Beef Wellington

This lesson is based on a clip from the Gordon Ramsay TV show The F Word.

About a year ago, Jamie Keddie of the excellent Lessonstream pointed me in the direction of this clip when he was writing for the TeachingEnglish website. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to use it in class; it just seemed made for exploiting in the ELT classroom. Have a look and see if you agree.

Since this programme was broadcast, Gordon Ramsay has updated the Beef Wellington recipe for Christmas. For homework, ask students to watch and note down the differences between the original and the Christmas version, and make one of them themselves. And that’s all from us for 2011. Enjoy the holidays and check back in the new year for the next update.

Beef Wellington Teacher’s Notes

Meet the Parents

What do a cat, an urn and a tall story have in common? They all feature in one of my favourite scenes from Meet the Parents, the highly entertaining, occasionally cringe inducing, sometimes laugh out loud funny story of a man who tries too hard to please his future parents-in-law.

This activity begins with a vocabulary game, leads on to some watching and listening, and finishes off with some pronunciation and prediction. And hopefully it will raise one or two laughs along the way.

photo by IITA Image Library on Flickr

Meet the Parents Teacher’s Notes

Meet the parents vocab

Meet the parents script

My Blackberry Is Not Working

As a “mature” EFL teacher, I have fond memories of the classic comedy show “The Two Ronnies” on the BBC. Among their most famous sketches was one which took place in a hardware shop and is known simply as Four Candles. It was based entirely on complicated but very clever puns or double meanings. This week’s post is an updated version of that sketch starring the survivor of the original duo, Ronnie Corbett, but this time set in a fruit shop. It’s a little piece of scriptwriting genius, and I think I can guarantee that all students will get it from the brilliant opening exchange……

My Blackberry Is Not Working Teacher’s Notes

My Blackberry is Not Working Student Worksheet


I met Sophie Pietrucci, a teacher in Paris at  TESOL France at the beginning of November. She had also spotted the classroom potential of My Blackberry Is Not Working and made a worksheet, which you can find here:

My Blackberry Is Not Working by Sophie

Check out the space she has set up on nicenet (username and password: tesolswapshop) for teachers to share materials and links.

Thanks, Sophie!


Blind Date

This activity is based on the beautifully animated Aardman clip Blind Date. Apart from finding or downloading the clip, there’s no preparation required. The activity starts off with a vocabulary game and finishes with storytelling. Between the two, students watch the clip, order the vocabulary and predict the ending. I’ve done this activity with several classes over the last few months and they’ve all really enjoyed it.

Blind Date Teacher’s Notes

Nigella Kitchen

We’ve noticed that one of the topics that always goes down well with our students is food, and this lesson is based on a clip from NIgella Lawson’s BBC series Kitchen. If you haven’t heard of Nigella Lawson, you can find out about her here.

The lesson begins with the students talking about their favourite room at home, and then they watch a short clip of Nigella talking about her favourite room. After that, we move on to a couple of listening activities – first, the dishes she cooks (chocolate peanut butter cheesecake, anyone?), and then the ingredients she uses. Watch your students’ reactions when she eats the prawn at the end of the clip! Next up is some vocabulary work, and finally a speaking activity using this vocabulary and more. We hope you and your students enjoy it.

Nigella Kitchen Student Worksheet

Nigella Kitchen Teacher’s Notes