Posted in Advanced C1, Conversation Classes, Proficiency

Where do you Stand? Entertainment & Culture

Entertainment And Culture Icon Set High-Res Vector Graphic - Getty Images

This is another edition of my “Where do you Stand?” conversation series. Students debate different topics related to entertainment and culture but must rate the opinion on a scale from 1-6 before they begin the discussion.

The PowerPoint contains examples of language of opinion, agreement and disagreement designed with C1 students in mind. If you are teaching lower level students, you could just use the student handout. You can download a B2 phrase sheet here.

Here are the topics students discuss:

The book is always better than the film.

There are too many sequels and spin-off films these days. There aren’t many original stories.

The original version of a song is always the best.

Celebrities shouldn’t complain about being in the public eye. It’s part of the jobNetflix will kill the cinema.

You shouldn’t watch films on your phone. It ruins the experience.

Watching a film at the cinema is always better than at home.

Violent films and videogames should be banned.

Music, art and drama should be compulsory subjects at school.

Social media companies should be responsible for the content that users post on their platforms.

Children shouldn’t play with “violent” toys like guns and weapons.

Something is always lost when a text is translated.

Physical books will disappear one day.

Governments should be allowed to censor some elements of the media including books and films.

The benefits of social media platforms outweigh the negative aspects.

Sports involving animals (hunting, horse riding, bullfighting, etc.) are an important part of my culture and must be protected.

Watching too much television makes you stupid.

Posted in Conversation Classes

National Identity Lesson Plan

catalonia-independence

Note: This lesson plan was written for the unique socio-political environment of Barcelona in Catalonia in Spain. However, the questions can be adapted for any nationality.

Do you think of yourself as Catalan or Spanish?

Do you feel a strong connection with the rest of Europe?

What does it mean to be Catalan? Or Spanish?

Can you be Catalan if you weren’t born in Cataluña?

OR if you don´t speak Catalan?

Can you become Catalan by living in Cataluña and absorbing the culture?

In groups SS discuss next question in English and write a list with reasons.

What are your strongest symbols of national identity?

If they need help give them some examples of your own symbols, for example:

England: Tea, the Royal Family, fish and chips, bad weather, self deprecation, Shakespeare, dark humour, The Battle of Hastings in 1066, Henry VIII.

Write Catalan symbols on the board.

Why are these so important? What do they symbolise? Which are most important?

Citizenship Test

What happens if a person from outside the EU comes to Spain and wants to get citizenship?

What do they have to do? Do they have to take a citizenship exam?

Because in the United Kingdom they do. Here are some example questions from the old citizenship test (it has now been updated):

Put the questions on the board or copy and paste them and hand them out. Correct answer are in bold.

In which year did married women get the right to divorce their husband?

1837, 1857, 1875, 1882

Which of the following statements is true?

The governing body of the EU is the Council of the European Union

The governing body of the EU is the Council of Europe

How many parliamentary constituencies are there?

464, 564, 650, 664

Ask student’s to guess the score Tim (me, a 29-year-old British native) got when he did the test, out of 24.

I scored 13 out of 24 so I failed and if I were an immigrant from a country outside the EU I would not be given citizenship.

Do you think these are the most relevant (pertinent) questions?

What should people know about a country to be a citizen?

Tell students that the citizenship test has been changed because of complaints about the relevance of the questions. Here is a link to download a section of the new UK citizenship test.

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!229&authkey=!AFcpZe_NcbPS4Mc

Depending on the level you can actually have the students answer the questions, or do it as a whole class quiz in teams. The test includes some interesting historical information (if your students are into that sort of thing) if not you can just ask a few of the questions to give the students an idea of what they’re like.

Here is the link to the guardian website where you can find the answers:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/quiz/2013/jan/27/british-citizenship-test-quiz-new

Students write their own citizenship tests for the teacher.

What I want you to do in your groups is write a short Catalan or Spanish citizenship test. 5 questions which you think are the most important and which would help with integration. Cultural, political, history, economic questions etc.

You can discuss them, in English and obviously you have to write them in English. You then have to explain why they are important and we will try and make a Catalan Citizenship test. The teacher can help with the question structures but can’t know the answers because at the end he / she will try to complete the test and get over 75%.

Do you agree with the idea of citizenship tests?

Do you think it´s easy to integrate into a new country or culture?

1 minute to think of the biggest challenges 

Put challenges on board and students discuss them.

Wrap up:

Do you think Cataluña is well integrated? If not how can we change this?