Saturday, October 31, 2009

Felon: Justice - Law

Watch the first segment from the movie Felon and discuss the questions that follow:

1. Describe the scene.

2. Did Wade Porter, the main character, do the right thing?

3. What should happen to him?

4. Should he go to jail? Why (not)?

Vocabulary Building:

Work with a partner and match the words and the definitions about Law:

1. Sue (v)

2. Jury (n)

3. Defendant (n)

4. Judge (n)

5. Arson (n)

6. Manslaughter (n)

7. Witness (n)

8. Verdict (n)

9. Trial (n)

10. Evidence (n)

11. Lawyer, Attorney (n)

12. Convict (v)

13. Sentence (n)

14. Prosecutor (n)

15. Defense Attorney (n)

( ) The punishment.

( ) One or more reasons for believing that something is or is not true.

( ) A person who is in charge of a trial in court and decides how a person who is guilty should be punished.

( ) To decide officially in a court of law that someone is guilty of a crime.

( ) the crime of killing a person by someone who did not intend to do it.

( ) A group pf people who have been chosen to to listen to all the facts in a trial to decide whether a person is guilty or not guilty.

( ) Someone whose job is to give advice to people about the law and speak for them in court.

( ) To take legal action against a person or organization because of some harm they have caused you.

( ) The attorney that defends someone of committing a crime in a Court of law.

( ) The attorney the accuses someone of committing a crime in a court of law.

( ) The hearing of statements and showing of objects to judge whether a person is guilty of a crime.

( ) A person who sees a crime or an accident.

( ) A person who is accused of having done something illegal.

( ) The crime of intentionally start a fire in order to damage or destroy something.

( ) An opinion or decision made after judging the facts at the end of a trial.

Answer key: 13, 10, 4, 12, 6, 2, 11, 1, 15, 14, 9, 7, 3, 5, 8

Watch the second segment. Talk to a partner about the questions that follow:

1. Describe what happened during the scene.

2. What is the officer accusing Wade of?

3. Was it a self-defense crime, in your opinion?

4. Who's right? The officer or Wade?

5. Would it be fair for him to go to jail despite the circumstances of the crime?

The Trial:

Divide the class into two groups.

One group is the prosecution and the other one is the defense.

Come up with a case either defending or accusing the defendant to present the jury (a group of students), who will decide and tell the judge (the teacher) the main character's sentence, based on the evidence and argumentation presented by the students. 


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Labor Pains & The Proposal: Boss x Employee

A. Talk to a partner about the following questions.

1. What should the ideal boss be like? Mention at least 5 important qualities he/she must have.

2. Mention 5 qualities a boss can't have.

3. What is the limit for an employee to bear with a rude boss?

4. Would you quit a position because of your boss even if the job were excellent pay and you didn't have any other opportunity in mind?

5. Would you tell the truth to your boss if you didn't like the he/she treated you? Why (not)?

B. Watch the first part of the segment from the movie Labor Pains and decide.

1. Who is right? The boss or the employee?

2. Was the boss too strict about her delay? Why (not)?

3. What would you do if you were the employee?

4. What would you do if you were the boss?

5. What were the wrong things both the employee and the boss did? Explain it.

C. Now watch the second segment from Labor Pains and answer the questions that follow.

1. Is the main character actually pregnant?

2. Why did she make that up?

3. Is it okay to lie to your boss just to keep your job?

4. Do you think it's fair that a pregnant woman can't be legally fired? Why (not)?

5. What are the laws in your country concerning pregnant women at the workplace?

6. What will she have to do so that her workmates don't find out she's not pregnant.

7. What will happen next?

8. What should the boss do if/when she finds out about that she is not pregnant at all?

9. What other excuse could she have made up in order to keep her job? Would it be better or worse than hers? Why?

D. Watch the next segment from the movie The Proposal. Then discuss the questions.

1. How do you describe the relationship between the boss and the employees? How healthy is it?

2. What about the boss and her secretary?

3. Does the boss deserve her reputation? Explain it.

4. What's your opinion about the way she fired her employee?

5. What's your opinion about the way the fired employee reacted to it?

6. Would you like to be her secretary knowing that the pay is extremely profitable? Why (not)?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Because I Said So: Internet Dating

This is a great romantic comedy. It is extremely current and has great moments, such as the one I selected for this activity. I hope you like it. My students had a lot to talk about.

Online dating or Internet dating is a dating system which allows individuals, couples and groups to make contact and communicate with each other over the Internet, usually with the objective of developing a personal romantic or sexual relationship. Online dating services usually provide matchmaking over the Internet, through the use of personal computers or cell phones.

