Miranda (BBC, UK), “Before I Die” (S02E02)

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The Video

Miranda is one of the BBC’s most popular comedy series. It follows the life of clumsy 30-something Miranda, as she looks for love and fulfilment in a world where she never really fits in. A feel-good comedy for adult classes, Miranda mixes slapstick, visual comedy with cleverly constructed awkward social situations.

There is nothing especially offensive but the episode does have the slightest reference to sex, cervixes and uses one mildly offensive word.

There is one scene where Miranda visits a funeral and although injected straight through with comedy, could be a sensitive moment if you are aware of a recent death close to any of your students.

Level and Language Focus

As a TV series goes, Miranda is good for the ESL classroom due to a lot of her comedy deriving from the visual and not complicated word-play. However, we must still remember any TV series is going to be hard for an English learner.

We would recommend this video and accompanying worksheet for levels upper-intermediate and above. Under very controlled circumstances could you use this video with intermediate students, but it is always recommended that you watch the video with your students in mind before taking it into class.

The focus of the worksheet below is constructions with “get” of which there are numerous examples in the episode. The activity takes apart the different concepts that “get” can convey in English including phrasal verbs and passive “get”, then follows this up with a speaking exercise.

Worksheet

thumb Download the free worksheet here (Right Click, Save As…): Miranda Series 2

Availability

The best version of this episode is available via Daily Motion and there are also a few lower quality versions available through YouTube.

If you have access to Netflix, you may also find this episode is available through the service in certain countries.

 

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TRT World (YouTube Channel), “Leicester’s Football Fairytale”

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The Video

It’s been called “the biggest upset in football’s history”, and few could not be moved by the fairytale story of Leicester City’s fantasy season. 5,000-1 rank outsiders back at the start of the season, this news story follows the unbelievable feat the club has achieved despite all odds.

Level and Language Focus

There are lots of different elements to this video each with differing levels of difficulty making the video perfect for general classes. The general level of the video is intermediate and it would also be suitable at upper intermediate.

The worksheet below focuses on the grammar connected to comparatives and superlatives used in the video and features a speaking exercise to practice those complicated rules associated with this grammar!

Worksheet

worksheet thumb.JPG You can find a worksheet connected to this video here (Right Click, Save As…) LCFC Success.

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.

Self-Study

Try the online quiz.

The Co-operative Bank (TV Ad, UK), “Everyday Rewards”

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The Videos

The videos provide inspirational stories of individuals who have made a difference in their communities. We have Richard who is a guerrilla gardener, turning grey, urban spaces into flourishing beauties. Joshua is a hairdresser who takes to the streets to give the homeless a quick trim and a much needed chat. The project “Read 2 Dogs” helps kids who need a little extra help with their literacy by providing them with a captive, four-legged audience and Lauren is a yarn-stormer on a mission!

Level and Language Focus

The videos are great for intermediate and upper intermediate levels. Of the four videos to are easier and two more difficult. This provides a good challenge if you have a range of levels in your class.

You can use the worksheet below to review the use of the gerund as the grammar focus to your class.

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

 

Availability

Watch the videos on YouTube: Richard’s Story, Joshua’s Story, Read 2 Dogs and Lauren’s Story.

The Office (BBC, UK) “Nightmare Co-Workers”

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The Clips

Two clips from BBC’s The Office (UK). In the first clip, Gareth annoys Tim by taking personal calls during work hours, they then argue about their job titles and who is more important. The second clip again features Tim and Gareth and this time their boss, David (played by Ricky Gervais). Tim plays a petty practical joke on Gareth who is not impressed.

Level and Language Focus

The clips are short (1:44 and 2:36) so there isn’t a lot of difficult language to teach. The clips could be used with classes of level intermediate and above. As all the action takes place in an office the class could provide a humorous introduction to a business English class, or simply a class discussing work.

As detailed in the downloadable worksheet in the section below, a language extension to these clips could be using infinitive structures to negotiate e.g. I want you to stop taking personal calls at work.

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

 

Availability

You can view the videos on YouTube 1 & 2.

The Apprentice (BBC, UK) Series 1, Episode 6, “Advertising Executives”

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The Episode

The UK version of this global hit replaces Donald Trump with Sir Alan Sugar producing a far classier, business-focussed affair. In this week’s task, the teams become advertising executives producing a TV and press ad campaign for the mass-market.

Level and Language Focus

The video is perfect for adding a little more fun to business and professional English classes, it also has mass appeal for any adult class. There is a good variety of speaking styles: interviews direct to camera, presenting to a panel, arguing and discussing and the commentary via voice-over. The action does become rather heated and there are plenty of expletives, so the episode isn’t suitable for sensitive audiences.

There is plenty of business English vocabulary to study (see worksheet below) and a possible language extension would be to introduce the third conditional for blame, “If you had spent more time on the press ad, it wouldn’t have looked so terrible”.

Worksheet

A worksheet about the task-part of the show is available here:

The Apprentice – s01e06 Worksheet (right click, save as…)

I would recommend using the worksheet in class and instructing the students to watch the rest of the video at home for homework.

Availability

You can view the video on YouTube.

 

Self-Study

Here is a Riddle Quiz that students can complete away from class. It concerns the same material as the worksheet but, depending on the students, it could be useful for them to watch at home before watching in class.

Banged Up Abroad (National Geographic UK), “Nepal”

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The Episode

City boy Piers retells the story of how he went from successful London banker to being incarcerated in a Nepalese prison after being found guilty of smuggling gold. A dramatic story which is easy to follow, the episode should inject some excitement into teen and adult classes.

Level and Language Focus

The video is good to play in class as it features direct-to-camera interviews and  reconstructions providing two different ways of listening to English. The narration is relatively slow and should be suitable for upper-intermediate level and above. The episode also features a selection of different English-native and non-native accents.

A grammar point related to the video would be second and third conditionals (see worksheet for more).

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:

Availability

You can view the video on YouTube.