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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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:

phoneme

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.

ODN (YouTube Channel), “How the UK Public Really Felt About Brexit”

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The Video

This video captures the reactions of the British public in the wake of the decision to leave the EU. With a mix of elation and despair, the video shows the full spectrum of emotion in the air in the UK at the moment. Still in a state of shock and uncertainty, the only definite thing we can be sure of at the moment is that the United Kingdom is far from being “united”.

Level and Language Focus

The video features many different speakers; some easy to understand, some difficult. They are all however native speakers and the video wouldn’t be recommendable to any levels lower than upper intermediate.

Many of the adjectives used to describe how people are feeling; disappointed, worried etc. use the -ed ending, and the difference between -ed/-ing adjective endings is explained in the worksheet below with activities.

The worksheet also features role cards so you can hold your own class debate on the subject. 

Worksheet

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

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.

BBC News (UK), “Arsenal coaches children fleeing war in Iraq”

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The Video

The BBC news team joins Arsenal Ladies and England star Alex Scott as she travels to Iraq to see the work being done by Arsenal Academy together with Save The Children helping children affected by war through football.

This is a feel-good news story but some content could prove difficult for those who have been affected by war or violence and is therefore not recommended if you do not know your class too well.

Level and Language Focus

The narration is generally slow and clear, but with a few more difficult conversational sections and some non-English speech which has been subtitled.

The video is perfect if you have to cover a unit on sport in your course book/syllabus but you have a section of your class who are less than enthused about the subject. The worksheet highlights all the relevant football vocabulary as well as some general vocabulary.

Worksheet

A work sheet can be found at the link below (right click, save as…)

thumb ws.JPGBBC News, Arsenal coaches children fleeing war in Iraq

Availability

You can watch the video via YouTube.

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.