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.
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.
You can download a free worksheet related to this episode featuring vocabulary and grammar activities here.
If you have access to Netflix, you may also find this episode is available through the service in certain countries.