Like my Addiction: a conversation lesson

Some of my friends who also post lessons online have tackled some difficult topics recently. Beatriz Solino posted a lesson about abortion and Cecilia Nobre had one about rape. Although I must admit I’m not brave enough to discuss those topics with my own students, talking about these lessons with them and also with my dear friend Natália Guerreiro motivated me to work on today’s lesson.

A couple of months ago a popular Instagram account revealed itself to be a publicity stunt to raise awareness of alcoholism in social media. This, in turn, was covered by many newspapers and TV channels and the news went viral. You can find a link to the Instagram account that started things here.

This is aimed at adolescents (16-18) and adults who are B2 or C1, but it can also be used with B1 students if you include pre-teaching stages before the video and the text. The topic may be controversial in some cultures (it is a PARSNIP topic, after all), so be mindful of your own students and their backgrounds.


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

[Slide 1]

Show students the image and ask them to discuss questions about Instagram. If you are working with older students who may not know what Instagram is, elicit first and explain if necessary.

Get some feedback from the whole group and make sure you ask students to justify their opinions.

[Slide 2]

In the same pairs, show students the pictures from Louise Delange’s Instagram account and ask them to make guesses about her life. The point here is to see if students are going to focus on the party/holiday aspect of her life or on the alcohol she is holding.

After a few minutes, elicit ideas from the whole group, but don’t reveal the truth, even if students get close to it.

[Slide 3]

Show questions before playing the video to students. Give them a chance to compare answers before checking with the whole group. Afterwards, ask students if this was surprising.

There is an even better video available on Facebook, but those are harder to link to (and I have had problems playing them when the internet connection isn’t very good). You can find it here and use it with the same questions.

[Slide 4]

Show students the Guardian logo and set the gist task: read the text quickly and check how much overlap there is between the information presented in the video and in the article. Give students about two minutes for this and then let them compare answers.

After checking with the whole group, show students the specific questions. Give them more time to read the article again and, after pair-checking, correct answers with the whole group. It is a good idea here to ask students to justify their answers by pointing to sentences/words in the text.

The original article can be found here and my adapted version is below.


[Slide 5]

Get students together in new pairs/trios. Before discussing the questions, elicit the meaning of teetotaller.

When the discussion starts to die down, turn it into a whole class discussion and ask students to share their opinions.

[Slide 6]

Go over the pronunciation of the words in bold – they are likely to mispronounce gauge /ɡeɪdʒ/, so focus on that. Draw their attention to the catenation in ‘turn out’ and focus on the vowel sounds in ‘savvy’ and ‘boost’.

Get students to guess the meanings based on the context. If you’re working with B1 students, you may want to give them definitions to match. After a few minutes, elicit their ideas and ask CCQs to double check if students know what expressions mean.

[Slide 7]

In pairs, students answer conversation questions. Feel free to change the questions so that they are more suitable for your students. These were made with adult students in mind, but if you use it with adolescents, the focus needs to be different.

2 thoughts on “Like my Addiction: a conversation lesson

  1. Dear Ricardo, thank you for this lesson. I’ll adapt it to my B1 class (: just one thing: the Google Drive link is actually redirecting to the Dropbox one
    Have a nice week and enjoy your fatherhood!


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