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:

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Worksheet

thumb  Download the worksheet here: Dress Code Sexism Worksheet

Availability

Watch the video over at 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

Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central, USA), “Size 12”

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The Video

Now on it’s fourth season, Inside Amy Schumer is an adult sketch series tackling the issues of the day. In this clip Amy visits a trendy clothing shop hoping to buy a t-shirt. What seems like a simple task suddenly goes from bad to worse as the store struggles to deal with any customers requiring a size larger than a toddler 3 and Amy visits the abyss to find something a little bigger, bumping into Lena Dunham in the process.

If you have a class which is primarily men, the experience in the video could be a little lost, however, there should be no reason why you couldn’t use this clip in any general adult class. There are a few cultural references specific to the USA, so if your objectives do not reach as far as cultural awareness, a different clip may be more suitable

Although there is only one bleeped expletive in the clip, one section of the accompanying worksheet does feature extracts from the comments section from YouTube using expletives. If you feel that this sort of language is unsuitable for your class you could perform your own censorship on the offending words with a marker pen.

Level and Language Focus

You can use this video with a good intermediate or upper intermediate class. There is some difficult vocabulary and cultural points but these are explained in the worksheet below.

Instead of a grammar focus, the accompanying worksheet sets up a debate on the topic introduced in the video.

Worksheet

thumb    Download the worksheet here: Inside Amy Schumer Size 12 (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

You can watch 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.

Would You Rather…? (BBC America, USA) “Death Row Dinner”

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The Video

Would You Rather…? is an American panel show featuring four guest comedians who answer a series of dilemmas ranging from the serious to the plain preposterous. In this clip, the guys weigh up whether they’d prefer to have dinner with all of their exes at once or with five guys eating their last meal on death row.

The show is designed for an adult audience, there is however nothing too offensive in this particular clip so could be used with an older teenage class (always watch the video and read the worksheet before taking it into class!).

Level and Language Focus

The guests on the show speak fairly slowly and there is not a lot of complicated vocabulary  making it suitable for intermediate or upper intermediate students. Being fairly short, this video makes a perfect starter activity or could be used as an introduction to a lesson on second conditionals.

The worksheet below deals with the construction “I’d rather…”, an important and widely-used construction often ignored by the textbooks despite it’s suitability as a perfect conversation starter.

Worksheet

thumb.JPG  Download the free worksheet here (Right Click, Save As..) Death Row Dinner

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.

Jamie’s Dream School (Channel 4, UK), “Cherie Blair’s Guide to Prison”

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The Video

This clip is taken from the documentary series, Jamie’s Dream School, in which celebrity chef Jamie Oliver enrols a group of struggling teenagers into a school in which all the lessons are taught by celebrity “specialists”, all of which are leaders in their field. Jamie has selected Human Rights lawyer and wife of ex-PM Tony Blair, Cherie, to open a debate on whether prisoners in the UK should have the right to vote.

Level and Language Focus

The video provides a range of different comprehension challenges. Cherie Blair, a professional speaker, is easy to understand, the pupils however prove a little more difficult. The worksheet below provides quite a good deal of transcript which could make the video more accessible to a good intermediate class. The video can also be used with upper intermediate and pre advanced classes.

The video is great for setting up a class debate. You could take the subject in the video or choose a different one. The grammar focus of the worksheet below is zero and first conditional in debates.

Since this debate is conducted in a high school with a group of teenagers, the video would work especially well in a young-learners class, but not exclusively.

Worksheet

worksheet thumb.JPG Download the free worksheet: Cherie Blair Human Rights Worksheet (right click, save as…)

Availability

You can watch the video on YouTube.