Making new friends: a conversation lesson

Hi, everyone

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)

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image created by Javi_indy – Freepik.com

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Gen X vs. Millennials: a conversation lesson

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.

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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.

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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.

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A Halloween conversation lesson for adults

It’s that time of the year again. If you are into Halloween there are a plethora of materials out there. For starters, you may want to check out the vocabulary lessons I posted last year. In addition to that, check out Eduardo de Freitas’ materials. He has Halloween lessons for all levels with great handouts. Finally, if you are looking for a reading Halloween lesson for advanced students give Beatriz Solino’s blog a go.

As for my lesson today, I feel like adults are often ignored during Halloween, as teachers are worried about activities for children and pre-teens. With this in mind, this is a conversation lesson to be used with adults or young adults – better to be safe and do it with students who are over 18, as the topic of the text may be sensitive.

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Gender diversity at work: a conversation lesson

I have only ever worked as an English teacher, and maybe because of that, my initial thoughts about gender diversity at work are biased. Along the years, most of my co-workers and bosses have been women (7 of the coordinators/managers I have worked with directly were women and only two were men).

However, when talking to students in other professions, I realised that their reality is the complete opposite of that. So, when I found an article that touched on this issue, I thought it would generate some interesting discussion with my students.

This lesson is aimed at adult students who are B1+. I could be wrong, but I’m not sure adolescents, regardless of their level, would have much to say about it.

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Commuting: a business conversation lesson

I have been going to São Paulo once a week for the past year. Because of that, the topic of commuting has been on my mind quite frequently and I thought it would be a good topic for a conversation lesson.

This is a lesson aimed at adult students, particularly those who deal with long commutes. However, I have also used it successfully with students that have short commutes. The former get to think whether their life-choices are worth it while the latter get asked what would take for them to give their short commutes.

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