Embarrassing situations

Again twitter served as inspiration for a lesson. I read this article on facebook and I thought, why not? So I captured some of the tweets I found more interesting for my B2 students and designed the activity. To summarize, this blogger posted an anecdote about an embarrassing situation she had lived that day, and her followers started filling her timeline with similar anecdotes, and the result was hilarious.


First I told them the story that you can read here, and then I showed them the answers that people posted on twitter. Then we shared some similar anecdotes with the whole class, just to see that they had understood what they had to do.

After explaining what they had to do, they posted their anecdotes on the secret facebook group we have, and they did it using their mobile devices in class. At the same time, I displayed the group using the projector, so that those without internet access could see what was happening. This tiny group of students without internet access also posted their anecdotes using the device of a mate or the class pc.

The final step was commenting on their mates’ anecdotes, asking questions, etc.


Emotional Interview

This is a fun activity, ideal to practise intonation and to discover that not only our words can be used to convey meaning. And it includes Jimmy Fallon and Amy Schumer, what else can you ask for?

I think this activity can be used from B1 onwards and the only materials you need are the slides and the video below. I didn’t use the whole video, I decided to omit the part of the birthday and being horny and scared.


Show your students the first slides before watching the video and make sure they understand all the words. If they don’t, help them with mimic.


Play the video and ask them to pay attention to how they change their pitch, their intonation, their speed when talking, etc.


Now it’s their turn, ask them to do the same, starting a conversation with a topic they choose, and using the same tools they characters on the video use.


Now that they are finished you can select different couples to repeat what they did. I recommend you walk around them to monitor their performance during the activity so that you can choose different couples for this last part of the activity.

I did this in class 2 weeks ago and it was hilarious, they could’t stop laughing and they really involved themselves in the activity.

Eating processed meat

A couple of weeks ago the WHO surprised us saying that eating processed meat increases the risk of suffering bowel cancer and placed these products in their list of unrecommended foods.

When I came across this piece of news I decided to use it in class. It’s a short video and it provides lots of interesting information. Before watching it we can ask students some questions about this issue to see what they already know. At the end we can discuss if we think they’re right, or if we are following their advice.


The Influence of New Technologies on the English Language

I’ve always been fascinated by David Crystal, by language, by linguistics, and by new technologies and this activity comprises all these elements. Can I be happier?

The activity is divided into three parts: pre-watching, watching, and follow-up. It involves all four skills and different kinds of interactions among students. I haven’t put it into practice yet, but I’m sure that my students, who are mostly teachers, will love it.

LEVEL: B2 and above

TIME 90-120 minutes

MATERIALS: videos, photocopies (everything linked in the handout)

If you do it, I would enjoy reading the results in the comments section. 🙂

Click below to download the handout. First you’ll find the students version and then the teacher’s notes.

Lesson Plan Language and Technology

Say something nice

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This is a speaking activity based on a video. I love this activity because it’s the kind of activity that creates a nice atmosphere in class and evokes positive feelings.

LEVEL: intermediate and above

MATERIALS: the video below

TIME: 25′ approx



Play the beginning and stop at 00:18. Ask where they think this people are and what they think it’s going to happen.


Then I play some more seconds till they read “say something nice”. Ask them to guess who is going to say something nice, and what “something nice” means.


Watch the video until the end. Discuss with your students if they liked it or not, if they think these events can make a change and what we could do to make a better world.


Give them a couple of minutes to think what they would say, then ask them to stand up and say their sentence.

Leonardo Di Caprio’s speech at 2014 Climate Summit

The moment I saw this video I knew I had to do something with it. This year I have a group of B2 learners (teachers and non-teachers) and this week we are dealing with the environmet, so it’s the perfect moment.

The activity consists of a couple of pre-listening questions about Leo and the climate change, a set of questions about the contents of his speech, and some follow-up questions to extend the ideas this great actor presents in his speech. The acitivity is not very elaborate, but I think the speech deserves a space in my class.

Click here download the worksheet.


UPDATE: Leo at the UNO again. April 2016.