Religion and politics, should be avoided like the plague. Neither of these do I dodge or avoid if they come up. In fact in Germany, and sometimes recently with Chinese students, these subjects have caused good debate.
However it still is hard to predict what subjects clam up my students. Last night we opened up with some discussion on how to define Eco-Speak:
This went well. But then opened it up by getting a bit more company specific.
Are these issues essential, so-so, or insignificant to your company?
I patiently gave them some thinking time. But at the feedback stage realized they did not feel comfy speaking openly about this. Regardless of my self reflection and assessment, I do not know why.
Is it too CSR as a theme?
Too high language wise, ya kidding as it is a C1 lesson.
Any ideas blogosphere?
Have you witnessed a lesson that fell flat coz of a subject that was too sensitive, or been flummoxed by a lack of response from students?
I did pull that reluctant rabbit out of the bag, by going to the board and eliciting general business fields that the question I posed refer to.
A lot of teaching courses tell you to avoid what some experts deem as taboo subjects.
Do you follow this policy, or are you a no holds barred trainer?
A healthy argument being a good tool for lingo expression, and speaking freely.