Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central), “Mom Computer Therapy”

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The Clip

It’s situation few can’t relate to, Amy is in therapy trying to manage the stressful situation of having to help her mother use a computer. The clip is funny, inoffensive and full of computer-related vocabulary.

Level and Language Focus

Using the worksheet (provided below), the video is recommendable for an Intermediate or high Pre-Intermediate level class.

You could extend this activity by getting the students to write down their own computer problems using the vocabulary for inspiration and conducting a speaking activity where they solve each other’s problems.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:
Mom Computer Therapy (Right Click, Save Target As…)

Availability

You can view the video on YouTube.

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Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC, USA), “What is Your Password?”

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The Clip

In this humorous feature, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel’s crew hit the streets to see how many members of the general public will divulge their password to the world. We not only learn the passwords but find out just how generic the majority of them seem to be.

Level and Language Focus

This is a video that could be used with elementary and pre-intermediate groups, particularly if you start the video at 0:42 seconds cutting off the tricky beginning.

The worksheet is geared towards noting down personal information as a lot of the content of the video is slowly dictated. This being so the video would work well if you have a section in your book on the alphabet, dictation of email addresses/telephone numbers etc.

Worksheet

A worksheet can be found here:

Jimmy Kimmel (Right click, Save target as…)

 

Availability

You can view the video on YouTube

New York Times, “Small Plates”

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The Clip

A group of kids are taken to an exclusive New York restaurant to sample a tasting menu of seven dishes. The clip is quite charming, inoffensive and works well as a gentle opening to a class.

Level and Language Focus

The children use many examples of verbs of the senses (“This tastes like soap…”) to discuss the dishes. This grammar is usually introduced at B2 level although it should not be difficult for lower levels.

Children’s voices are generally a little more difficult to understand however, in this video, the language is pretty simple so you could show this video at Intermediate or Upper Intermediate.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:
Small Plates Worksheet (Right Click, Save Target As…)
A follow-up game based on the grammar of verbs of the senses is here:
Verbs of Senses Game (Right Click, Save Target As…)

Availability

You can view the video on YouTube and New York Times.

Father Ted (Channel 4, UK) – Going to America (Series 3, Episode 8)

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The Episode

Three catholic priests live together on a remote Irish island. A flashy American priest turns up in their parish and promises the title character, Ted, a new life full of riches in the States. The comedy arises from the fact that Ted’s two fellow priests and excitable house keeper presume they are invited on the adventure and Ted forever searching for the right moment to break the unhappy news.

The episode is especially useful if you have any students who are about to emigrate or even just go on holiday. The language focuses around future plans, preparations and includes a scene in the airport.

Level and Language Focus

The comedy is set in Ireland, an accent that could prove interesting to students who have never been exposed to it. There is also the American character, handy for giving some variety in terms of accent.

Some of the dialogue is quite fast and so recommended for Upper Intermediate classes and above. If you sign up to the free 4OD service you have the option of English subtitles.

An obvious language extension would be future tenses (going to vs. will).

Worksheet

A worksheet dealing with the tricky vocabulary in this episode is available here: Father Ted Going to America Worksheet (Right click, Save Target As…)

Availability

The episode can be viewed via the Channel Four 4OD service here (with optional subtitles).

It can also be found on YouTube and Daily Motion.

If you have access to Netflix, you may also find this episode is available through the service in certain countries.

  

 

The Wright Stuff (Channel 5, UK) – Alternative Lifestyles

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The Clip

This is a UK morning debate programme in which “celebrity” guests, audience members and viewers discuss stories from the day’s news. This specific item concerns a city banker who gave up his London flat to live in the woods for a year. Starting with a short interview, the piece goes on to include opinions from the celebrity panel and viewers via the phone.

Level and Language Focus

The clip is good for learners as they have to listen to the studio interview, which is fairly easy to understand but then have the challenge of the phone callers, which is great practice for those who use the phone a lot in English.

With the vocabulary help provided by the worksheet below, the video could be used in an Upper Intermediate class, Pre-Advanced and Advanced level classes should also find the video stimulating with “part 2” proving particularly challenging.

Worksheet

A worksheet featuring some of the difficult vocabulary is available here: Alternative Lifestyles (Right click, Save Target As…)

A follow up activity to practice tenses is also available here: Alternative Lifestyle Role Card (Right click, Save Target As…)

Availability

The clip can be viewed on YouTube, part 1 and part 2.

 

 

Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central) – Listen Alert

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The Clip

A short sketch (2:17) from the show Inside Amy Schumer. It features a spoof-advert for a telephone helpline set up for people who like to talk endlessly about their own lives. Unlike many of her sketches, this Amy Schumer snippet is 100% clean and inoffensive.

Level and Language Focus

There is plenty of language to be studied from the clip mainly centred around telling and listening to problems.

Some grammar ideas to come from this include should have and third conditionals (see worksheet below).

Worksheet

A specially designed worksheet featuring grammar and vocabulary activities based on the video is available here:

Inside Amy Schumer (Right click, Save Target As…)

Availability

The official Comedy Central clip can be viewed on YouTube.

 

Miranda (BBC) – Teacher (Series 1, Episode 2)

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The Series

Miranda is a British sitcom by BBC which centres around the life of the title character, a 30-something unlucky in life and in love. Its main themes are relationships, friendships and embarrassing social situations. The age-rating for the series is 15 and although fairly inoffensive, it is suitable for more mature audiences due to it preoccupation with sex and frequent use of sexual innuendo. In my experience the series works well in the ESL classroom as it draws heavily on slapstick comedy rather than complicated word-play.

The Episode

In this episode Miranda and her sidekick decide to attend a French class in order to improve their romantic prospects. The French teacher ends up being one of Miranda’s old school teachers so she joins a salsa dancing class instead. Miranda’s friend then starts a relationship with the teacher and Miranda must confront head-on her hang ups about sex and her former teacher.

Students respond well to the episode as it centres around the idea of attending a language class. The episode also features many different national stereotypes which can be developed into a class discussion which works especially well in a mixed nationality class.

Level and Language Focus

I would recommend this episode, depending on its presentation, for  high-intermediate to advanced classes.

The themes in the episode lead quite nicely into a discussion about national stereotypes.

Passive constructions (It is said that…, X are said to be…) can be used very effectively to discuss stereotypes. These type of constructions are usually introduced at level B2 (Upper Intermediate) although a good intermediate class should have no problems with their construction.

Worksheet

You can download a free worksheet related to this episode featuring vocabulary and grammar activities here.

Miranda Worksheet (Right click, Save As…)

Availability

You can find the episode most easily on Netflix (UK). It is also usually available on sites such as Vimeo, Daily Motion and YouTube.

If you have access to Netflix, you may also find this episode is available through the service in certain countries.