Starbucks vs. Trump’s immigrant ban: a conversation lesson

So, I’m finally back posting a conversation lesson since December. The reason I didn’t post any lessons in January is twofold. I was busy with an intensive CELTA course (my first time as a Main Course tutor, no less), but more than that, I just didn’t teach that many lessons.

Trump is someone I imagine will provide fodder for many classes in the next few years, and his first few actions as president are a good example of that. My Facebook timeline was full of articles and opinions on the ban. In addition to that, there were some really nice Super Bowlo commercials that motivated me to create this lesson.

As it is almost always the case, this is aimed at adult students but can be used with adolescents in the 15-17 range too, as they are likely interested in world news and may be able to discuss it. I’d recommend this to B1 and B2 students, as the vocabulary from the text is not too complex and the video has very good subtitles.

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

[Slide 1]

Show Trump’s picture and ask students to discuss the questions in pairs. During feedback, board their ideas of why Trump has been on the news.

[Slide 2]

Tell students They are going to watch a video about Trump. As a gist task, students need to pay attention if any of the things they mentioned in the previous discussion appear in the video. After that, show the detailed questions and play the video again.Pair check and do a whole class feedback.

You can expand this stage by asking students their opinion about the last question and if they think it’s a good idea for a president to have business in foreign countries.

[Slide 3]

Show students the AirBnB logo and ask them what kind of company this is. You can find more out about it here.

Tell students they are going to watch a TV commercial for AirBnB. Give students 30′ to a minute to brainstorm what they expect to see in the commercial. Play it once and then ask students if it met their expectations or not.

[Slide 4]

Put students in pairs or trios and show them the follow-up question. Allow for some discussion and then conduct a whole class feedback.

[Slide 5]

Tell students they are going to read about another company that has spoken up about the refugee/immigration issue. Show the headline to students and clarify the word ‘to vow‘.

Give students 60’ to read the text and decide if the reaction to it was positive, negative or mixed. Let students compare answers and then discuss them with the whole group.

Now show students the detailed question and give them more time to read the text. Again, pair-check and conduct feedback with the whole class.

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


[Slide 6]

In new pairs or trios, show students the follow-up questions and give them some time for discussion before opening it up for the whole class. If your students are not Brazilian, change the second question to ‘your country’.

If you want to spice things up, you can also ask students if they think Trump is right or have a role play where some students pretend to be Trump supporters while others are against him.

[Slide 7]

Go over the pronunciation of the words in bold – You may want to focus on the different pronunciation of the verb advocate /ˈæd.və.keɪt/ and the noun /ˈæd.və.ket/. In addition, draw their attention to the catenation in ‘an issue’.

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 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.

2 thoughts on “Starbucks vs. Trump’s immigrant ban: a conversation lesson

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