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.

Jamie’s Dream School (Channel 4, UK) “Alvin Hall’s Guide to Making a Million”

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The Video

TV chef Jamie Oliver invites American financial adviser Alvin Hall to deliver a maths class to inspire a group of under-performing high school teenagers. Hall tells the kids about his hard upbringing and his rise to financial success through self-discipline. Will this story inspire the teens to realise their dreams of one day making a million pounds?

Level and Language Focus

Hall’s diction is slow and clear, and the video should be accessible to learners with a level of intermediate and above.

You can use the worksheet below to introduce the grammar topic of hypothetical situations including the second conditional and the construction I wish…

The video is full of money vocabulary and could be used as an introduction to this important topic.

As the lesson takes place in a high school classroom, young learners may identify more with some of the characters in the clip, but it is suitable for adult classes too.

Worksheet

alvin thub Download the worksheet here: Alvin Hall Talks Maths (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

You can watch the video on YouTube.

Ric Elias (TED.com), 3 Things I Learned While My Plane Crashed

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The Video

Ric Elias had a front-row seat on Flight 1549, the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York in January 2009. What went through his mind as the doomed plane went down? At TED, he tells his story publicly for the first time.

As you can imagine, the content of the video is quite weighty and the speaker asks some searching questions. If your class do not know each other too well then they may not want to share some of the more personal information that may arise in discussion of the topics raised.

Level and Language Focus

The language of the video is not too difficult and would be suitable for levels starting low intermediate to upper intermediate. If your student(s) have a good vocabulary base, the video could even be used with pre-intermediate if subtitles are used.

The worksheet below includes an activity involving hypothetical situations past and present, the main focus being the use of the verb wish and the associated grammar.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:
TED Bucket List (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

You can watch the video on the TED.com website with the added benefit of subtitles (in an array of languages) and a full transcript.

You can also watch the video over at YouTube.