Brazil’s meat scandal: a conversation lesson

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.

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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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Tiny apartments: a conversation lesson

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.

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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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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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