This is actually a video that I received from one of my students, suggesting that we should watch it on one of our lessons. The student thought it would be an excellent source for further discussion and as soon as I watched the video I decided to use it in class.

I think it is good from level B1 upwards.


Before watching:

I prepared some sentence beginnings that I projected to students and they had to discuss them in groups. For example:

If I saw a beggar in the street, I would… / I wouldn’t…


If people see a beggar in the street they usually…


If I saw someone lying in the street and I was the only one around I would… / I wouldn’t…

The full list of the discussion sentences is here.


Students had to discuss the sentences one by one and while they were discussing one they didn’t know what the next sentence would be. I considered it important because I had sequenced the sentence beginnings to make them more and more involved in the topic. So there was a brief class feedback on each of the sentences and the students were really happy to share the main points of the small group discussions.


While watching:

Students watched the video to 00:33 and had to understand the meaning of ‘bystander effect’.

Then I muted the video and we watched it from 00:34 – 01:17. While watching I stopped the video each time a new passer-by appeared and asked the following questions:

What is going to happen? Why?

and in the end:

How long do you think he had to wait? Why?


After that we watched the segment with sound and there was a short discussion on what had been heard.


We watched the next segment: 01:18 – 01:38 and the students had to answer the following questions:

What are the two conflicting rules?

What is the pressure that is mentioned?

What is difficult?


The next step was prediction. The experiment went on. What do you think should be changed to have different effect?


We watched the next part: 01:39 – 01:45 and the students had to predict in groups how long the woman had to wait for being recognised and they had to give reasons.

I repeated the activity of watching the next segment muted, stopping the film at every passer-by and students had to predict again who is going to stop to help. Finally they had to answer the following questions:

What is the reason for not helping according to the speaker?

Then we watched the video till 02:57 and discussed what the woman said afterwards.


The final part was 02:58 – 03:01 and the students had to predict what would happen to the man in different outfit and why. We watched the last 20 seconds (till 03-.22) to check.


After watching:

A discussion followed on how surprising hte whole experiment had been for the students and what they think of the whole situation. We slightly touched upon the questions we started the whole lesson with.



The students had to write an essay stating their opinions about the whole issue, discussing the introductory questions again but this time focusing on any changes of their answers having seen the whole video.