Gen X vs. Millennials: a conversation lesson

Technology is a topic that I like talking about and that my students generally enjoy too. A couple of weeks ago I came across this article that said Generation Xers use more social media than Millennials. I found that quite surprising and thought it would be a good starting point for a conversation lesson.

Because I work mostly with adults, I tried to steer the conversation to work. If you decide to use this lesson with younger students, you may want to change the context a bit. I’d recommend this lesson to students who are  B2/C1, but you can also use it with B1 students. The video has no dialogues, but you will need to pre-teach some words in the text to make things easier.


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

[Slide 1]

Write the words Generation X and Millennials on the board and elicit what students know about them. After that, show the images and establish that Gen Y and Millenials are the same (for the purpose of this lesson anyway).

I wanted to have the pictures of both men and women for this slide, but couldn’t find them without watermarks. If watermarks don’t bother you, you can find similar pictures with women here.

If your students are thirty-something you can also use this video and ask students if they feel like they are firmly in the Gen Y/Millenials or in the middle of two generations.


Put students in pairs and move the discussion to the topic of work by showing these questions. Give them a few minutes to talk about it and then elicit answers from the whole group.


Show students two possible titles for the article they are going to read and ask them to guess the correct one.

a. Millenials More Addicted to Social Media Than Generation X, Report Finds

b. Generation X More Addicted to Social Media Than Millennials, Report Finds

Give students the text with the title folded and give them 30 seconds to read it and find out the answer. Take this chance to ask students if they are surprised by the findings.

Now show students the detailed questions and give them more time to read the text fully. Ask students to compare answers before checking with the whole class.

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



In new pairs or trios, ask students to discuss the questions. After getting feedback from the whole group, show students the results of a survey [Slide5] and ask students if they think results would be the same in their company.


Go over the pronunciation of the words in bold – You may want to focus on the th sound in tethered /ˈteðərd/  or the elision in second nature. Ubiquitous /juːˈbɪk.wɪ.təs/ is not an easy word to pronounce either, so you may want to do some back chain drilling to help students wrap their tongues around it.

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. Change the city in question four so that it fits your students. If your students are not Brazilians, you will need to change question 6 as well.

Thanks for reading.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s