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
I started the blog almost two years ago (June 2015). During that first month I had 300 visitors and 700 page views. Last month there were more than 3 thousand visitors and 7 thousand page views. In between I published 99 posts including conversation and grammar lessons, posts about the CELTA and the DELTA as well as topics such as error correction, feedback, teacher development and pronunciation.
Post number one hundred will be a sad one, however. My first son will be born next month and tgetting ready for fatherhood is taking up all of my free time. So this will be my last post for a little while. I’m planning on writing again in August, but that will depend entirely on how busy I’m then, which I can’t be sure at this moment.
In order to get you through this period I have selected some older posts that may be worth exploring. I’ve put them together in a series of top 5 lists for a total of 20 posts you can read if you miss my writing.
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.
Technology is a topic that I like talking about and that my students generally enjoy too. A couple of weeks ago I came across this article that said Generation Xers use more social media than Millennials. I found that quite surprising and thought it would be a good starting point for a conversation lesson.
Because I work mostly with adults, I tried to steer the conversation to work. If you decide to use this lesson with younger students, you may want to change the context a bit. I’d recommend this lesson to students who are B2/C1, but you can also use it with B1 students. The video has no dialogues, but you will need to pre-teach some words in the text to make things easier.