On Demand News (YouTube Channel), “Plastic-shirt-wearing Messi superfan gets a signed shirt”

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The Video

This is a short news feature about a young boy from Afghanistan who fashioned an Argentinian national team football shirt from a blue and white striped plastic bag inspired by his hero Leo Messi. The boy, who is from a deprived area, went viral eventually leading to Messi together with Unicef sending the boy the real article, much to his delight.

This is a short video at just over one minute. It might be a nice introduction to a class with the theme of sport or possibly, charity. Having much experience of using textbooks which feature a unit on sport, much to the disgruntlement of half the class, this video is connected to sport yet still enjoyable for the less sporty amongst us.

Level and Language Focus

The narration of the video is fairly slow and with the use of the worksheet below providing vocabulary support, the video could be used for a good pre-intermediate, intermediate or upper intermediate class.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:
Mini Messi Worksheet (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.
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On Demand News (YouTube Channel), Nelson Mandela Tribute

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The Video

This is a six-minute tribute to Nelson Mandela from online news source ODN.

The clip gives a short narration of Mandela’s long journey from his first TV interview in 1961, his incarceration and through to his success as South African President. Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu, Annie Lennox and Will Smith all provide fitting tributes.

Level and Language Focus

The narration in the video is fairly slow and easy to follow, the vocabulary a little more challenging. It would work well in an intermediate or upper intermediate class, and you could consider it for a good pre-intermediate class with a little more support.

The main language focus of the video is past simple and could provide a good introduction if you are reviewing past tenses. Using the worksheet below, you can practise vocabulary associated with characteristics and adjectives to describe personality.

A good follow on activity would be to have students prepare their own tribute to someone who has inspired them in order to give presentations in a future class.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:
Nelson Mandela handout (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

Watch the video over at YouTube.

Ric Elias (TED.com), 3 Things I Learned While My Plane Crashed

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The Video

Ric Elias had a front-row seat on Flight 1549, the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York in January 2009. What went through his mind as the doomed plane went down? At TED, he tells his story publicly for the first time.

As you can imagine, the content of the video is quite weighty and the speaker asks some searching questions. If your class do not know each other too well then they may not want to share some of the more personal information that may arise in discussion of the topics raised.

Level and Language Focus

The language of the video is not too difficult and would be suitable for levels starting low intermediate to upper intermediate. If your student(s) have a good vocabulary base, the video could even be used with pre-intermediate if subtitles are used.

The worksheet below includes an activity involving hypothetical situations past and present, the main focus being the use of the verb wish and the associated grammar.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:
TED Bucket List (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

You can watch the video on the TED.com website with the added benefit of subtitles (in an array of languages) and a full transcript.

You can also watch the video over at YouTube.

Would I Lie To You? (BBC, UK) Truth or Lie?

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The Videos

The programme is a British comedy panel show in which celebrities tell largely unbelievable anecdotes with the objective being that the other team, after a bout of heavy questioning, guess the validity of the story.

The three celebrities in these clips are The Daily Show star Trevor Noah, broadcasting favourite Sir Terry Wogan and last-but-not-least Des O’Connor.

The three clips are light-hearted and suitable for adult classes, or could be used in most teenage classes.

Level and Language Focus

The activity Two Truths, One Lie is always  a good ice-breaker activity on the first day of term etc.. With the videos (spoiler alert!) being two truths and one lie, you could use them to introduce the activity in class or as a follow-on. Caution, however, is advised using these videos with a class you have never met before as the general level needs to be quite high, not great if you have no knowledge of their strengths or if they are a little rusty after a long summer holiday. The activity doesn’t only need to be presented as an ice-breaker; you could use the two truths, one lie activity at any point to review/introduce a grammar point providing the three statements utilize said grammar. One obvious grammar point connected to the three videos would be past tense(s) and/or used to and would for past habits.

Recommended levels for these videos are good intermediate, upper intermediate and pre advanced.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:
Would I Lie To You ESL (Right Click, Save As…)

 

Availability

All the videos are available on YouTube: Trevor Noah, Terry Wogan and Des O’Connor

Room 101 (BBC, UK), Selected Clips

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The Videos

Room 101 is a BBC comedy series in which celebrities are invited to discuss their pet hates and persuade the host to put them in Room 101–the place where the world’s most foul evils are stored.

The four clips feature the popular UK comedians Ross Noble, Jason Manford, Phill Jupitus and Jack Whitehall. The show is clean, inoffensive and suitable for adult or teenage classes.

Level and Language Focus

The videos are a rewarding challenge for good upper intermediate groups, and are perfect for pre advanced and advanced classes.

The worksheet below looks at phrasal verbs using the particles “up” and “down” in relation to the video.

Worksheet

Find a worksheet connected to these videos here:

Phrasal Verbs Room 101 Worksheet (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

All the videos are available on YouTube: 1, 2, 3 & 4.

 

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC, USA), Donald Trump Interviews Himself

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The Video

Chat show host Jimmy Fallon dresses up as Donald Trump for this sketch in which Fallon conducts a spoof-interview with the man himself; the real Donald Trump.

This is a comedy video in which Trump is able to laugh along with Fallon’s cartoonish portrayal of him. There is nothing offensive in the video and it is suitable for all adult or possibly teenage audiences.

Level and Language Focus

The video can be used with levels intermediate and above. The vocabulary used is fairly basic but there are a few moments where the speech speeds up.

During the interview, Trump talks about policies he will introduce if he becomes president. Using the worksheet below, you could use this video to teach future tenses and forms and the first conditional.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:

Availability

You can view the video on YouTube.

Self- Study
A riddle quiz is available here:
riddle

The Late Late Show (CBS, USA) – Alanis Morissette Updates ‘Ironic’ Lyrics

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The Video

Chat show host James Corden invites Alanis Morissette to perform a 21st century version of her classic “Ironic” featuring references to racist Facebook friends, electronic cigarette breaks, having a house full of DVDs and getting Netflix and many more.

The lyrics include a few America-specific references, but with the help of the worksheet below the video is universal enough to appeal to audiences worldwide.

Level and Language Focus

The video could be used in intermediate, upper intermediate or pre advanced classes although it may prove a little easy for the latter.

One possible grammar extension is to use situations in the song to practice the third conditional as detailed in the worksheet below. This could then easily be extended to mixed conditionals if it is on your syllabus.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:

Availability

You can view the video on YouTube.