DNA Journey: a conversation lesson

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.

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Casey Affleck and International Women’s day: a conversation lesson

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.

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Starbucks vs. Trump’s immigrant ban: a conversation lesson

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.

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Like my Addiction: a conversation lesson

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.

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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).

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Paralympics: a conversation lesson

I had wanted to have a lesson about the Paralympics for a couple of weeks now, but hadn’t been able to find an article or video to do it. Then Cecilia Nobre shared a video on Facebook entitled ‘it’s time to stop calling disabled people inspirational’ and I thought that was an interesting way to approach it.

This lesson could be used with adults or adolescents who are B2+ but with some support this lesson could also be adapted to B1 students.

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Burkini Ban: a conversation lesson

The burkini ban created some outrage last week and I thought it would be a good topic for a conversation lesson. The text I chose also touches on the subject of politics, which can be a good segue to talk about other events in Brazil.

This was originally used with a group of C1/C2 teachers, but I have shortened the text. Still, some of the language used in the text is complex and I’d recommend you use it with B2+ students. This discussion is also more appropriate for a group of adults or young adults.

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