Cover photo from ELTPics @CliveSir

Before we get to the lesson plan, here’s a little blurb.

It’s been a while since anything was posted on this blog, but we continue to receive your visits and hear your messages of support – and we’re very grateful to you for this. Although adding lots of new material has been something of a challenge for us over the last year (or two) – with luck this is about to change – and I’ll explain why.

As you may be aware, back in 2013, Neil McMillan, Alan Ritchie, Irene Almazán and I got together and decided to begin a cooperative of language teachers, translators, interpreters, materials writers…and so on. It’s now in full swing – and you can find us at

We are a services sharing cooperative – so as well as endeavouring to provide our members with well-paid work, we also share teaching and translation resources, professional development support, financial and administrative guidance, and more.

We have decided to marry Designer Lessons’ resource sharing with Serveis Linguistics de Barcelona’s Library. Although most of the SLB lessons will remain private for our members, we’ll also be sharing some of our top resources on this blog.

So without further ado, dillydallying, fannying about, dawdling or procrast… I’ll let Simon – a very experienced materials writer, take it away.

Read more about Simon here.

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The Dangers of the Internet

A lesson plan from Simon McDonald for Cooperativa de Serveis Lingüístics de Barcelona and Designer Lessons

Level: Pre-intermediate (if used in part) and above

Materials (please click on the links for PDF versions)

This lesson is based on the the Youtube video “The Dangers of the Internet – shortened”. The original version from the “school of Life”, which is an excellent source of videos, is a little longer (7 minutes instead of 5) and more complicated so suitable for upper-intermediate students and above.

The edited version has English subtitles available (on Youtube) and the speed has been reduced by 2%. The transcript (available as a PDF) has several words and expression highlighted which you may want to pre-teach or focus on after watching the video for the first time (depending on your class).

In short, the video is divided into fours parts:

  1. addiction
  2. excessive information
  3. privacy and
  4. online crime

N.B At the end of the video, there is also “what’s the solution?”, which can be developed or ignored

It is not necessary to watch every part of the video so you can “mix and match” depending on your lesson theme, student ability, class dynamics etc

(Obviously) you should watch the video before the class and make a note of the timing as you might want to stop each part before its finished to avoid some of the more complicated vocabulary

 Warm up

  • Get students to brainstorm some of the “dangers of the Internet”
  • Give the students the first topic to focus on and/or
  • Use the first student handout to get predictions from the students. The lower the level, the more exploring to help prepare them for the video

 Watch the video


  • Watch the video part by part and compare answers
  • The subtitles can be used in a second (or third if necessary) viewing to focus on specific vocabulary (see highlighted transcript)

Talk about it

There are several points that can be developed for more open conversation and debate.

These are just a few suggestions:

  • Internet and smartphone addiction is damaging interpersonal communication
  • Pornography is distorting concepts of relationships among young people
  • We are not neurologically designed to withstand the temptations on offer online
  • Google’s search results are mechanical and highly coloured in their interpretations.
  • Because the Internet is often a source of reliable information, we exaggerate its accuracy, its importance and wisdom.
  • A majority of European internet users are under the impression that a security service has snooped into their conversations and activities.


Please see materials section above for worksheets, answer keys and transcripts.