How happy are your students? How happy are you?


The (un)happiness index is an interesting website that might help you to find out. The map below shows colours shaded according to how happy their citizens are. If you’re interested to know how they worked it out you can download the date from the same page the map is on.  The site will also give you similar maps representing life expectancy, life satisfaction, and ecological footprint.

I think this site might make a good discussion starter for intermediate or higher level classes. In an international class it might be interesting to see if the students can predict which of their countries will be happiest and why, and then compare their thoughts to what the happiness index says. It could also make a good platform on which to build vocabulary for students of pre-intermediate level and above.

And if you haven’t seen it already, here’s an article from the Guardian Newspaper which proves that knowing how happy we are is all the rage at the moment. Even the UK government is interested in how happy you are!

There are also some great exercises on MEC that would work nicely with the happiness index website. Just type in the resource title or ID (given in brackets) to find it.

•    Level 6: Can money buy you happiness? – Language activity (MLG006331)
•    Level 5: The psychology of happiness – Vocabulary activity (MVA006558)

If you decide to look at the map on ecological footprint there are also some excellent MEC resource which match that topic. Just type in the resource title or ID (given in brackets) to find it.

•    Level 6: Bottled water: a critical review – Language exercise (MLG006271)
•    Level 5: Being green – Listening activity (MLA003536)
•    Level 4: Climate advice – Vocabulary activity (MVA004303)
•    Level 3: Going green – Vocabulary activity (MVA006680)
•    News items (available a Difficult,  Average and Easy levels): Climate change at the end of the world (NewsBRISIberiaclimate03)and Earth is in danger (NEWSBRIEarthindanger02) and In search of a new home (NEWSBRIAnimalsunderthreat02)


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