The Blue Jeans Blues

Are you looking for something to talk about with your English learners today? Here is a story that will get your students talking!

Blue jeans are worn by people around the world. Unlike other fashions, blue jeans don’t go out of style. Blue jeans are stylish and cozy, but does our love for denim come at a price?

Take one look at China’s Pearl River Delta and you will find your answer. This is the blue jean capital of the world. The river is severely polluted from the factories along the riverbanks. The dye and chemicals used in making denim are largely to blame.

Watch the video and read the article from The Huffington Post. If the video is too difficult for your students, summarize the main points. Then discuss the issue using the questions below.

1. How does the denim industry pollute the earth?
2. Do you buy new blue jeans every time a new style comes out?
3. Do you think there will be a worldwide water crisis in the upcoming years?
4. What does the reporter mean when she says: “Shockingly, the manager of the plant claims he doesn’t know where the wastewater goes. ”
5. Describe your own country’s pollution problems.

While our Something to Talk About suggestions are useful for getting your students gabbing, the topics, articles, and videos can also be used if you are looking for something for your students to blog/Skype/or write an opinion essay about.

Related in the ESL-Library:
Mini-Debates: Water Privatization
Mini-Biographies: James Dean
Discussion Starters: Fashion Trends
Flashcards: Environment, Energy, Pollution
Every Day is a Holiday: World Oceans Day


Leave a Comment ↓

  1. Georgina Waldie says:

    Mar 16, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Great topic for discussion! Encourages people to be environmentally and socially responsible.

    • ESL Library Staff says:

      Mar 18, 2011 at 2:59 pm

      Glad you like it! Please come back and let us know what your students had to say about it.

  2. Alexander says:

    Mar 10, 2011 at 7:19 am

    I love ZZ Top & their “Blue Jean Blues” ! :-)

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