Saturday Night Live (NBC, USA), Pitch Meeting

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The Video

The Saturday Night Live team takes us inside the advertising department at Cheetos where two teams are pitching for the Super Bowl half-time advert. One team are flatly rejected when they present ideas of kids hanging out having fun. The other team, however, find their pretentious projections of human struggle coupled with corn chips far more welcomed.

The video is a direct reference to the half-time ads of this year’s Super Bowl, but, as long as your students have access to a TV, they should recognize the current trend for the pseudo-philosophical nonsense used by companies to sell us their wares.

The video is designed for an adult audience but remains fairly clean. There are some parts which could potentially spark cultural sensitivity, so be sure to watch the video before showing it to your students!

If you teach any advertising executives, this video could provide some light relief yet still remain connected to their line of work.

Language Focus and Level

The narration in this video is fairly slow and the vocabulary is largely non-challenging meaning you could use this video with good intermediate, upper intermediate and if it’s a good fit (pre) advanced students.

You can use this video to talk about describing the plot of a movie or TV show. The worksheet below takes the student through all the necessary grammar to do this, including the difference between dynamic and stative verbs and the use of present tenses (present simple, present continuous and present perfect) when describing a story. This grammar leads on to a speaking activity in which students write their own “recap” style presentations of their favorite movies/TV shows, great if you are looking to do an extended speaking activity.

Worksheet

thumb  Find the main worksheet connected to the video here: SNL Pitch Worksheet

thumb-ii   There is also a separate handout about Stative Verbs available here: Stative Verbs Handout.

Availability

Find the video over at YouTube.

The other optional video detailed in the worksheet is here.

eurodestination (YouTube Channel), “Visit Denmark”

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The Video

This is a short promotional video for the Nordic utopia that is Denmark. There is plenty of swooping cinematography featuring the best a Danish vacation has to offer.

The video seeks to answer the question What is a good holiday about? and would provide a nice introduction to the theme of vacations/travel if you are about to study this topic.

Language Focus and Level

The narration on this video moves at a deliberately leisured pace which, combined with the vocabulary help in the worksheet, could be suitable for pre-intermediate or intermediate level students.

There is a grammar section in the worksheet which focuses on the use of the gerund in the video.

Worksheet

capture Find the accompanying worksheet here: denmark

Availability

Watch the video over at YouTube.

Paths Less Pedaled (YouTube Channel), “What is Bicycle Travel?”

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The Video

This is a short promotional video to try and get more people into the joys of cycling.

Level and Language Focus

The language in the video alone is suitable for use in intermediate and upper intermediate classes. Using the worksheet below you could extend the video and supporting activities to good pre intermediate classes.

The main grammar focus of the video is the use of gerunds after prepositions.

Worksheet

thumb  Download the worksheet here: Cycling.

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.

Starbucks Coffee (YouTube Channel), “Dan’s Everylove Story”

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The Video

This promotional film for Starbucks Coffee follows Dan in his mission to bring some joy (and coffee) to the patients at the cancer hospital where his father was treated. Every Thursday Dan visits the hospital to take orders then visits the local Starbucks and duly returns with the goods, all from his own pocket.

Level and Language Focus

As Dan explains how his mission started he uses would to describe his past habit (like used to) and this grammar is that is focused on in the worksheet below.

The video could be used with levels intermediate and upper intermediate.

Worksheet

thumb Download the worksheet here: Starbucks (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

Visa (TV Ad, USA), “More People Go With Visa”

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The Video

This is a television ad by Visa which seeks to inspire us to make some positive changes in our lives. The video has a modern feel with a pseudo philosophical twist designed to provoke reflection; a perfect starting point for class discussion.

Language Focus and Level

There is nothing complicated about the language in this video, the narration is also very slow. The video would be perfect for a pre-intermediate class, however, if you have a particularly enthusiastic elementary class you could try it with them too.

The video poses many questions using will, and is therefore a great introduction to this grammar. The worksheet below fully explains the use of will for predictions and resolutions.

Worksheet

thumb Download a worksheet connected to the video here: Visa Ad at turnitonenglish (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.

The Co-operative Bank (TV Ad, UK), “Everyday Rewards”

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The Videos

The videos provide inspirational stories of individuals who have made a difference in their communities. We have Richard who is a guerrilla gardener, turning grey, urban spaces into flourishing beauties. Joshua is a hairdresser who takes to the streets to give the homeless a quick trim and a much needed chat. The project “Read 2 Dogs” helps kids who need a little extra help with their literacy by providing them with a captive, four-legged audience and Lauren is a yarn-stormer on a mission!

Level and Language Focus

The videos are great for intermediate and upper intermediate levels. Of the four videos to are easier and two more difficult. This provides a good challenge if you have a range of levels in your class.

You can use the worksheet below to review the use of the gerund as the grammar focus to your class.

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

 

Availability

Watch the videos on YouTube: Richard’s Story, Joshua’s Story, Read 2 Dogs and Lauren’s Story.

MasterCard, “Priceless Elephant” (TV ad)

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The Clip

In this TV advert for MasterCard, an elephant sets out to try and cheer up his flu-ridden keeper by hitting the shops.

Level and Language Focus

The language used in this ad is sparse and simple, therefore making it a way to integrate video into elementary or low pre-intermediate classes.

The worksheet below could accompany a class based around numbers or shopping.

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

Availability

You can view the video on YouTube.