Number one for English language teachers

Live from London: Preferences

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 preferences. 


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. Themed discussion

Live form London Lorraine

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 ‘preferences’.

Objectives: to practice fluency

Flipped: Your students could do the preparatory work independently and prepare answers to bring to class the following day.

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 their preferences. Ask your students to note down all the questions they hear with the word prefer. Explain that there are four questions (see list below).

Do you prefer cats or dogs?
What kind of food do you prefer?
What type of films do you prefer?
Where would you prefer to spend a holiday?

Now ask the students to discuss the questions in small groups. 

2. Mingling Task

Level: Pre-intermediate to intermediate

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

Objective: to practice fluency

InstructionsGive each student one of the questions below on piece of paper.

Do you prefer cats or dogs?
What kind of food do you prefer?
What type of films do you prefer?
Where would you prefer to spend a holiday?

Ask your students to stand up and walk around the class asking their questions. Make sure they talk to everyone in class. Now play the video. As they watch the video ask the students to see if they can find any similarities between the people in the video and their classmates.You could board the following sentence prompts to help them.

_____ is very similar to _____

_____ is very different to _____

_____ is exactly the same as _____

_____ is completely different to ______

Finally, conduct a whole class feedback discussion.

3. Note-taking

live from london kris

Level: Pre-intermediate to intermediate

Summary: Students watch the video and write down notes on a chosen interviewee.

Objective: to listen for specific information

Flipped: Preparation for the lesson can be done at home to bring to class the following day.

Instructions: Place your students into groups of four. Write cats or dogs, food, films and holidays on the board. Give each student in their groups the name of an interviewee from the video so each student has a different name.

  1. Kris
  2. Lorraine
  3. Natasha
  4. Sasha

Explain that as they watch the video they have to make detailed notes on their given person. Play the video. Now ask your students to share their information in their groups. Play the video again to consolidate the shared information. Finally, ask your students whether they agree or disagree with their person’s preferences. They can discuss this in their small groups.

4. Warmer for ‘You choose!’ lesson

Level: Pre-intermediate to intermediate

Summary: Video used as a warmer for Impressions lesson ‘You choose!’.

Objectives: to engage students on the subject of preferences

Instructions: Explain to the class you are going to play a short video of people discussing some topics. Students need to watch the video and note down what topics each person is talking about. Check answers as a whole class going back to difficult bits in the video where necessary. After playing the video tell your students to write down the four questions asked by the presenter Luke.

Do you prefer cats or dogs?
What kind of food do you prefer?
What type of films do you prefer?
Where would you prefer to spend a holiday?

Ask your students to discuss the questions in pairs before continuing this lesson from point 2 in the teacher’s notes of lesson plan ’You choose!’ which you can find here

5. True or false questions

live from london natasha

Level: Pre-Intermediate to intermediate

Summary: Students are given a list of true or false statements about the video content.

Objective: to listen for specific information

Flipped: Students can prepare their true and false statements outside of class to be used in the next lesson – see additional ideas.

Instructions: Look at the statements below, some are true others are false. You can either write them up on the board or use the worksheet which can be found at the bottom of this page. You may wish to change the order of the statements, play the video first to make it more challenging or even use the transcript (at the bottom of the page) to make your own true/false statements. Also note the answers are given in this list.

  1. Kris finds dogs a bit temperamental [F] She finds cats temperamental
  2. Kris has three Tibetan Spaniel dogs [F] She used to have three Tibetan Spaniels
  3. Lorraine has a phobia of dogs [T]
  4. Natasha is allergic to dogs [F] She’s allergic to cats
  5. Natasha likes spicy food [F] She doesn’t like anything spicy
  6. Lorraine’s favourite food is lobster [T]
  7. Kris has recently started to enjoy baking [T]
  8. Kris doesn’t like horror films as they give her nightmares [T]
  9. Sasha prefers the beach to the mountains [F] She likes both
  10. Lorraine likes a hot climate [F] She’s not really a hot climate person and moans if it goes above 25 degree.

Additional idea: Ask your students to write their own true and false statements about their preferences to swap with a partner. This could be done without re-watching the video to test how much students remember.

6. Film genre task

Level: Pre-intermediate to upper intermediate

Summary: Students work in pairs or small groups to think of further film genres to discuss.

Objectives: to practise spoekn fluency; to practise agreeing and disagreeing; to listen for specific information

Flipped: This could be set up as homework and the interviews could take place the following day.

Instructions: Before playing the video write the words action film on the board and ask your students to think of an action film they like or dislike. Now play the video and explain to your students that they need to list further film genres they hear (see below).

Foreign art
Hollywood films (Not necessarily a genre but students may suggest this as an answer.)

Now put your students into pairs or small groups to add further genres such as:

drama, comedy, documentary, war, thriller

There may be further suggestions from your class. Ask your students to discuss what genres they like and dislike and see if they agree or disagree with each other’s choices.

7. Vocabulary gap-fill

live from london sasha

Level: Intermediate to upper intermediate

Summary: Students read through some excerpts of the video missing more challenging vocabulary.

Objectives: to listen for specific information; to build vocabulary

Instructions: Write the following words on the board:

indecisive (adj)
stereotypical (adj)
spicy (adj)
phobia (n)
moody (adj)
moan (v)
allergic (adj)
background (n)
bitten (v past participle)

Create a hand out or write out the excerpts below with gaps. Ask your student to fill in the gaps with the words on the board. Once they’ve filled the gaps play the video so they check their answers (see below).

 They’re just funny. I’ve always had dogs. Cats are a little bit _____. 

Lorraine: Definitely cats cos I’ve got a ______ against dogs. 

Natasha: Neither. I got ______by a dog when I was younger so that put me off of dogs and I’m _____to cats so …

Natasha: I’m quite a plain-food person, so I kind of like savoury food. Nothing _____ and I like cakes.

Lorraine: I’m from a Jamaican _______

Sasha: Few days on the beach, few days in the mountains. I can’t decide, I’m ______.

Lorraine: Blue seas, nice skies. Well, not too much of a hot temperature. I’m not really a hot climate person, I _______when it goes above 25 degrees but yeah, I suppose the _________ you know, being on a beach or just really exploring actually.


Answers: 1.moody  2.phobia  3.bitten  4.allergic  5.spicy  6.background  7.indecisive  8.moan  9.stereotypical

Place your students into small groups to come up with suitable definitions for each word.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • You're very welcome Lucy :-)

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  • Very good one. Thank you.

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