Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

  1. a toddler
    • ex. My sister has two children: a teenager and a toddler.
    • ex. We took a trans-Pacific flight from Vancouver to Seoul.
    • ex. At snack time, the boy swapped his crackers for his friend’s pretzels.
    • ex. Her children are very well-behaved; they almost never cry or fight.
    • ex. I prefer to sit by the aisle so I can go to the bathroom easily.


Read the article below and answer your tutor's questions.

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An online post about airplane seats recently went viral. The poster said that they* were seated next to a toddler on a trans-Pacific flight from Japan. The toddler’s mother was in the row behind them, and she asked the poster to swap seats, but the poster said no because it was a bad trade. The poster didn’t want to give up their window seat for the mother’s middle seat.

According to the poster, the mother was clearly unhappy, but she didn’t ask anyone else to swap seats. Instead, she sat in the row behind the toddler for the whole flight. The poster said that the child was well-behaved, so they had a peaceful flight.

Many airlines now charge passengers an extra fee to reserve “preferred” seats: seats in the front of the plane, window seats, and aisle seats. Unpopular seats such as middle seats and seats in the back of the plane can still usually be reserved for free. Experts say that many passengers are unhappy about paying extra to reserve regular seats, but airlines will probably continue these policies.

When someone’s identity is 100% unknown, the pronoun “they” is commonly used instead of “he” or “she.”


Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.

The Viral Post

  • Imagine that you're the poster. Will you say yes or no to the mother's request to swap seats? Why? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, why did the mother not ask other people to swap seats (ex. she only wanted the poster's window seat, she thought that other people might say no too)? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, should airlines allow parents to sit in a different place from their young children? Why or why not? Discuss.

Airplane Seats

  • In your opinion, what are the best seats on an airplane (ex. window seats in the front, aisle seats in the back)? Why? Discuss.
  • Many airlines now charge passengers an extra fee to reserve "preferred" seats. What do you think about this (ex. it's horrible, it's reasonable)? Why? Discuss.
  • In the 1960s, many airplane seats were 47 cm wide, but now, the average seat is only 43 cm wide. Why do you think that airplane seats keep getting smaller? Discuss.