Tracey Ullman’s Show (BBC, UK), “Last Words”

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The Video

Tracey Ullman is a transatlantic comedy sensation, here, making a return to British TV for a prime time sketch show.

This scene takes place in a hospital where we meet a woman about to pass to the other side. The comedy arises as she starts reeling off a list of mundane regrets based around not having posted enough photos on social media.

If your students have access to social media then few will not connect with Ullman’s poignant comment on our obsession with sharing every minutia of our day with the world. Care should be taken due to the fact that the scene essentially depicts a dying person; if you have any doubts surrounding sensitivities that may arise from this subject matter, seriously consider the use of this video.

Level and Language Focus

The video is short and provides a succinct example of how the construction I wish I had… is used. The worksheet below would be a good starting point for a class about the third conditional as although this construction is not detailed, the construction I wish is explained fully and uses the same grammatical ideas (hypothetical past).

The shortness of the video opens it up to a range of different levels starting at intermediate and upwards.

The worksheet features a game but it might not be suitable if you teach students who do not have a good understanding of western “celebrity” culture.

Worksheet

thumb Find the worksheet here: Tracey Ullman Handout

Availability

You can watch the video over at YouTube.

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BBC News (BBC, USA), “New Child Billionaires”

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The Video

These tech-savvy, business-minded children are already making waves in the professional world. BBC News America, visits a number of individuals at the Incubator School, Los Angeles to speak to these fascinating youngsters.

Level and Language Focus

There’s nothing complicated about this simple BBC News story with nice clear narration and easily understandable vocabulary. If you have students who are particularly enthusiastic about listening activities, this video could provide a challenge to high pre-intermediate students. The level is certainly accessible to all intermediate students.

When teaching how to express the future, we often focus on going to and will and completely ignore the fact that simple verbs like want, plan, hope etc. can also express a future idea. These constructions normally do not give students many problems, so the worksheet below could serve as a gentle introduction to the grammar topic of the future.

Worksheet

thumb  Download the worksheet here:child-billionaires

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.

Grammar Bonus: Comparatives Number Quiz

We continue our obsession with these pub quiz-style activities with these final offerings, this time designed to facilitate the use of the comparative.

The comparative can be a rather dry grammar topic so once you have gone through the rules, why not inject a little fun into the class with these quizzes?

The two activities below are designed for pre intermediate and upper intermediate + classes. If your class is intermediate level, have a look at both quizzes and you may find that one could be used with your class.

Notes on the target language (e.g. “I think a dolphin can swim faster than 20 mph”) are included on the worksheet.

Download worksheets here: Pre Intermediate Comparative Activity and Upper Intermediate Comparative Activity.

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Communication Bonus: USA Number Quiz & UK Number Quiz

Here are two more variations on our current run of quizzes, this time we have number quizzes based around fun facts about the USA and the UK.

With some vocabulary help, these resources can be used with intermediate and above level students and would be perfect for USA-based or UK-based summer schools and teaching English to migrants and refugees in the USA or the UK.

Download the quizzes here: USA in Numbers and UK in Numbers

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Grammar Bonus: How…? Questions Number Quiz

Here is another fact-based quiz this time to practice How…? questions (How many…?, How much…?, How long…?, How far…? etc.).

The quiz not only tests How…? questions but also complicated numbers including six digit numbers and decimals.

You can use this quiz with intermediate and higher level students.

As this activity could potentially take a while (30-45 mins), it is a fun activity for the end of the week/a fun class.

You can download the activity here: How…? Quiz

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Grammar Bonus: Question Formation Number Quiz

Here is an extra resource for practicing question formation, recommended for good pre-intermediate, intermediate and upper intermediate. You can also use this resource for practicing more complex numbers.

All the facts and figures come from a fun board game we were playing at the weekend that we figured would be great for the classroom.

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Download the worksheet here: Question Formation Numbers Quiz

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