Joey’s Room-Mate Search

Leave a comment

Képtalálat a következőre: „Joey's room-mate search”

This is a video-based lesson connected to the topic of ‘Home’. The level is B1+ but it can be adapted to lower levels as well.

Before wathcing

The students are in pairs and discuss the characteristics of a perfect room-mate. After a couple of minutes of discussion adjectives can be gathered (written on the board) in a plenary.

Following the above discussion the students agree on the “perfect ad” for a room-mate. They can even write the advertisement in pairs, so that the ads can be compared and the best one voted for.

The students are told that we are going to watch a segment from the series ‘Friends’, and discuss the situation why Joey is looking for a new room-mate. (Chandler is about to move out as he and Monica have decided to live together. Monica’s room-mate, Rachel is also looking for a new place to rent.

While watching

The students watch the segment and answer the following questions:

  • What 3 things does Joey offer to Rachel?
  • What does Chandler find strange in Joey’s ad?
  • Why is he advertising like that?
  • What is the misunderstanding between Joey and the girl in blue T-shirt?
  • Why did Joey take the shower curtain down? Is his explanation true?
  • Why doesn’t Rachel accept Joey’s offer for the second time, either?
  • What test does Joey give to the girl? Why?

After watching:

The students are in pairs again and write questions that they find appropriate when looking for a room-mate.

They act out an “interview” situation.


Food Waste Scandal – a lesson on a TED Talk

Leave a comment

I find this TED Talk really inspiring and my students who are preparing for their final exam found it useful, too.

1. Some preparation on the topic is necessary but following some vocabulary work and general speaking activities, I planned a complete lesson based on the first 4 minutes of the following TED Talk by Tristram Stuart and it worked perfectly well. This is Tristram Stuart as he is delivering his speech:

2. Students looked at the title of the talk and predicted the content. Then I put them in pairs and they wrote down a list of about 10 words that they thought they would hear in the talk.

3. As they were listening to the talk, they had to pay attention to the vocabulary and tick the words that they had predicted well and had in fact been uttered. We also discussed some new vocabulary that the students had heard or had read. With TED talk you can decide if you want to watch it without or perhaps with subtitles and if you decide to use the subtitles, you can choose the language. With this particular group of students for the first listening it was good to have it subtitled in Englsih.

4. Another advantage of TED Talks is that you can use the transcripts. So I produced a gap fill task with the help of the transcript but this time only the beginning of the talk, Of course the subtitles were gone this time!

5. After the gap fill task, the students had to explain the meaning of the underlined words and expressions.

6. Finally they discussed what they find surprising in the talk and what could be done to stop the bad tendencies regarding food waste.

A fun way to practise narrative tenses: ‘Draw my life’

1 Comment


I actually saw this video a couple of weeks ago on my daughter’s facebook wall. I found it just appropriate for educational purposes, especially for secondary school students as the language has nothing of the artificiality some coursebooks show, but it is genuinely present day.

I. Warmer: Hangman

We played hangman with the name: “Ryan Higa”. As some of my students are hooked on youtube videos I was hoping for at least one of them to have heard of Ryan Higa. Well, they didn’t, so I just informed them that there was a guy with that name and videos by him on youtube, one of which we were going to watch.

II. Lead-in

We discussed a bit about ‘Draw my life’ videos that some of the students have already heard of. We watched the firs 14 seconds of the video and students had to answer the questions:

1. Why didn’t he want to draw his life?

2. Why did he do it in the end?

III. Discussion

Students were discussing what they expected to see in the video. What  are the main events in a young person’s life and gave ideas how those events could be drawn. We also agreed what tenses they can use if they wanted to talk about past events.

Everybody was given about 3-4 minutes to do a quick sketch of one period of their own lives which then they shared in small groups (3 students) and talked about the drawings.

IV. Watching

They watched the video 0′:14″ – 02′:08″ – but it was muted. The students had to take notes of what they think happened in Ryan’s life. I stopped the video at some places to give my students time to write down events. They shared their notes in small groups again and completed each other’s notes.

Then we watched the same segment with sound and checked their guesses.

02′:09″ – 02′:55″: The end of the previous part of the video is about bullying which is a topic we have already discussed in class. Students had to give ideas of what a bullied person can do in such a situation. Then we watched what Ryan had done to escape it.

Finally sutdents had to predict what the next part if his life would be, how things had turned out for him later on. After this prediction activity students were curious enough to be really interested in the homework which was to watch the rest of the video and summarise it.

Possible follow-up:

I think it wouldl be a nice follow-up to encourage the students to draw their lives. Of course not everybody is willing to prepare a video but a series of drawings is just as good as a video and the objecitve would be using narrative tenses – the drawings being only bacground for that.

The Job – a short, video-based speaking activity



I used this video as a basis for a short speaking activity: not longer than 20 minutes, depending on how responsive the students are that day. We had already discussed a lot about jobs and work, the students had done lots of vocabulary tasks, one lengthy reading, so it was appropriate to shake them up a bit.


The way I used the video was mainly prediction, so grammar used for predictions can be practiced, but my aim was primarily not grammar practise but speaking and bringing a little bit of liveliness into the lesson.


I stopped the short film first at 0:23′. The students asnwered the following questions:

  • Who are the people? What are their jobs?
  • Where are they?
  • Why are they outside?
  • What are they doing?
  • What are they talking about?

Next stop at 1:01′

  • Who is this guy?
  • What is the paper in his hand?
  • What is going to happen?
  • Do they know each other?

We watched the video to the end, discussed job names, and were having a nice conversation about the whole situation. Associations to similar contexts did come up quite early and talking about findig a job, legal and illegal jobs, immigration, well and badly-paid jobs followed.


I think the video can even be used as a starting point for a whole lesson, depending on the aims and objectives of your lesson plan.