher's best friend is the word "WHY?")

Activity C


Some examples:

Activity D

Favourite place at home:

Activity E

Household chores:

Discussion Topic: My New Home

Activity A

Your students are going to buy a new home, get them to list off their priorities. For example, I got the following:

You can even give your students these comments and ask them to rate them in importance (for them).

You could also get them to debate the needs/priorities of single people as opposed to married couples with children, for example.

Tastes and priorities differ from country to country so the English might emphasise the importance of the house as an investment, while the Spanish could underline the necessity to have a comfortable home with a good kitchen, for example.

Activity B

Some answers I got:

As always, anything they say must be supported by explanations/elaboration. No short answers. You could also mention the word "facilities" here, letting them see how it differs from "amenities".

Activity C

Name two or three amenities you consider essential for you. The most common answers I got were:

The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. V, No. 5, May 1999