6-hour workday: a business conversation lesson.

The length of workday has been a hot topic in Brazil lately and I thought contrasting Brazil’s proposal (having a 12-hour workday) with what has been happening in Sweden (experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of a 6-hour workday).

This is a lesson better suited to adults, but if you have a mixed group (adults and adolescents) you can get the younger students to compare workdays with how long their school days are.

The text has been shortened a little and you can use the material with B1+ students. If you are working with intermediate students, do remember to use the close captions available in the video – they are generally pretty accurate.


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Star Wars: The Force Awakens – A conversation lesson

I have recently discovered that one of my one-to-one students is a big Star Wars buff. I had been promising him to have a Star Wars-themed lesson for the past few weeks and the week after Thanksgiving was perfect for it.

Why so, you may ask? It turns out that Thanksgiving weekend in the USA is a big date not only for eating turkey and shopping but also to advertise your blockbuster film. Because of that, new videos and articles were published and those were ideal for the type of lesson I like to teach.

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Taylor Swift vs. Apple Music

It seems to me that Taylor Swift has taken over the news this week, and not because she put Ed Sheeran in the friend zone. I have seen her being called both a saviour and a hypocrite and a lot of things in between.

I teach a pair of 18-year-old students (B2) who are really into pop music and this sounds exactly like a topic they would be interested in. However, I think this lesson would be well suited for a conversation classes in general.

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Talking about drugs in an English lesson

I’ve recently left my job at an English Institute and started teaching more and more private students. One of the things this has allowed me to do is tackle topics that I might not have been able to in the past. Inspired by 52 I started keeping an eye out for thought-provoking articles that I could use with some of my students. Then I came across an article from The Economist, which is one of my favourite sources of authentic texts, discussing the liberalization of marijuana in the United States. That was exactly what I was looking for. Continue reading