The downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in July 2014, a scheduled passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, is a significant and tragic event in recent history. It was shot down by Russian-controlled forces while flying over eastern Ukraine, resulting in the deaths of all 283 passengers and 15 crew members. This incident has sparked international debates, investigations, and a quest for justice, providing a foundation for discussions on topics such as international relations, conflict resolution, aviation safety, and the human aspects of tragedy. Below are tailored ESL discussion questions for varying levels of English proficiency, designed to foster thoughtful conversations and critical thinking.

ESL Discussion Questions – Flight MH17

A2 Level (Elementary)

  1. What is Flight MH17?
  2. When did MH17 happen?
  3. Where was MH17 flying when it happened?
  4. How many people were on MH17?
  5. What countries were the passengers from?
  6. What type of airplane was MH17?
  7. Why is flying important for traveling?
  8. How do you feel when you hear about airplane accidents?
  9. What do you think is important for airplane safety?
  10. How do families remember people who were on MH17?
  11. Can you name any famous landmarks in the Netherlands?
  12. What is an investigation?
  13. Why do countries work together to solve airplane accidents?
  14. How do news reports help us learn about the world?
  15. What would you do to help people feel better after a sad event?
  16. How can flying be made safer in the future?
  17. What are some ways people travel besides flying?
  18. How do you think pilots prepare for a flight?
  19. What is a black box on an airplane?
  20. Why is it important to remember MH17?

B1 Level (Intermediate)

  1. Describe the events that led to the downing of MH17.
  2. What were the immediate international reactions to MH17?
  3. How did MH17 affect relations between countries involved?
  4. Discuss the importance of international law in the MH17 investigation.
  5. How do investigations determine the cause of airplane accidents?
  6. What is the role of the United Nations in conflicts like the one involving MH17?
  7. How do media coverage influence public opinion on events like MH17?
  8. What measures can be taken to prevent similar tragedies in the future?
  9. Discuss the impact of MH17 on global aviation safety standards.
  10. How have the families of MH17 victims been supported?
  11. What challenges do investigators face in conflict zones?
  12. How does geopolitics affect the resolution of international incidents?
  13. Discuss the concept of “closure” for families of MH17 victims.
  14. How do memorials serve as reminders of incidents like MH17?
  15. What role do social media play in the aftermath of tragedies?
  16. How do you think air travel changed after MH17?
  17. Discuss the ethical considerations of flying over conflict zones.
  18. What lessons can be learned from the MH17 tragedy?
  19. How can countries collaborate more effectively in crisis situations?
  20. Discuss the significance of transparency in international investigations.

B2 Level (Upper-Intermediate)

  1. Analyze the international legal proceedings following MH17.
  2. How did MH17 influence international diplomatic relations?
  3. Discuss the implications of MH17 on civilian air travel over conflict areas.
  4. Evaluate the effectiveness of international sanctions as a response to MH17.
  5. Compare MH17 to other historical incidents involving civilian aircraft.
  6. What are the long-term impacts of MH17 on the aviation industry?
  7. Discuss the role of evidence and intelligence in the MH17 investigation.
  8. How do conspiracy theories emerge in the wake of tragedies like MH17?
  9. Examine the psychological impact on survivors and families of MH17 victims.
  10. Discuss the challenges of achieving justice for the victims of MH17.
  11. Analyze the media’s role in shaping narratives around MH17.
  12. How did MH17 affect public trust in international aviation authorities?
  13. Discuss the balance between national security and transparency in investigations.
  14. Evaluate the role of memorialization in the healing process post-MH17.
  15. How does international conflict escalation affect civilian safety?
  16. Discuss the ethical implications of airspace management in conflict zones.
  17. Analyze the impact of MH17 on EU-Russia relations.
  18. Examine the role of international cooperation in crisis response and investigation.
  19. Discuss the importance of accountability in incidents like MH17.
  20. How do incidents like MH17 influence global policy on aviation safety?

C1 Level (Advanced)

  1. Critically assess the response of the international community to MH17.
  2. Explore the legal and ethical dimensions of the MH17 downing.
  3. Discuss the challenges of enforcing international justice in cases like MH17.
  4. Analyze the role of international organizations in mediating conflicts that lead to tragedies.
  5. Evaluate the impact of MH17 on the norms of international conflict and aviation.
  6. Discuss the intersection of national interests and global justice in MH17.
  7. Examine the role of public opinion in shaping responses to international crises.
  8. Analyze the effectiveness of crisis communication following MH17.
  9. Discuss the implications of MH17 for future international crisis management.
  10. Evaluate the long-term consequences of MH17 on international relations and law.

C2 Level (Proficiency)

  1. Assess the geopolitical ramifications of MH17 within the context of international relations.
  2. Discuss the concept of sovereignty and its implications in the investigation of MH17.
  3. Analyze the challenges of collective security in the wake of MH17.
  4. Evaluate the role of international law in addressing state-sponsored acts.
  5. Examine the impact of MH17 on the discourse of international terrorism and security.
  6. Discuss the ethical considerations in media reporting of tragedies like MH17.
  7. Analyze the long-term impact of MH17 on global aviation governance.
  8. Evaluate the implications of MH17 for conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
  9. Discuss the role of intelligence sharing in preventing tragedies like MH17.
  10. Examine the influence of MH17 on the development of international crisis protocols.