Number one for English language teachers

Live from London: Friends

Level: Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, Upper intermediate, Advanced Type: General lesson plan, Video Video material

Set in Brixton, London, this video lesson includes authentic interviews with people living in London, talking about friends. 

Note: If your device isn’t Flash compatible, then click on the link under ‘Related files’ at the bottom of the page to download the video. You can then play it through the media player on your device (e.g. iTunes).

Seven ideas on how to use this video with your class

Some of the ideas can be used for flipped lessons. In this scenario, students can do tasks and preparatory work at home or in the school, independently from the teacher, for the following lesson. This allows more time for communicative tasks, teacher-led tasks or group-led tasks during class time.

1. Split viewing

Live from London Rwakn

Level: Pre-intermediate to upper intermediate

Summary: Students are divided into two groups. One group listens to the video with no visuals. The other group watches the video with no sound.

Objectives: to engage students; to promote speaking and imagination; to practice note-taking

InstructionsDivide the class into Group 1 and Group  2. Ask Group 2 to leave the classroom.

Group 1 stay and listen to the video with no visuals. As they listen they can make notes. Encourage the students to think about how many different voices they hear and any similarities and differences they notice with each person’s answers to the questions being asked. Once they’ve listened through ask them to leave the class and swap over with Group 2.

Group 2 now watch the video without any sound. They too can make notes about the places, things and people they can see. Encourage the students to think about names and general attitude of the interviewees, whether they are more or less friendly or more or less reserved in comparison to each other.

Bring Group 1 back into the class and pair up members from each group to discuss their notes. Finally watch the full video with sound and visuals.

2. Write an article

Live form London Lorraine

Level: Pre-intermediate to upper intermediate

Summary: Students use the video as a stimulus for writing an article.

Objectives: to encourage creative writing practice; to use descriptive language

Flipped: This is best done as a ‘flipped’ lesson in class or at home so that the students can watch the video as many times as they wish to write notes for their article. For the following lesson students could also upload their articles to google docs to share with the class. There could be a class vote for the best article. 

Instructions: Explain to your students that they are going to watch a video where a presenter called Luke has interviewed different people about friendship.

Ask your students to imagine that on the day they were the reporter and they now need to write an article about their day out. The article could begin with the line ‘Last week I went out on to the streets of Brixton to interview the general public about their friends. You can add descriptive language for the people interviewed such as friendly, awkward, shy, reserved, bubbly or any other adjectives that you deem suitable or even recap on previous language you’ve taught on describing people, places or events. Students can write blogs or share their articles on google docs with each other.

3. Role-play

Level: Pre-intermediate to upper intermediate

Summary: Students are given roles as journalists or interviewees.

Objectives: to practise speaking; to provide fluency practice

Instructions: Play the video as a warmer. Divide the class into two: half the class will be journalists and the other half interviewees.

Journalists have to come up with six questions related to friendship.

Interviewees have to write notes on a friend. They have to consider their name, age, nationality, how they met, what shared interests they have, how they would describe their personality and appearance and what makes them a good friend.

Allow both groups to prepare for their interviews (approximately 10 minutes). Finally pair up journalists and interviewees for the role-play.

4. Word formation

live from london sophie

Level: Pre-intermediate to upper intermediate

Summary: Students brainstorm qualities of a good friend and start to make a list of adjectives and their respective nouns.

Objectives: to enhance vocabulary building (word formation)

Instructions: Explain to the class you are going to play a short video of people discussing the subject of ‘friendship’. Before playing the video ask them what Rwakn says is the main quality of a good friend. After watching the video elicit the word loyal or loyalty mentioned by Rwakn. Ask the students to work in small groups to make a list of other qualities. If they come up with a noun ask them to write the respective adjectives and vice versa. 

You can then follow with this lesson starting from instructions in paragraph 3 of the teacher’s notes http://www.onestopenglish.com/teenagers/impressions/friends/ 

5. Themed discussion

Level: Pre-intermediate to intermediate

Summary: Students use the main questions from the video and additional questions as a basis for a personalised discussion about ‘friendship’.

Flipped: Students could do the preparatory work independently and prepare answers to bring to class the following day for the discussion part of the activity.

Objectives: to promote discussion; to provide fluency practice

Instructions: Place your students into pairs or small groups for this activity. Before playing the video tell your students that Luke, the presenter/interviewer in the video, asks people about friendship. Ask your students to tick the questions they hear. 

