Posted on February 22, 2011



This lesson revolves around a BBC video made by British school pupils. It also contains a conversation activity on issues in education and a voice recording task using an application called Voxopop. It is best-suited to upper-intermediate students.

Step One (optional) : Lead-in and vocabulary

  • Give a brief description of your secondary education. Slip in as much education vocabulary as you can (subject, do homework, get good marks, do an exam, classmate, state school, Head, to tell sb off, discipline, classroom etc etc). Ask your students to make a note of as many words as they can while they listen to you.
  • Write up the vocabulary on the board and ask your students to talk about their secondary education in pairs. Encourage them to activate the vocabulary.

Step Two : Conversation

  • Project (click on Menu > View Full Screen) this Slideshare presentation onto the screen. Go through the slides one by one asking your students to discuss the opinions in groups of 3 or 4.


Step Three : The video

  • Tell your students that they are going to watch a report filmed by a group of secondary school pupils. Here’s the video on the BBC’s site (I cannot embed BBC videos).

Watch the BBC video

  • First, play sound only and ask them to listen for the answers to these questions : 1) Which of the above Slideshare opinions is the report about? 2) What conclusion does the report come to?
  • After giving feedback on the two questions, play the video a few more times and ask them to make more detailed notes on the arguments given.
  • Finish up by asking your students (open class) how they react to the video.

Step Four : Continue debating on Voxopop

As an extension activity set up a Voxopop discussion on one or more of the statements in Step Two. Voxopop is similar to a message board, but instead of writing text students record themselves.

Debating with Voxopop

Click here to see an example of a short City/Country discussion, then watch the two-part tutorial below. 

Give your students feedback on content, form and pronunciation during the following class.

Step Five (optional) : Writing

  • Ask your students to write an opinion essay on one of the opinions from Step Two.

Hope you enjoy this lesson!