Doing things alone: a conversation lesson

I think I’ve said it before, but one of the biggest sources of inspiration for the lessons I post here is Facebook. So many of my friends are teachers and they are always sharing interesting articles and ideas. This lesson is no different, based on something Isabela Villas Boas shared a week or so ago.

Personally, I’m a fan of doing things alone, but I wanted to find out how my students felt about it. This is aimed at  adults and young adults who are B2 or higher. However, much like other lessons, some pre-teaching of vocabulary would make this accessible to B1 students as well.

Redhead woman sitting alone in cinema

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 ask them to describe it in pairs. If the idea of going to the cinema alone doesn’t come up, mention it and then show students the discussion questions.

[Slide 2]

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

[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 follow-up questions for students to discuss in pairs/small groups. It may be a good idea to mention possible things that have a stigma, such as travelling or going to restaurants alone.

After a few minutes, collect feedback from the whole group.

[Slide 5]

Tell students they are going to read a text from the Huffington Post. Show only the header at this point.

Tell students to read the text quickly and decide if the author is in favour or against doing things alone.

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]

The follow-up to the text includes a video. Show the question and tell students to take notes while they watch.

After playing the video, let students compare answers and check with the whole group. Board their answers.

[Slide 7]

Get students into new groups to discuss the follow-up questions. Tell them to refer to the list of things on the board.

[Slide 8]

Go over the pronunciation of the words in bold (they are likely to mispronounce binge), 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 9]

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

Thanks for reading.

3 thoughts on “Doing things alone: a conversation lesson

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

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