Thanksgiving: a conversation lesson

Many of the lessons I post on the blog are things I come across during the previous week, reacting to things that are happening in the world or to things I read or watch. This one, however, had been waiting in the wings for a while.

Although Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Brazil, most people who study English know about it, because of how often it is depicted in American films and TV series. I thought this text, which focuses on family, would be an ideal way to talk about it.

This lesson is aimed at adult students who are B1 and above. I haven’t tried using it with adolescents, but if you do, make sure you change the questions in the last slide.

large_thanksgiving-owls

Continue reading

Doing things alone: a conversation lesson

I think I’ve said it before, but one of the biggest sources of inspiration for the lessons I post here is Facebook. So many of my friends are teachers and they are always sharing interesting articles and ideas. This lesson is no different, based on something Isabela Villas Boas shared a week or so ago.

Personally, I’m a fan of doing things alone, but I wanted to find out how my students felt about it. This is aimed at  adults and young adults who are B2 or higher. However, much like other lessons, some pre-teaching of vocabulary would make this accessible to B1 students as well.

Redhead woman sitting alone in cinema

Continue reading

Life before the internet: a conversation lesson

A couple of weeks ago I read an article on Facebook describing the last generation that remembers life before the internet. Most of my adult students belong to that group (as do I), so I thought  this could lead to some interesting conversation.

This lesson is aimed at students who are 30 or older, but if you have a classroom with a mix of students where about half of them are over 30, this could also work well. In that case, you probably want to pair people up in such a way that they can share their different experiences.

bhwb9wjcyaes2qj

Continue reading

A vocabulary lesson based on Glee

Some weeks ago BrELT organized its first online event, the BrELT Queer Day. During one of the talks I told my friend Thiago Veigga about the first time I remembered bringing up the topic of sexuality with my students. I did a little digging recently and it turns out it was in 2011, using an episode of Glee.

The lesson’s main  aim was vocabulary, but the pre and post watching activities ended up being very interesting and leading to some very interesting conversation. Initially, this lesson was given to a group of young adults who were at university (19-22-year-olds), but it can also be used with younger or older students by changing the questions slightly. I’d recommend this for students who are B2 or higher. If you have access to the original episode with subtitles, that would work with B1 students as well.

Finally, for this lesson, I’m going to try out writing the post in a similar way to what Cecila Nobre has been doing on her blog (which you should definitely check out by the way).

Continue reading

Ryan Lochte: a conversation lesson

The Olympic games are the gift that keeps on giving for conversation lessons. Although the games ended two weeks ago, they are still being talked about and we now have the Paralympic games starting tomorrow.

The Ryan Lochte story interests me firstly because I like swimming, but also because it’s so crazy that you almost end up believing it (as in, nobody would be that stupid and entitled, would they?).

This lesson can be used with students who are B1+, but there are follow-up activities for C1 students as well.

Continue reading

Ethical Living: a conversation lesson.

Living ethically is something I have been thinking about recently, particularly how difficult it can be to do good things when you are aware of the consequences of your actions.

I found an article that reflected my opinions on the topic and a new lesson came out of it. This is better suited for adults and young adults, although I imagine some adolescent students who are mature for their age or who are interested in environmentalism will appreciate it too.

Continue reading

Orlando Shooting: a conversation lesson

Although the events that took place in Orlando this past weekend were horrific, I think they are worth discussing with students. From a language perspective, much like the topic of impeachment, things like terrorism, homophobia and gun laws have frequently come up in the news recently. An important part of conversation lessons is to empower students to talk about these.

This is a lesson that can be used with both adolescents and adults, as this is a subject I believe everybody can benefit from discussing and being better informed about.

Continue reading