A vocabulary lesson based on Glee

Some weeks ago BrELT organized its first online event, the BrELT Queer Day. During one of the talks I told my friend Thiago Veigga about the first time I remembered bringing up the topic of sexuality with my students. I did a little digging recently and it turns out it was in 2011, using an episode of Glee.

The lesson’s main  aim was vocabulary, but the pre and post watching activities ended up being very interesting and leading to some very interesting conversation. Initially, this lesson was given to a group of young adults who were at university (19-22-year-olds), but it can also be used with younger or older students by changing the questions slightly. I’d recommend this for students who are B2 or higher. If you have access to the original episode with subtitles, that would work with B1 students as well.

Finally, for this lesson, I’m going to try out writing the post in a similar way to what Cecila Nobre has been doing on her blog (which you should definitely check out by the way).

This lesson outline is based on slides you can download on dropbox here or on Google Drive here. Feel free to adapt them, but please do credit the source.

Slide 1

Show students the picture and elicit ideas of what the series is about. You may want to mention what a glee club is, as this is not common in Brazil.

Slide 2

Clarify the word fondness before asking students to discuss questions in pairs. Board their answers for the second questions, as they are going to be used for the gist task.

Slide 3

Gist task. Play the snippet and get students to check if the problems they mentioned are going to appear in the video.


Slide 4

Specific information task. Play the snippet again for students to answer questions.

Slide 5

Follow-up. In new groups/pairs students discuss the questions.

Slide 6

Using the script/handout students match definitions to meanings of words in bold.


Key: 4, 6, 1, 3, 5, 2

If you want to make it more challenging, you can use a gapped script.


Key: rock bottom, crush, lead her on, leading her on, figure stuff out, look up to, tiptoe, however confusing, chased out, of all people

Slide 7

Clarify ‘tiptoe around someone’ (question 6), as it has a different meaning from tiptoe used on its own.

Students discuss questions using the target language. After that, ask students to choose their two favourite expressions and write additional

After that, ask students to choose their two favourite expressions and write additional conversation questions.


Thanks for reading

2 thoughts on “A vocabulary lesson based on Glee

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