Do you eat breakfast? A conversation lesson for adults.

Today’s lesson comes from me wanting to use a video I really like about breakfast around the world with one of my adult students. We had been talking about food and this particular student likes travelling, so I thought it would be a good match.

I went looking for an article to pair the video with and ended up finding something interesting, in my opinion, about health eating.

This one-to-one lesson took about 60 minutes and was used with an B1+/B2 student. It is aimed at adult students, as they generally are more worried about health issues, but it could be adapted to a younger crowd as well.

Start off by introducing the idea of breakfast. You could do that by showing students pictures of breakfast dishes and asking them this question.

  • Which meals do these pictures represent? (breakfast, lunch or dinner)


Hopefully the picture in the middle will throw students off a little. If they immediately say breakfast, ask them what gave it away and which of these options they would most and least like to eat.

You can also use this moment to pre-teach fast, as it is a key word in the text they are going to read later on.

As a follow-up discussion and pre-watching activity, get students to answer these questions in pairs. Check whether students know the meaning of wolf down by asking a CCQ like ‘when you wolf food down do you eat quickly or slowly’?

  • What do you usually eat for breakfast during a regular week?
  • Do you have time to eat your breakfast or do you usually wolf it down?
  • Can you think of the best breakfast you have ever eaten (in a hotel, for example)?

After wrapping up the discussion, tell students they are going to watch a video showing what people eat for breakfast around the world. Show them the while-watching questions below and remind them to take notes (lots of countries are mentioned and students often can’t remember which ones they liked or didn’t).

  • Which of these would you like to try? Why?
  • Are there any that you would never try? Why?
  • Is the Brazilian breakfast similar to your own?


Now tell students they are going to read an article from Forbes magazine on the importance of eating breakfast. The original article can be found here and my adapted version is below.

Skipping Breakfast (Forbes)

Show students the while-reading questions and set a time limit for them to read the text before discussing answers with a partner.

  • What health risks are associated to skipping breakfast?
  • What type of men usually skip breakfast?
  • Why is prolonging the fast a bad thing?
  • Why is it important ‘when’ the first meal of the day is eaten?

The article makes skipping breakfast a big villain, but the impression I have is that these things are rarely black and white. Therefore, I would suggest using the following video to challenge the views from the article.

After checking the answers for the while-reading questions, tell students they are going to watch a video about the same topic. As a gist questions, tell students to notice whether the man’s opinions are similar or different to the ones on the article.

The second time students watch the video, ask them to answer these questions:

  • According to James, is skipping breakfast bad?
  • What is more important, when you eat or what you eat?

Finally you can put students in small groups and ask them to say whether themselves and people in their family have or skip breakfast.

Alternatively, you can go back to the text and work with some of the language on it. These are the items I recommend.

  • to name but a few
  • to indulge in
  • e.g.
  • an outcome
  • be likely to
  • strain

After clarifying meaning, you could use some discussions questions to give students some personalized controlled practice.

Does your job put a lot of strain on you?
What kinds of foods do you like to indulge in?
Do you think the outcome of your English classes has been positive?
Are you likely to spend New Year’s Eve with your siblings?
Thailand and Croatia, to name but a few, are famous for its beaches. Do you like travelling to coastal destinations?
Which African countries (e.g. South Africa and Egypt) do you think are worth visiting?


Thanks for reading

3 thoughts on “Do you eat breakfast? A conversation lesson for adults.

  1. Pingback: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish | ricardo barros elt

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