How to plan an ESL lesson around a TED talk


If you’re an ESL teacher, then you’ve probably used TED talks in class once or twice before. Whether to provide variety, or simply to practice listening skills with authentic materials, these videos are great resources with endless teaching potential. Though there are plenty of ready-to-use, TED talk oriented lesson plans available online, sometimes you just want to cater to your students’ specific interests and language level and prepare one yourself. If that’s the case, here are five tips to help you create interesting, tailor-made lesson plans based on TED talks – or any other online video, for that matter.

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When in Rome: Idioms based on countries and nationalities

It’s impossible to live in a country like Luxembourg and not let its multiculturalism sweep you off your feet. With foreign nationals making up an astounding 46% of the country’s total population, it isn’t uncommon to meet people from all over the world on a single night out. Conversations often start with “Where are you from?” and quickly turn into a meaningful exchange about countries, food, and, of course, languages. As a translator and language enthusiast myself, I figured: when in Rome (i.e. Luxembourg), be Roman, right? Aided by friends and the lovely people from the Facebook group Luxembourg Expats, I was able to compile an interesting assortment of idioms that refer to other countries, languages and cultures. It went to show that, regardless of our many differences, we all have one thing in common: a tendency to have things to say about our neighbours!

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