Brazil’s meat scandal: a conversation lesson

If you live in Brazil you have certainly had a conversation about the meat scandal that made the news last Friday. It stands to reason that students will have conversations about the same topic if they work for multinational companies or if they have foreign friends.

With that in mind, I choose this topic to provide students with vocabulary to talk about this topic in English. This is aimed at adult students who are B2 or C1. You may need to adapt the text further or pre-teach more vocabulary if you want to use it with B1 students.


The steps below are based on a presentation you can get here. This is my first time creating the presentation using Google Slides rather than PowerPoint. Let me know if works.

[Slide 1]

Show students the picture and elicit ideas from students. If students come up with barbecue or the Brazilian meat scandal, show them all three questions and put students in pairs to discuss them. If they say something else, guide them to the topic before showing the conversation questions.

[Slide 2]

Tell students they are going to read an article from Bloomberg about the Brazilian meat scandal. Yoy may want to pre-teach the words in blue (tainted/spoiled/rotten) that are used to describe meat in the article.

Tell students they only have 50 seconds to read the text and they have to decide if this is article is positive, negative or neutral in its description of the situation.

After 50′ let students compare answers and then check it with the whole group. Make sure you ask the to justify their opinions. Students can likely argue it’s either negative or neutral, depending on the point of view.

After that, show students slide 2 with detailed questions. Give them more time to read the text (2-3 minutes) and let them compare answers again before checking with the whole group.

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

Brazil’s latest scandal (Bloomberg)


[Slide 3]

Put students in trios or small groups. Show them follow-up questions and give students time to discuss them. Board their ideas for the last questions, as they are going to be used in the next step.


[Slide 4]

Tell students they are going to watch a video discussing the consequences of the scandal.
They should watch and check if any of their ideas are mentioned.

Let students compare answers and then check with the whole group. Now show questions on slide 4 and play the video again.

As a follow-up, ask students if they think these bans can affect other industries as well.

[Slide 5]

Go back to the text and go over the pronunciation of the words in bold – You may want to focus on the different words that have a /ai/ sound (bribe, abide, comply, and reliable). Also, draw students attention to the schwa sound in the first syllable of pursue /pɚˈsuː/.

Get students to guess the meanings based on the context or 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 6]

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 “Brazil’s meat scandal: a conversation lesson

  1. Hey Ricardo, howdy?
    The file works just fine. As for the lesson, I´ll teach it this Friday, then I´ll let you know. 🙂
    Thanks a bunch!


  2. Hi Ricardo!
    Came back for the feedback, as promised in Facebook (BrELT group).
    I taught your lesson last Saturday and it went great.

    In the presentation, slide 6 has a typo: “3. Is is difficult to abide by all the rules and laws in Brazil?”

    Thank you very much for sharing these with us!


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