Sky News (YouTube Channel), “Inside The $5bn Industry Of Child Beauty Pageants”

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The Video

Sky News reports on the growing industry of childhood beauty pageants. The controversy surrounding this often bizarre world is explored and questions connected with future body issues are raised by an expert.

This issue is bound to provoke a reaction from your class, but be careful with cultural sensitivities. The child and mother featured in the film are a full realization of the Honey Boo Boo stereotype and provide the all the drama you’d imagine.

Language Focus and Level

As a news story, the voice over to this video is an easily-understood gateway for intermediate level and above. Shari, the mother in this feature, has a thick Texas accent which could provide a challenge for more advanced students.

There is a large second conditional grammar section in the worksheet (below), which is ideally aimed at upper intermediate but could be used for high intermediate. Zero and first conditional are briefly covered but essentially the main content surrounds hypothetical situations and the extension activity requires the use of this grammar. 

The worksheet also includes small sections on the grammar connected with the verbs of the senses (she looks good, she looks like an adult…etc.) and the vocabulary used in the video.

Worksheet

thumb   Download the worksheet here: Sky News

Availability

Find the video over at YouTube.

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Sportsworld (BBC, UK), “Breaking Barriers in India”

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The Video

BBC Sportsworld travels to India to check out the first football tournament set up for women in India. We meet Bend it Like Beckham (Musical) and former Tottenham star Tanvie Hans, a local girl who gives us a unique insight into women’s sport in India.

Language Focus and Level

Unless your class has had a lot of practice with different accents, the Indian accents in this film could prove difficult for levels lower than Upper Intermediate. If you have students who are interested in global English and different accents, you could use the video with Intermediate students since the language is not in itself very complicated.

The worksheet below focuses on the often tricky grammar of will and going to to express the future. The video features much talk of the future of women’s sport in India providing great examples of how we use will and going to to make predictions with differing degrees of certainty.

Worksheet

thummb  Download the worksheet here: India

Availability

The video is available via the link below. Embedding restrictions mean you cannot watch directly on this page but it is freely available if you follow this link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0513f9j/player

Good Morning Britain (ITV, UK), “Dress Code Sexism”

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The Video

Since Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, his Celebrity Apprentice chum Piers Morgan has been stirring up controversy on Good Morning Britain, a breakfast magazine show in the UK.

Almost in perfect timing with Trump’s Dress Like a Woman  debacle, here Piers talks to Nicola Thorp, a woman who lost her job in a dispute over having to wear heels at work.

Language Focus and Level

Being a heated debate, this video is challenging on account of speed and the fact that the speakers sometimes talk over each other. The vocabulary used, however, is not that advanced and you could try this video with upper intermediate students and above.

The video is full of conditionals; zero conditional and second conditional are particularly prevalent and are highlighted in the worksheet below.

Also detailed in the worksheet, we have a section on the functional language of debates; agreeing/disagreeing, making a point etc. and a section on the pronunciation of the following phonemes:

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Worksheet

thumb  Download the worksheet here: Dress Code Sexism Worksheet

Availability

Watch the video over at YouTube.

Saturday Night Live (NBC, USA), “Trump Retweets”

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The Video

Part of a collection of popular Trump skits, Alec Baldwin nails a flamboyant Trump who is constantly retweeting during an important security briefing.

The video is designed for an adult audience with very mild cursing. A political piece which presents the president in a ridiculous light, some may be offended but the video will certainly open up a fiery discussion!

Level and Language Focus

The speed with which Trump speaks is relatively slow and could be used for a good intermediate, upper intermediate and, being quite short, could be used to open advanced classes.

The grammar focus of the worksheet is constructions using just to talk about actions which happened very recently: “I just retweeted a great tweet!”. The worksheet looks at the use of past simple and present perfect with just.

There is a pronunciation section to the worksheet which focuses on the following phonemes:

phonemes

There is vocabulary help available with the worksheet below and also the option of using subtitles via YouTube.

*The handout uses pronunciation based on Received Pronunciation, the accent of Standard English in the UK*

Worksheet

thumb Download the worksheet here: snl-trump-worksheet

Availability

Find the video on YouTube.

Upworthy (YouTube Channel), “Careers and Gender Roles”

 

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The Video(s)

The main offering is a thought-provoking video from Upworthy, a YouTube channel whose mission statement is to “tell stories that bring people together”. It is short but definitely has the power to stir up conversation; just a quick glance at the comments section shows how opinions differ on the topic of gender.

Also included here and on the worksheet is an activity connected to the Beyoncé song If I were a boy…

Level and Language Focus

The optimum level for these activities is intermediate, although, together with the song, there is still plenty for upper intermediate students to get out of these videos. The video itself is not too complicated, so with some selectivity when you come to the worksheet, you could use the video with certain, enthusiastic pre-intermediate students.

The worksheet focuses on second conditional grammar and there is also a lot of vocabulary connected to jobs/work/professions in the mix.

Worksheet 

thumb Find the worksheet here : gender

Availability

New York Times (YouTube Channel), “Why It’s Hard to Keep the Pounds Off”

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The Video

New York Times joins two previous winners of the reality series The Biggest Loser in their struggle to keep the extraordinary weight loss they achieved on the show up. The story is not all positive with experts offering support in the form of scientific theories why it is especially difficult to keep the pounds off.

Language Focus and Level

This video provides an easy to understand voice-over with more challenging, interview-style dialogue making it good for classes in which levels may vary. The video could be used with strong intermediate and upper intermediate classes.

In talking about their experience since the show, the couple use the present perfect simple and continuous and you can find activities connected to this in the worksheet below.

Worksheet

thumb A worksheet with accompanying activities is available here: The Biggest Loser

Availability

Watch the video via YouTube.

Inside Edition (YouTube Channel), “Twin Teens Celebrate Their Differences”

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The Video

Inside Edition is a newsmagazine with a popular YouTube channel. This story is about a set of English twins who have the curiosity of being born “one black, one white”. The news story is short and simple, and the girls  are upbeat and positive about their unique experience.

Level and Language Focus

The level of the video is perfect for intermediate classes. The worksheet below features a full transcript with vocabulary help so you could also consider the video for a strong pre-intermediate class.

A section of the worksheet is dedicated to talking about differences with focus on the word whereas.

Worksheet

tumb    Download the worksheet here: Twins

Availability

You can watch the video via YouTube.