Leaving Home

Posted on March 5, 2010

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Video 03 : Leaving Home

Working at a university language service, this is one of the topics which never fails to provoke strong reactions from my students, most of whom still live at home with their parents. That difficult once-in-a-lifetime decision of when and how to fly the nest is a topic of universal interest. It touches everyone, and everyone has a story to tell.

The lesson consists of a short video activity (Goodbye to the Normals),  conversation questions on the topic of leaving home and a roleplay.

Step One : The Video

  • Do not tell your students what the video is about.
  • Play the video until 0:45 (stop it just after the father says “Fine thanks!”)
  • Ask your students to guess what has happened, what is happening and what they think is going to happen next.
  • Play the video until 3.17
  • Ask your students the following questions

1. What’s the little boy going to do?
2. How long will he be away for?
3. How is he going?

  • Ask them to guess what’s going to happen next, then play the final part of the video. Warning : There is an instance of the f-word here.

Note : When I saw the video I immediately thought that it would make a great springboard for roleplaying and conversation, so I haven’t really exploited it as a listening activity. If you’ve got any good ideas how to make better use of it, please comment below.

Step Two : Conversation Questions

  • Put your students in pairs or small groups and get them to discuss the questions below.

Step Three : Roleplay

  • Explain the situation of the roleplay (35-year old who still lives at home and doesn’t want to leave, one parent wants them out, the other is prepared to let them stay for a while longer).
  • Put your students in groups of three and give them a role each (mother, father, son/daughter).
  • Give them time to prepare their arguments and to ask you for any new vocabulary they might need.
  • When they are ready, ask your students to imagine that the son/daughter has just come back from the pub. Ask Parent 1 (could be mother or father) to start off by saying “Oh good, you’re home! Actually, me and your father/mother would like to have a word with you if that’s OK ...”.
  • Ask them to try to come to the best decision possible.

Step Four : Feedback on Roleplay

  • You could finish off the lesson by asking your students some debriefing/feedback questions like the example ones below.

1. Did you manage to solve the problem satisfactorily? If not , why not?
2. Who would you ‘support’, if this were a real life situation?
3. How did you feel about the playing your role?
4. Who gave the most convincing arguments?
5. Was the roleplay realistic? Do you think it would be the same in real life?

Hope you and your students enjoy the lesson!


Posted in: Video Lessons