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.

ODN (YouTube Channel), “Taxi Hotel”

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The Video

ODN visits New York City and a plucky entrepreneur converting vans and taxi cabs into affordable accommodation for the tourist on a budget. It is a short and enjoyable news story that everyone will have an opinion about.

Language Focus and Level

The grammar used in this video is pretty simple with some more advanced vocabulary included. You can use the video with good pre-intermediate and intermediate level students.

There is no grammar focus with this video but the worksheet below could be used as a quick class introduction to the topics of tourism, hotels, holidays or travel.

Worksheet

thumb   Download the worksheet here: taxi-hotel

Availability

Watch the video over at YouTube.

CBS News (USA),”The “Downton Abbey” Effect?”

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The Video

The demand for British butlers speaking the Queen’s English and looking austere is in high demand, CBS looks at why in this news story.

Level and Language Focus

With fairly basic language and delivery, this video is suitable for intermediate and upper-intermediate level students.

Use the video and the worksheet below to teach the passive voice including sections on passive reporting verbs (it is said that…), and the causative (I had my shoes polished…).

Worksheet

thumb Get the worksheet here: Downton Abbey Effect

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.

A transcript of the video can be found here.

Embedding is disabled so you have to visit the link above to watch.

New York Times (YouTube Channel), “Why It’s Hard to Keep the Pounds Off”

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The Video

New York Times joins two previous winners of the reality series The Biggest Loser in their struggle to keep the extraordinary weight loss they achieved on the show up. The story is not all positive with experts offering support in the form of scientific theories why it is especially difficult to keep the pounds off.

Language Focus and Level

This video provides an easy to understand voice-over with more challenging, interview-style dialogue making it good for classes in which levels may vary. The video could be used with strong intermediate and upper intermediate classes.

In talking about their experience since the show, the couple use the present perfect simple and continuous and you can find activities connected to this in the worksheet below.

Worksheet

thumb A worksheet with accompanying activities is available here: The Biggest Loser

Availability

Watch the video via YouTube.

BBC News and 5 News (UK), English Sparkling Wine Stories

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The Video

Not many people associate great wine production with England, but due to rising temperatures and the same chalky soil running from France, under the channel to Southern England, English sparkling wine production is experiencing a boom that looks to continue long into the future.

Level and Language Focus

The two videos are the clear narration you would expect from TV news channels. The vocabulary used in the videos is not too technical and should be accessible to learners with intermediate and upper intermediate levels.

The focus of the worksheet below is the Business English vocabulary used in the video. You could also use the video as an introduction to talking about the environment and climate change since this is the focus of the news story.

Worksheet

tumb Find a free worksheet here (Right Click, Save As…): Sparkling Wine

Availability

You can watch the 5 News story on YouTube.

The BBC video is available by following the link below. Unfortunately we cannot embed the video on this page but you should be able to watch it freely on the BBC website.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-29936464

On Demand News (YouTube Channel), “Plastic-shirt-wearing Messi superfan gets a signed shirt”

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The Video

This is a short news feature about a young boy from Afghanistan who fashioned an Argentinian national team football shirt from a blue and white striped plastic bag inspired by his hero Leo Messi. The boy, who is from a deprived area, went viral eventually leading to Messi together with Unicef sending the boy the real article, much to his delight.

This is a short video at just over one minute. It might be a nice introduction to a class with the theme of sport or possibly, charity. Having much experience of using textbooks which feature a unit on sport, much to the disgruntlement of half the class, this video is connected to sport yet still enjoyable for the less sporty amongst us.

Level and Language Focus

The narration of the video is fairly slow and with the use of the worksheet below providing vocabulary support, the video could be used for a good pre-intermediate, intermediate or upper intermediate class.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:
Mini Messi Worksheet (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.