I’ve been teaching a group of teachers since last year, and they are my only group at the moment (mostly of what I do is either teacher training or exam preparation).
The good thing is I really enjoy working with them, which means I pick the topics of the lessons carefully and try hard to make them interesting. I think this particular lesson hit the mark.
This is aimed at B2/C1 adult students, but you may be able to adapt it to both lower levels (by pre-teaching language from the text) or younger students (by changing the focus of the follow-up conversation questions)
For the first time in more than a year I finally have the chance to write for the blog. The feeling is bittersweet, though, as I have just heard Claudio Azevedo, author of Movie Segments to Assess Grammar Goals and one of my inspirations when I started blogging, has passed away. Sad day for ELT ☹
This is a lesson I taught to a group of B2/C1 adult students, but you may be able to adapt it to both lower levels (by pre-teaching language from the text) or younger students (by changing the focus of the conversation questions)
image created by Javi_indy – Freepik.com
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.
My wife sent me a video some weeks ago that I knew would be able to generate some interesting conversation. However, at the time, I couldn’t come up with an idea for a text for it and just saved it for future use.
Yesterday I came across the video again, this time on Facebook, and remembered having read something about Trump coming from an immigrant family. I put two and two together and a conversation lesson was born.
This is aimed at adult students, but could easily be used with teenagers who are 15-18, or any group that you think is mature enough to deal with the idea of heritage.
At this time last year, I posted a lesson about the International Women’s Day. I wanted to tackle the same theme this year but wasn’t sure how to go about it. And then the Oscar happened.
Now, for most people, the most memorable moment of the Oscar was the fumbled best picture award, but I was more interested in the controversy surrounding Casey Affleck’s win. Then Audrey Duarte shared a very interesting article on the topic and my mind was off to the races.
This lesson is aimed at adult students but it can also be used with young adults. The level is aimed at B2-C1 both because of the length of the text and its vocabulary.
Finally, if you liked this lesson you may also want to check out this one about Hollywood Whitewashing.
I have a friend who is apartment hunting at the moment and every week she complains about how small and expensive apartments have become. This reminded me of a story I had seen on Facebook a while back about really tiny apartments in Asia. I thought to myself this could be a good topic for a conversation lesson.
This lesson is aimed at adult students, but could work with adolescents if they are looking to move out of their parents’ house to go to university (which is very common in Jundiaí, as 17-year-olds go to bigger cities to attend university). The vocabulary in the text is not particularly difficult, so this can be used with B1-B2 students. Consider using subtitles for the video if your students are not used to a British accent, though.
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.
If you are still teaching this week, as I am, it likely means you have business students. At least in Brazil most regular classes have wrapped up in preparation for the holidays.
Because fo that, I have decided to post a business lesson I’m using with my last few students this week. I personally hate talking on the phone, so I saw myself in the article and thought it made for some great discussions of business practices. This is aimed at adult students who are B1 or B2.
As a side note, this will be the last lesson posted this year, so thanks everyone for stopping by and spreading the word about the blog.
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.
I’m a big word nerd and I usually pay attention to dictionary news. About a year ago I posted a lesson on the topic of new words that had been added to the Oxford Online Dictionary. I’m also interested in which words different dictionaries pick as their ‘word of the year’ and a couple of weeks ago my friend Debora Schisler shared an article on Facebook on this topic. And thus a lesson was born. 🙂
Now, this one is aimed at advanced students, both because of the length of the text and because some of the words mentioned in the article are very abstract, which may cause difficulties for lower level students. Age-wise, I have used it with both adults and teenagers and both had a lot to say about post-truth, which is definitely relevant about the political moment in Brazil.