The long summer holiday is already here and lots of students take breaks because they want to relax and recharge. If learners want to keep up their English over the summer months but not to have long lessons with different new grammar materials and vocabulary, you can suggest having short speaking lessons. Previously we have introduced the benefits of these lessons, why they can be so useful and how to organize them. We have got lots of interesting ideas for your short speaking lessons here. Since summer is a great time to spend walking with pets, watching films or travelling, the lesson ideas introduced here are connected with these topics. You will need approximately 15-20 minutes to complete the tasks. As a cool-down activity, you can ask your students to name three things (the most challenging, the most interesting, the most important) they learnt in the lesson and explain their choice.
Look at the picture and describe it. How do you think the girl and the dog are feeling?
Do you have any pets/Did you have any pets when you were younger?
Do you have a favourite animal?
Are you afraid of any animals?
What do you think about zoos? Is it bad for animals to be kept in cages?
Should people be allowed to eat wild animals like snakes, whales, etc.?
Would you ever become a vegan? Why or why not?
Watch the video till 01:00. What do you think of the friendship of dogs and babies? Isn’t it dangerous?
Watch the video till 01:15. Which fact surprised you the most? Are you for or against using butterflies as decoration?
Create a mind map and brainstorm different genres of the movies.
What kind of films do you really enjoy watching? Why? Is there any genre that you would never watch?
Task 1: General discussion
Do you usually watch movies at home or at the cinema?
What is your all-time favourite movie?
Who is your favourite actor/actress? Why do you like him or her?
How do you usually choose what film to watch? Do you read reviews, descriptions or watch trailers?
Do you know what movies are coming out in 2021? Have you watched any of them?
Task 2: Film discussion
Look at the posters of the films coming out in 2021. What do you think they are about?
Can you guess the genres of the movies from the posters?
Have you watched any of the movies yet? If so, which one/ones? If not, which film would you like to watch and discuss?
Jungle Cruise — action, adventure, comedy
Wrath of man — action, thriller
Watch the trailer of the film and discuss the questions.
- What is the meaning of the title of the film?
- How would you describe the mood, feeling, and story of this film to someone who was not familiar with it and who had never seen it before?
- Can you describe the main character starring Jason Statham?
- What does the main character want to find out after the accident?
- The title of the film is “Wrath of Man” which describes the main character who gets really furious especially after his son’s death.
- The film is quite tense, full of gunshots, fast driving and bad guys. It is not only action but also drama since the main character’s son is killed and he wants to find the killer and to take revenge.
- Brave, strong, furious and resolute.
- After the accident, he wants to find out who has murdered his son.
- What other movies did Jason Statham star in? Have you seen any of them? If so, which is your favourite one?
- Is there any actor that would play the role better? If so, who?
- Do you think action movies are bad for children? Explain your answer.
Watch the trailer of the film and mark the sentences true/false/not mentioned.
- The legend claims that there is a tree in the jungles which can cure anything.
- The tree can bring lots of success if someone takes and uses it.
- Frank has been searching for the tree in every single village and island but has not had any success so far.
- The key was given to Lily by her Granny.
- One of the greatest challenges that they can face in the jungle is tigers and snakes.
- False — If it gets into the wrong hands, it could awaken great evil.
- Not mentioned
- False — Everything in the jungle that you see wants to and can kill you.
- Do you like films produced by Walt Disney Pictures? Why/why not? What are the peculiarities of their films?
- What’s your favourite adventure movie?
- Do you think the stories the adventure films are based on can be sometimes real?
- What would you do to survive if one day you found yourself in a jungle? Are there any dos and don’ts?
If your students are interested in Oscar-nominated movies, you can use some ideas from our previous article Oscar 2021: lesson ideas.
Create a mind map and brainstorm words/phrases connected with travelling.
- Have you ever been abroad?
- Where have you been?
- Are you afraid of going abroad alone?
- Who do you usually travel with?
- What do you do on your journeys?
- Which type of travelling do you like?
- Do you prefer travelling by car, train or by plane? Explain your choice.
Choose a topic that sounds more interesting to you.
Imagine that you are going to have an extreme trip to the jungle. What type of luggage would you take? Explain your choice. Why wouldn’t you take the other types?
b) Let’s pack the luggage together! I take one thing, you take one. I’m going to take…. (e.g. swimming suit), because (e.g. I love swimming). What do you take? Why?
Sunglasses, tent, corkscrew, charger, earplugs, swimsuit, medicine, camera, mosquito repellent, snacks, hairdryer.
- Have you ever met a bear? Or any other dangerous animals?
- If yes, what was the animal? How was it?
- If no, lucky you! Do you know anyone who has?
- Watch the video till 02:45. How can we survive a bear attack? What shouldn’t you do?
- Which do you prefer to stay in when you travel: hotels, hostels, or another type of place? Why?
- What do you look for when choosing a hotel (choose the three most important)?
- You’ve been there before.
- Someone’s recommended it to you/you’ve read about it in a guide, etc.
- Comfort, including the accessibility
- Proximity to airport/station
- Proximity to city centre/nightlife
- Air conditioning (in the room)
- Animals are allowed
- Other reasons
- What is the nicest hotel you have stayed at?Watch the video till 02:30 and describe the hotels with their facilities. Which one would you like to choose and why? Which hotel would you never stay in?
These were just some samples of short speaking lessons that you can adjust to your classes. Hopefully, your students will enjoy them a great deal.
Speaking activities are, obviously, essential for English language speaking classes. A lot of students join classes particularly to develop their communicative competence, become more fluent, versatile, adaptable, and confident communicators in English. However, designing speaking activities might be time-consuming and nerve-wracking for any teacher. We have prepared a memo with superb ready-made speaking tasks that will make your student talking. Download it here.