The One Ronnie (BBC, UK), “My Blackberry’s Not Working!”

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The Video

The late Ronnie Corbett delivers his  classic style of double-entendre-filled British comedy in this video. Simple yet hilarious, this video should appeal to adults and even teens everywhere, although it should be advised that the talk of Ronnie’s “dongle” problems could take some explaining!

Level and Language Focus

This video is great for higher level students to explore word-play, one of British comedy’s key features. Using the worksheet below, you can allow the students take to piece the tricky double meanings (juice=liquid from a fruit/battery power, orange=citrus fruit/mobile phone company etc.)  that can sometimes prevent learners of English fully appreciate this type of comedy.

You can then go on to look at the functional language of describing a problem and resolving a problem, essential for any language course and perfect for role-play.

We recommend this video for higher intermediate, upper intermediate and pre advanced levels. The word play is far too complicated for lower levels although the vocabulary is not too tricky.

Worksheet

You can find the worksheet here: The One Ronnie (Right Click, Save As).

Availability

Watch via YouTube.

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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