Life before the internet: a conversation lesson

A couple of weeks ago I read an article on Facebook describing the last generation that remembers life before the internet. Most of my adult students belong to that group (as do I), so I thought  this could lead to some interesting conversation.

This lesson is aimed at students who are 30 or older, but if you have a classroom with a mix of students where about half of them are over 30, this could also work well. In that case, you probably want to pair people up in such a way that they can share their different experiences.


The steps below are based on a PowerPoint presentation you can download from Dropbox  or from Google Drive.

[Slide 1]

Show students the picture and question and elicit some words related to it.

[Slide 2]

In small groups, ask students to discuss the questions. After a few minutes, collect some feedback from the whole group and board their ideas.

If students don’t have much to say, you can get some ideas here.

[Slide 3]

Show gist task and refer back to the ideas you have boarded. Play video once and let students compare answers. After that check with the whole group.

[Slide 4]

Show specific information questions. Let students read them before playing the video again. Again, let students compare answers and then get feedback from the whole group.

[Slide 5]

Show students only the name of the blog where the text comes from (Quartz). Say they are going to read a text about the same topic.

Tell students to read the text quickly and see if this article is positive, negative or neutral when it comes to the internet.

You can find the original text here and download my adapted version below.


After checking students’ opinions, show them the specific information questions and let students read the text again. Give them a chance to compare answers and then check with the whole group.

[Slide 6]

Show the follow-up questions for students to discuss in trios or small groups.

[Slide 7]

Go over the pronunciation of the words in bold, then get students to guess the meanings based on the context. After a few minutes, elicit their ideas and ask CCQs to double check if students know what expressions mean.

[Slide 8]

In pairs, students answer conversation questions. Feel free to change the questions so that they are more suitable for your students.


Thanks for reading.

6 thoughts on “Life before the internet: a conversation lesson

  1. I tried this out with two groups of advanced adult learners, most of whom are old enough to remember life before the internet. It generated lots of discussion and vocabulary – so much that we only got as far as the video stage. Thanks for sharing 🙂


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

  3. Pingback: The World Votes to Keep Internet or Scrap it Altogether – The Blog Broad

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