Karen Kovacs introduces a series of British English lessons to use with teenagers at levels A1 to B2. This article provides information on the topics in the series and guidance on how to use the lessons.

Photo of students and their teacher in a classroom.

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The Beyond lessons on onestopenglish

With their creative and dynamic approach to topics, the Beyond lessons on onestopenglish motivate students to engage with the material, making language learning more meaningful and successful. The lessons are content-driven with a strong focus on skills, especially speaking. The tasks practise specific subskills, such as describing, explaining, etc. The worksheets include Phrasebooks – reference boxes full of useful language chunks relevant for a particular subskill that students can put straight into practice during the lesson.

The focus of the lessons is on the topic and skills development, not on providing practice tasks for a specific language or grammar point. The levels assigned to the worksheets are determined by the language used in the texts and tasks on the worksheets. The worksheets focus on productive skills activities, meaning that it is the students’ themselves who determine the level of the language they produce in the classroom.

Every month, we will publish a new downloadable lesson. Each lesson consists of step-by-step teacher’s notes and photocopiable worksheets for students.

The series includes two collections of lessons:

Arts and Media

A collection of lessons related to art, television, literature, theatre, advertising and the press. Students practise their English while being creative.  

In Arts and Media, students talk about art and cover a wall in graffiti. They find out about BookCrossing, write about their favourite books and become ghostwriters. They write news stories and create the front page of a newspaper. They complete a questionnaire to find out about their TV viewing habits, before creating their own television soap opera. They plan an advertising campaign and explore the world of William Shakespeare.


A collection of lessons related to school subjects such as geography, history, science, maths and technology. Students practise their English while learning about the world around them.

In Knowledge, students create a dream classroom, play a geography game and fill their heads with numbers. They find out about the human brain, read about Albert Einstein and travel to planet Mars. They find out if they are a technophobe or technophile and discover how Hollywood sometimes changes history. They complete a questionnaire about their own language-learning experiences.

Using the lessons

The lessons have been designed to provide teachers using the Macmillan secondary course Beyond with flexible supplementary materials for skills practice in the classroom. However, the lessons are versatile and can be used in a variety of teaching contexts. They can be used both in the English language or CLIL classroom within a secondary-school setting, as well as in language schools. The lessons have been created for teenagers but much of the material is also appropriate for teaching adults.

The content itself is also flexible. The lessons can be taught in isolation – each lesson provides up to two hours of material – or you can extract individual tasks to supplement content from other sources. Each lesson includes advice on how to break the content down into sets of 90, 60 and 45 minutes of classroom time. This flexible approach means that you can use as much or as little of the content in this series as suits you and your students’ needs and you can integrate the lessons with any coursebook.

Each self-contained lesson includes extensive teacher’s notes. These include:

  • guidelines on timings
  • a detailed summary and an overview of the key skills practised
  • step-by-step procedure
  • full answer keys
  • a homework task

Each lesson plan contains worksheets for students. These include:

  • the full set of tasks needed for the lesson
  • language boxes that highlight chunks of language for students to practise in the lesson