Pursuing A Dream

woman playing gitar
Type: Case Studies
Originally published on March 11, 2023 and last updated on May 8, 2023

Studying and discussing case studies related to personal and professional dilemmas can be an effective way for English language learners to improve their language skills, critical thinking abilities, and cultural awareness.

Sophie’s story below is particularly beneficial as it deals with a common personal and professional dilemma that many students can relate to. By reading and analyzing this case study, learners can gain a deeper understanding of the complexities involved in pursuing personal passions while balancing practical considerations and expectations from family members.

Ask your students to read the following case study, or listen as you read it to them. When finished go through the conversation questions with them. Try and get them to use approprate language to give their opinion and offer advice

Pursuing A Dream

Sophie is a young woman with a passion for music. She has been playing the piano since she was a child and dreams of becoming a professional musician. However, her parents do not support her dream and have urged her to pursue a more practical career.

Sophie feels torn between her desire to follow her passion and her sense of obligation to please her parents. She has tried to compromise by studying music theory in her spare time while pursuing a degree in business administration, but she finds it difficult to balance both.

Sophie is at a crossroads in her life and doesn’t know what to do for the best.

Conversation Questions

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  • What do you think Sophie's parents' concerns are about her pursuing a career in music?
  • Do you think it's important for people to follow their passions even if it's not practical? Why or why not?
  • What advice would you give Sophie if she was your friend?
  • What are some steps Sophie can take to pursue her dream of becoming a musician while still balancing her other responsibilities?
  • How important is it for people to have support from family and friends when pursuing their dreams? Why?
  • Have you ever faced a similar situation to Sophie's? How did you handle it?
  • What are some potential risks and benefits of pursuing a career in music?
  • If Sophie's parents do not support her decision, how could she find other sources of support and encouragement?
  • Do you think it's common for parents to discourage their children from pursuing a career in the arts? Why or why not?
  • If Sophie chooses to pursue music, how could she explain her decision to her parents in a way that they might understand and support her?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.