On Focus
The  idea of this On-Focus activity is from Look Who's Talking:
Activities for Group Interaction.  NY: Janus Book P, 1988.
  1. Before you become the focus, look at the questions below and mark the categories and the questions you want to answer with an asterisk (*), the ones you don't want to answer (no more than three) with a check (X), and the ones you want to ask of your groupmates with a circle (o). 
  2. Think of some more questions you would like to ask under each category. 
  3. Think, also, about how you might answer these questions, and how you can make use of the words and expressions in each category.
  4. In class, each of you will be "on focus" for 15 minutes in your group, answering the questions your groupmates ask you.  You can skip three questions.  You have to use at least three new expressions you learn from "Expressions" below or elsewhere.  At the end of your time, use two minutes to tell your groupmates what new expressions/words you have used.
  5. The atmosphere can be friendly, but the one on focus should pay attention to everything involved in public speech (as if you were a star being interviewed on TV.)
  6. Guides to the students for carrying on the conversation.  (remote)
Don't give yes or no answer.  Elaborate on your answer.  Remember to use the past tense to describe your childhood.
Parents & Parenthood
  1. Were your parents strict when you were a kid?  Were you ever punished and how?  Do you recall any of your parents' ways of educating you?
  2. Who took care of your daily life(Who was your family's care-taker)?  You mother or father or a nanny?  Were you close to your parents?  What were their ways of showing their affections
  3. Were you an obedient kid?  Did you help in doing household chores? 



    General questions: 

  5. Have you ever taken the role of a parent to another kid or an animal? 
  6. Do you believe in Oedipal complex?  Did you experience it before? 
  7. Have you ever been taught to behave like "a man/woman"? 
  8. Would you be able to accept it if your kid were a homosexual?
  1. parental guidance, discipline, corporeal punishment, spanking, slap on the face, reasoning, grounding, give sb. a guilt trip, beating, scolding, spoiling, 
  2. daily routines, nursing, diapering, bathing, hugging, cuddling, to take perternity/maternity leave 

  4. obey, pay lip service to,  household chores, run errands, 

  6. play house, a make-believe; stray-dog syndrome

  8. be used to +Ving (present habit); used to
  9. Rephrasing: let me put it another way, in other words, 
  1. Are you the only child in your family?  If so, what do you feel about being the only chilld?  What did you do to have fun as a kid? 
  2. Do you have sisters, brothers or cousins who are/were close to you?  As kids, did you have rivalry between/among you?  What did you do with your siblings--confiding to or fighting with them?   Telling on them or keeping secret for them? 
  3. What is the fondest memory you had with your siblings?  And the worst?

  4. General questions: 

  5. How do you define home and family?
  6. What is an ideal size of a family for you? 
  1. solitaire
  2. Hostility, friendship, rivalry, to compete with, to stay away from,  to share, to confide in someone (to have someone as a confidant) or to tell something in confidence, 

  3. General :
  4. center of gravity, commitment, mutual dependency, sponge on sb., breadwinnder, intimate friends, nodding acquaintance.
Toys & Hobbies
  1. Did you have a lot of toys?  What were your favorite toys?  Did you make toys yourself?   Do you still have any toys?
  2. Did you ever collect anything?
  3. Did you ever want something very badly but never get it?  Did you ever envy somebody else for having what you didn't?



    General questions: 

  5. What do you think are the differences between the toys the kids have today and those you had?
  1. dolls, stuffed animals, cars (remote-control cars), robots, chess, poker cards, video games, building blocks (lego), puzzles, clay (play dough), coloring tools (crayons, pastel, water color, color pencils). 
  2. sea-shells, stamps, match boxes, 
  3. superiority/inferiority complex, 
  1. Did you like sweets?  What were your favorite snacks? What are the snacks you like now? 

  2. General questions: 

  3. What do you consider to be healthy snacks or junk foods?
  1. lollipop, popsicle, sweets, (potato) chips, watermelon seeds, preserved fruit, 
  2. food additives, artificial coloring, 
  3. to snack on, to cater to one's need for . . .
  4. I have a hunch that . . . , I'll bet that . . . 
  1. What is your earliest memory?
  2. When did your childhood end?  What's the dominant color and setting of your childhood?

  3. General questions: 

  4. How do you characterize the childhood your generation/class experienced?  How is it different from that of today's children?   To put it simply, what did you have but they do not have now?  And what are the things that they have now but you did not then?
  1. I can't quite remember, but I might have . . . 
  2. I remember exactly how I Verb . . . 
  3. It brings back memories of . . . ; Whenever I . . . , it reminds me of . . .