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:
Download the worksheet here: Dress Code Sexism Worksheet
Watch the video over at YouTube.
What Would You Do? is an American feature in which actors stage socially delicate situations to see the reaction of the public. With a generally liberal outlook the series is a feel-good pat on the back for Americans which at times seems to suggest that problems such as racism, sexism and homophobia no longer stand. Having said this, the series is pretty good for looking at hypothetical situations in class.
The video connected to the worksheet below looks at attitudes to kids using guns at a gun shop in Texas. The video shows just how much support for guns exists (albeit in a gun shop!) and may provide a good insight into the American psyche as the adage “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is throw into the debate again and again.
The video does feature the sale and use of guns which could be a sensitive subject to some. If you have a class of people who used to live in warzones please consider the use of this video carefully.
Use the worksheet below to include more videos from this series either in the lesson or as homework.
Level and Language Focus
A lot of the interaction in this video is subtitled, aiding understanding but also providing listening practice. The main listening practice however comes from the helpful narration over the top of the action which is clear and simple making the video accessible and useful for intermediate and upper intermediate levels. If you have a particularly adventurous class, even a strong pre-intermediate class could follow the action, but we would only recommend this if you have a good knowledge of your class.
The video is great to teach the second conditional.
Download the worksheet: What Would You Do (Right Click, Save As…)
You can watch the video via YouTube.
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.
Download the free worksheet: Cherie Blair Human Rights Worksheet (right click, save as…)
You can watch the video on YouTube.