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A designer lessons ESL Lesson plan developed by George Chilton

I do hope my girlfriend doesn’t read this one. This is an advanced Valentine’s video lesson plan for adult students. It’s a loose ‘un, so feel free to comment on how you adapted it and made it better. The main aim is vocabulary building (colloquial phrases) and conversation. You may spark debate with certain issues – for example, “Is dating romantic?” and various opinions should present themselves throughout the “love is” discussion.

Please note that the students are going to need a lot of help when it comes to the video, so make sure you are familiar with the sequence of events yourself. The video can be left out if you feel they’re going to struggle too much.

Lesson aims:

  • Vocabulary building
  • Video-gloss

Stage one:

Ask your students to write a complete sentence beginning with “Love is…”

After two minutes get your students to share their answers. Show them the following list:

Love is;
A form of madness, desire, hope & fulfilment all in one
Catching his eye across a crowded room
Re-writing that text message 10 times over
Saying no to a beer with mates, because she’s quenching a thirst that you didn’t know you had
Offering him your last piece of chewing gum
Holding her hand under the table
Eating that dinner with a smile, no matter how it really tastes
Accepting her for what she is
Keeping everything he ever made for you
Going to the gym to look good for her, even though you hate it
Crying in front of her
Telling him it’s going to be okay
Being inspired
Pairing someone else’s socks
Saying “no, they don’t make it look big” when she asks – and, for her, believing him.
Having a muse
Love is wagging your tail when they come home.

Key vocabulary: catching someone’s eye / crowded / mates / quenching / no matter / pairing / muse / wagging

Features: Love is + gerund / love is + noun phrase / love is + adjective

  • Do they relate to any of the phrases?
  • Do they  find any of the phrases funny?
  • Is there anything they think is untrue?
  • Which is their favourite phrase?
  • Would they add anything to the list?
  • Which one is written from the perspective of a pet?

Stage two –

Ask them whether they think dating is romantic and to justify their answers.

Then give them the following list of phrases. Tell the that they should try to put them in order while they listen to the first part of the video. They’re probably not going to understand many of them, so … be prepared! It’s all very British – so I’ve put some help in the brackets.

  • To date (up to this point)
  • 3 and a half
  • complete fail
  • really clicked with (got on very well)
  • very curious
  • have a few more reservations (to be concerned about…)
  • mm-hmm (uh-huh)
  • a bit of banter (light conversation)
  • for the best (it’s the most acceptable decision/result)
  • spend ages (take a long time)
  • ambitiously tight
  • flounce out (leave in a flamboyant way)
  • leg-it back to the office. (run fast)

Now pause at this point (2 minutes) and play again so they can listen to the story in a more relaxed way & double-check they have the phrases in the right order. (Note that the list above is in sequence). Help them with meaning, include the parenthesized words if necessary.

Get the students to work in groups. They have to piece together the story so far. If they can the reconstruct it sufficiently well to retell it in their own words that’s great. If not, you can pose the following questions to help them do so:

  1. Where does she live?
  2. How successful has she been with dating?
  3. What did she try for the first time?
  4. What did her brother think?
  5. Who’s Greg?
  6. Why didn’t they tell her brother they were going on a date?
  7. Where do they plan to go?
  8. What does she realise when she gets to King’s Cross?

Sourced @: Thanks to Kate Williams for forwarding the link.

Next, play the remainder of the video and ask them to reconstruct the events. It’s fairly complicated, so you might want to play the second part again (from 2 minutes).

As the following questions orally, if they need help:

  1. Did she get her tickets to the comedy show back?
  2. What does she leave on the train?
  3. Does she get it back? How?
  4. How late is she when she finally meet Greg?
  5. What happens to her dress in the club?
  6. Was it a successful date? why / why not?
  • Do they feel sorry for the girl? Why or why not?
  • Have they ever had any similar experiences they’d like to share?

Follow up –

Ask them to write a short dialogue including the phrases from the word list you gave them.

The jeans I wore to the party were ambitiously tight.

My boss flounces into the staffroom without saying a word.

Please comment on any other directions you took this lesson in.

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Designer Lessons by George Chilton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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