Upper-intermediate ELT Lesson Plans


Apps and Mobile Technology – voice recognition

March 15, 2012 by

Lesson: Apps and Mobile Technology Level: Upper intermediate Trinity GESE Grade 7 and up (B2+) Age group: Younger Adults and teens Topic: Mobile technology Skills focus: Listening / comparison / collaborative design / presentation Time: 60- 90m

Future Self – Perfect and Continuous

April 23, 2012 by

Here’s one for higher level teens – non-tech, and very centred on the students. It could be used for Business English, one-to-one and General English classes equally well, though you may just need to tweak the lead-in… [Read more…]

30 days: Using English Outside the Classroom

March 26, 2012 by

This lesson plan aims to help students become motivated in their use of English out in the real world. They will start to plan and track their use of English and reflect upon their progress with other students in the class in what will hopefully… [Read more…]

The Friendship Graph

March 25, 2012 by

Sometimes, finding comedy clips which appeal across cultures can be tricky, but you know it’s working when your students start laughing along. Perhaps because it deals with people who are some way out of their own cultural safety zone, the HBO series Flight of the… [Read more…]

Be Careful What You Tweet – A Guest Lesson By Nermeen Alireza

March 6, 2012 by

I’m honoured to be posting my first guest lesson on Designer Lessons. This is a great lesson – and very well staged. I teach a few FCE classes – and the groups really got to grips with causative have and other passive structures. I’ve also… [Read more…]

Happiness – “One question” – Generating Discussions.

February 20, 2012 by

I think this would be a nice way to start off a discussion. Thanks to Gemma Lunn for pointing me in this direction – there are several One Question videos on YouTube. I’ve chosen this because it’s quite short and I like the production quality.… [Read more…]

What is photography? An advanced TED video lesson.

February 17, 2012 by

This is another image and video-based lesson. The students first discuss the concept of photography, watch a 6 minute video (Impossible Photography; a TED talk by Erik Johansson) and finally describe complex images. Lesson aims Giving opinion Listening comprehension Describing in detail Listening for detail… [Read more…]

Best Job In the World – Discussion and Writing

February 3, 2012 by

An advanced ESL video lesson aimed at practising listening comprehension, comparatives and superlatives. Lesson aims: Discussion Forming opinions Writing Public speaking I’m typing in the dark. I’m not being artsy or figurative here – this is quite literal. My touch-typing skills are being put to… [Read more…]

Lazy Stories – Student Centred Writing Activities

January 21, 2012 by

Don’t let the title mislead you; I’m not trying to encourage torpescence. Far from it –  in fact, this is a lesson focused on writing and speaking, using the third conditional, natural English and past modals (would have, could have, should have, might have). The… [Read more…]

5 Activities For A Floor plan. Part One – Zombie Apocalypse.

January 6, 2012 by

Zombie escape. Teens, 14-17, mixed level. 2nd conditional. If your school/office is following the rules it will have a fire exit plan in every room. It’s the kind of thing you’ll see on your hotel door, with a plan of all the exits, staircases, lifts… [Read more…]

This Is Your Life: student centred, natural English, dogme.

January 3, 2012 by


A designer lessons ESL lesson plan developed by George Chilton This is a very easy lesson to prepare, there’s no technology involved and it genuinely makes the students think. It’s good for generating discussion and the natural use of conditionals in conversation in adult GE or business classes. You won’t know where this is going… [Read more…]

A kiss isn’t just a Kiss – 30-45 Minute Image Speculation Activity

December 30, 2011 by

Lesson Aims This is a quick activity aimed at encouraging discussion and speculation. Materials-light,  for adult ESL learners Stage one – Description Project or distribute the image. Ask your students to study the picture and answer, in writing, the following three questions: What is the… [Read more…]

The American Dream – Building Collocations and Videogloss

December 29, 2011 by

This is two part ELT lesson plan, the first part introduces the concept of the American Dream through images, encouraging students to construct their own interpretations of the concept – both orally and in writing.  The second part of the lesson is a videogloss activity… [Read more…]

Prison Break: live listening comprehension and a review of the 3rd conditional.

December 19, 2011 by

Your students should be familiar with the 3rd conditional, but in need of practice. This is lesson is designed for a 1 hour 30 minute / 2 hour class. If you have a shorter class you can always change the first activity. Keep your eye… [Read more…]

$203,150…for a what? Yes, darling – a handbag.

December 13, 2011 by

This lesson aims to get your students talking about status symbols and the megarich. The dictogloss activity tests both their listening ability and teamwork skills. I haven’t included strict timings here, though this lesson has the potential to overrun, so keep your eye on the… [Read more…]

You’re Beautiful – Literal Music Video Describing Actions, People, Prepositions, Movement and James Blunt.

December 10, 2011 by

This is a fun descriptive video lesson that can be adapted to suit the needs of your students. I’m not sure where I found it, but I’m sure the idea was given to me by one of the teachers in the staffroom. Wherever it came… [Read more…]

Japanese Game show! Comparatives Video lesson – ESL Dogme

December 9, 2011 by

This is an interactive video lesson that encourages the students to describe, compare and produce language in a natural way. It is a lesson that focuses on eliciting and practising advanced comparative forms. This is a five stage lesson. Lesson aims: To engage the students.… [Read more…]

Unplugged ESL: Passing disagreeable notes

December 9, 2011 by

Passing disagreeable notes – Pre-intermediate – advanced. A three stage, zero-preparation unplugged lesson. Lesson aims: To practise giving opinions To help speaking fluency Class grammar review Writing opinions Stage One: – Each student must write an opinion on a slip of paper. As a guide, this opinion must be something that can be argued: “Barcelona… [Read more…]

A Dogme Cat Translation and Video Dictation

December 9, 2011 by

This is a lighthearted, interactive video lesson aimed at teenagers and younger GE classes. The learners produce their own language and material, using the video as a base. They perform, correct and compare dialogues and also complete a listening dictation. Yes, that’s right, it’s a… [Read more…]

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