What does it mean to be a friend to somebody?
Why do people need friends?
Could you describe a best friend or a very good friend?
So you met at school?
What shared interests do you have?
What is the best way to make new friends?

Now ask the students to discuss the questions in small groups. Explain that they may need to adapt the fourth question. 

6. Group reordering

live from london sasha

Level: Pre-intermediate to intermediate

Summary:
Students watch the video through once then arrange cut up pieces of the narrative into the correct order.

Objective: to listen for general understanding; to aid memory recall practice

Instructions: Print out the transcript and cut it up into small, manageable chunks to give to each student in the class. Tell your students they are going to watch the video once without further instruction. After this, hand out one piece of the transcript to each student and ask them to work as a group and arrange the transcript into the correct order. Ask the students to line up in the correct order once they think they have finished. Students re-watch the video as they stand in line to check their order of events are correct. If they find they are in the wrong order, they must move into the correct place while the video is playing.

Finally hand out the full transcripts to check their orders again. Whilst they read the transcript ask the students to underline any language that is unfamiliar and conduct a whole-class feedback discussion boarding new language.

7. Vocabulary lesson

live from london christophe

Level: Intermediate to upper intermediate

Summary: students familiarise themselves with some of the low-frequency everyday English in the video.

Objective: to enhance vocabulary building, to provide speaking practice, to help inducing meaning from context

Instructions: As the videos are authentic, unscripted interviews some of the language used by the interviewees is very natural and colloquial. Write the following expressions the board.

1. he or she has my back
2. a friend for life
3.he or she has a good heart
4. he or she doesn’t have a bad bone in his or her body
5. to be oneself
6. we count on each other

Explain to your students that these expressions are in the video. As they listen they have to consider what they mean in context. Play the video and then place your students in groups to see if they can come with a definition for the new language.

If they are still struggling put the following definitions on the board.

a. someone who will be a friend forever
b. someone who has no bad qualities to their character
c. someone you can always rely on
d. someone who has is caring and kind
e. to be able to be genuine and comfortable being you
f. when you can rely on each other as friends

Students match each definition to the correct word.

Answers: 1.c  2.a  3.d  4.b  5.e  6.f

You can then ask your students to discuss the following questions in small groups. You can write them on the board or dictate them.

Who do you know in your life that has your back?
What friend do you hope will be a friend for life?
Does your best friend have a good heart?
Do you know anybody that doesn’t have a bad bone in their body?
Who do you feel comfortable to be yourself with?
Can you remember a time when you and a close friend counted on each other?

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Readers' comments (7)

  • Video link not working today

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  • Hello Trainer,

    We are sorry you are having problems accessing this video. We would recommend you try the following:

    If the video isn’t appearing on the screen, click on the circled i on the top right side of the screen, by the address bar. A drop-down menu will appear. Click on ‘site setting’ choose ‘flash’ then click on ‘allow’. You will then be prompted to refresh the page and the video should now appear. You may need to do this every time the page is opened.

    If you still have difficulty, please do contact our customer services team at help@macmillaneducation.com.

    Best wishes,

    The onestopenglish team

  • Hi Serena,

    Thank you for the lovely feedback. Let us know how your class gets on with this video.

    Best wishes,
    The onestopenglish team

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  • This is great and also shows students the wide cultural diversity of London as a melting pot. I can't wait to try it out in my classroom!

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  • Hi RuthAC,

    Thanks again for the lovely feedback. We're really glad to hear that you like these videos so much. We had a lot of fun making them and yes, Lorraine it a total star!

    Best wishes,
    The onestopenglish team

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  • These videos are great. It is a real challenge for many of my students to listen and understand what is being said but it is so important that they can hear real people speaking and hear colloquial expressions. Lorraine is a total star! I loved the previous audios from the 'Live from London' series but these are even better. Thank you so much for putting them together.

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  • Hi Pilar,

    Thank you for the lovely feedback. We made these videos in response to feedback we received from a customer survey last year and it is really nice to hear that they are being well received. The idea of students listening to authentic language rather than scripted dialogue is a very interesting one and it's nice to know that students are reacting enthusiastically to it.

    There will be a new video in this series published every month, each of which can be used in conjunction with lessons from the teen series Impressions:

    http://www.onestopenglish.com/teenagers/impressions/

    We are also hoping to commission some more video series on teacher development as well as so general video lesson plans for everyday English so watch this space.

    Best wishes,
    The onestopenglish team

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  • I find these activities so useful because they catch students` attention. They are more enthusiastic when they watch these videos with real people and authentic language. Thank you very much. I hope there will be more.

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