Cameron Russell, (TED, ted.com), “Looks Aren’t Everything”

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The Video

Model Cameron Russell delivers a frank take on her industry, dispelling myths that we would all be happier if only we were a little skinnier. Perhaps the best part of the talk is when Russell deconstructs the tricks of the glamour world, showing us personal photos taken on the same days as sleek, professional snaps.

The talk has racked up over 10 million views on YouTube, 16 million on TED and would prove interesting to both a male and female audience. There is a professional tilt to the talk and the worksheet below extrapolates the language of giving presentations. There is also an extension task were you can set your student(s) up to give their own presentations on their respective industries.

Language Focus and Level

The main bulk of the talk is delivered in a clear, easily understandable manner and would be suitable for upper intermediate and above. There is extra vocabulary help included in the worksheet (below) and you always have the option of subtitles either through ted.com or YouTube.

There is a section in the worksheet dedicated to conditionals and how they can be used in presentations.

Worksheet

thumb  Download the worksheet here: Cameron Russell

Availability

You can access the video either through ted.com or YouTube.

 

Amanda Palmer (TED.com), “The Art of Asking”

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The Video

This is a TED talk by alternative musician Amanda Palmer, most famous for her work with the band The Dresden Dolls. Palmer talks through the rise of her band and how they came to use crowd funding to release their music.

This video will obviously appeal most to music fans, but the crowd funding-model itself could provide an interesting discussion.

You could use this video in conjunction with New English File (Oxford), Upper Intermediate, Unit 9A, especially the Would You Pass the Bagel Test? article as the idea of honest contribution and “The Art of Asking”, is common to both.

Level and Language Focus

There is a lot of vocabulary in this video that students below upper intermediate level may find too much of a challenge, so this is definitely a video only suitable for upper intermediate students and above.

Inspired by the theme of asking, the worksheet below features a grammar section on the functional language of asking, specifically the use of the infinitive in constructions like “I would like you to do me a favor…”

Worksheet

thumb.JPG Find the free worksheet to accompany this video here: The Art of Asking.

Availability 

Watch the video on YouTube or directly from the TED website (subtitles available on both). A transcript is also available through the TED website.

watchwellcast (YouTube Channel), “How to Be More Confident”

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The Video

“You can’t always get what you want…but you can try!” watchwellcast tells us. This short but informative video gives a few helpful tips on making ourselves heard and our needs recognised. A light-hearted animation and humorous content makes the subject easily accessible and stimulating to all, especially those who need an injection of  confidence in their speaking.

Level and Language Focus

The speed and level of vocabulary make this video good for intermediate and upper intermediate levels. There are some tricky words but these are covered in the worksheet below.

A possible grammar extension you can teach using the worksheet is to look at constructions which use the infinitive, for example I want you to…, I need you to…, I would like you to… to form assertive statements and then conduct role-plays.

Worksheet

thumb Get your free worksheet here (Right Click, Save As…): watchwell worksheet.

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.

Nilofer Merchant (TED.com), “Got a Meeting? Take a Walk”

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The Video

Nilofer Merchant suggests a small idea that just might have a big impact on your life and health: next time you have a one-on-one meeting, make it into a “walking meeting” — and let ideas flow while you walk and talk.

With over two million views on TED.com alone, this video speaks to everybody, especially professionals who maybe spend a little too long in the office.

Level and Language Focus

This video can be used with either intermediate or upper intermediate classes. As with most TED talks, the speaker presents in a clear manner which is not too difficult to understand plus you have the added bonus of subtitles and a transcript if needed.

During the talk, Merchant uses a wide array of tenses past, present and future. One idea for a grammar extension is to use the worksheet below to do a complete tense review of the majority of the tenses needed at B1/B2 level-it’s one way of dealing with the student who claims they want to learn “all the tenses”!

Worksheet

thumb ws  Find the accompanying worksheet here: Merchant WS

You can also access a copy of the transcript through the TED link below.

Availability

The video is available on TED.com or YouTube.

Jamie’s Dream School (Channel 4, UK) “Alvin Hall’s Guide to Making a Million”

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The Video

TV chef Jamie Oliver invites American financial adviser Alvin Hall to deliver a maths class to inspire a group of under-performing high school teenagers. Hall tells the kids about his hard upbringing and his rise to financial success through self-discipline. Will this story inspire the teens to realise their dreams of one day making a million pounds?

Level and Language Focus

Hall’s diction is slow and clear, and the video should be accessible to learners with a level of intermediate and above.

You can use the worksheet below to introduce the grammar topic of hypothetical situations including the second conditional and the construction I wish…

The video is full of money vocabulary and could be used as an introduction to this important topic.

As the lesson takes place in a high school classroom, young learners may identify more with some of the characters in the clip, but it is suitable for adult classes too.

Worksheet

alvin thub Download the worksheet here: Alvin Hall Talks Maths (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

You can watch the video on 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.