Today I am sharing with you another TED talk I used in my class. I teach the listening skill and my learners are adults who are studying English for academic purposes. The lesson I designed again focuses on note taking. It was very appropriate for them as most of them have work experience and they are also management students. This TED talk is appropriate for B2 upper-intermediate learners. It’s great for EAP and Business English students. Like the Amy Cuddy TED talk lesson plan I shared earlier this month, there is a lot of note taking but this time instead of getting them to write a summary, I asked them to use their notes to answer questions in their groups.
Since I was asked in the comments section, I think it’s a good idea to mention that these lessons are similar to attending mini lectures. During lectures students are asked to take notes. They then use their notes (detailed) and have little group discussions based on questions. They may even have a seminar discussion. That’s what I tried to practice with this lesson.
Jason Fried talks about distractions at work. He argues that managers and meetings are one of the biggest distractions at work and makes 3 suggestions on how to minimise distractions.
- Have a half day silent Thursday during which no one is allowed to talk.
- Go from active communication to passive communication such as emailing and I.Ms.
- Cancel the next meeting.
My students loved this talk. They giggled quite a bit and the 3 suggestions got them talking. I actually got them to debate. The final task I chose was ”imagine your ideal office/ working environment”. This does not have that much to do with the TED talk, so you can omit it if you like. My students really had fun though, and gave mini pair presentations (which ties into what I am teaching them at this stage of the course). If you want the lesson to end with a blast, keep the ideal office task as well! This lesson took about 80 minutes. I have not included minutes in this lesson plan. The activities were done in groups.
1 You are going to watch a talk by Jason Fried called,
‘’Why work doesn’t happen at work’’.
What do you think it’s about?
- Where do you go when you want to do something important like work or study?
- What kind of distractions do people have at work?
- If you were the manager of a company, what measures would you take in order to minimise distractions?
Watch the TED talk and take detailed notes. You will need your notes to answer questions later on.
Answer the following questions
1. How did people answer Fried’s question about where they go to do something important.
2. What distractions do employees have at work?
3. What’s the connection between work and sleep?
4. What 3 measures does Fried suggest managers take in order to minimise distractions?
Debate about measures: In your groups discuss the effectiveness of the measures. Do you agree with them?
In groups decide on your idea working environment (office). When you have finished, you will present this to the rest of the class.
You can find the TED talk tasks on PDF here Jason Fried TED talk LP
If you try this lesson, let me know how it goes. Feel free to share.
Till next time…….