- Level: B1, B2, C1
- Exercise: Comprehension questions included int he post
- Language focus: past tense, future tense, behaviours, habits, modals
- Media: Video
I know, I know…it’s a cliché to talk about new year’s resolutions in January, but I think it still makes for a good introspective discussion. And if you angle it right, you are creating a great natural context to use the past and futur tense.
Did you know that January comes from the Roman God Janus. He had two faces: one facing back to reflect on the past and one facing forward to think about the future. Watch this PBS video snippet about why new years resolutions fail (3.22 min.).
- Get the brain juices going with this questions: what was the wackiest resolution you have ever taken? e.g. exercise twice a day, quit drinking red wine forever, get a pet, etc. If you need some inspiration, check out this list. 63 Funny New Year’s Resolution
- Then make some predictions: What are some of the features of new years goals that make them difficult to achieve?
The Video: PBS Learning Media Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail
It is a relatively short presentation so depending on the level of you students you could watch the whole thing or cut it up.
Video Comprehension Questions
- First do a Tell Back of the video and write down all the key vocabulary and concepts.
- Why do resolutions fail?
- What are the “psychological traps” that make resolutions difficult?
- Why can making resolutions be bad for us?
- How can we make “smart” resolutions? In other words, what are the features of good resolutions?
- What do you think about the presenters’ t-shirt (I threw that in just for fun)
- What are some of the things to did last year that surprised you?
- What obstacles did you overcome?
- What were some changes that happened in you life?
- What were some good books you read?
- What were some good deeds you did?
- What are some things you would like to do this year?
- Are there any changes you would like to make?
- Anything you would like to learn?
- What are your personal or professional goals?
If you want to do something a little different, you could also have students do a quick mind map of the year and talk about it after they get a few ideas down.
Have a great lesson!
I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for supporting eslconversationlessons.com and wish you a great year full of fruitful discussions. Discussion is the tie that bind us together and breaks isolation, depression and puts our ideas in the collective. Mélanie