A. Work with a partner. Discuss the following questions:

1. Are you familiar with Internet dating or is it too far off your reality?

2. What's your opinion about this kind of sites?

3. Is it possible for someone to find their soul mates on line?

4. Would you create a profile of your own on one of those sites? Would you tell the truth
about yourself?

5. Do you think people often lie about themselves on these sites? If so, why do they do it?

6. Is it easier or harder to make new good friends on sites such as orkut, facebook, twitter, or others? Why?

B. Check the items below that one will probably find on one online personals or dating site:

( ) They can search the service provider's database for other individuals, using criteria they set, such as age/ range, gender and location.

( ) They allow members to upload pictures of themselves and browse the photos of others.

( ) They may offer additional services, such as online chats, telephone chats (VOIP), and message boards.

( ) They provide free registrations, but many provide services which require a monthly fee.

( ) They have members coming from a variety of backgrounds looking for different types of relationships.

B. Watch the segment now and answer the questions that follow.

1. What happened in the segment?

2. Do you think it is a good idea for a mother to place a personal add on about her daughter without her knowing about it? Why (not)?

3. Should a mother help her daughter choose Mr. Right for her? Why (not)?

4. Try to remember all the candidates. Which one was:

the ugliest / the funniest / the most ridiculous / the best / the worst

5. What do you think will happen next?

6. What would you do if you were the daughter whose profile had been published on the site? How would you react to it?


Christine Kane's suggestion: 10 Most Accurate Movies about the Internet. Great Suggestions there.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Confessions of a Shopaholic: Shopping

This movie a great source of discussion points. I used the opening scene to talk about shopping in an impartial manner.

A. Watch the movie segment from the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic and then discuss the following questions:

1) What are real prices and mom prices, according to Rebecca?

2) What does she see when she goes window shopping?

3) How did she call credit cards? Why?

4) How does she compare her excitement of seeing a store?

B. Talk to a different partner now:

1. Who prefer shopping? Men or Women? Why?

2. Do you buy unnecessary things? How do you deal with it?

3.What advice would you give Rebecca, the main character of the movie?

4. Do you know anyone like Rebecca? Tell your partner about this person.

5. What are the best places for shopping in your city?

6. Do you prefer department stores or smaller ones? Why?

7. Do you prefer malls or shopping on the streets? Why?


1. Which is the best shopping mall in your city? Why do you think so?

2. Which is the best store for women's clothes? And men's clothes?

3. What do you dislike about shopping malls?

4. What do you like about shopping malls?

5. What was the last thing you bought for yourself? Why did you buy it?


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Marie Antoinette & Lost in Translation: Fashion

I usually use this activity either before or after the ones in the previous post - style - because they pretty much go together. The vocabulary is useful for both. By the way, both of the scenes are extremely attractive. Students love them both. I hope you do too.

A. Divide the class into pairs.

Student 1 asks questions 1 to 6 and student 2 asks questions 7 to 11.

1) Do you like fashion?

2) What is your opinion about the fashion industry?3) Are you a fashion victim or slave to fashion? Explain it.

3) What's your opinion about fashion models?

4) How does fashion affect your life?

5) How important is fashion today compared with the past?

6) What do you think fashion will be like 40 years from now? Will we wear any different kinds of clothes and materials?

7) What is more important? To look elegant or comfortable?

8) What are the bad aspects of fashion?

9) Is fashion only for beautiful or famous people? Explain it.

10) Do you have your own fashion style or follow the crowds?

11) What are some of the strangest fashions you have seen?

B. Watch the movie segment. It is about fashion in the Elizabethan era. Watch it and compare it to fashion nowadays.

1) What's your opinion about the fashion in the Elizabethan period?

2) Would you like to wear those clothes? And the shoes? Why (not)?

3) Choose three positive adjectives and three negative adjectives to describe their clothes.

4) Look at the adjectives below and decide which ones apply better to fashion nowadays (N) or to the Elizabethan era (E).

a. Elegant ( )

b. Expensive ( )

c. Comfortable ( )

d. Romantic ( )

e. Ugly ( )

f. Corny ( )

g. Wearable ( )

h. Fierce ( )

i. Fresh ( )

j. Eclectic ( )

k. Luxurious ( )

l. Extravagant ( )

m. Predictable ( )

n. Boring ( )

o. Glamorous( )

C. Now watch the next segment from the movie Lost in Translation. Then discuss the questions with a partner.

1. Describe the scene.

2. Describe the TV host fashion style. What's your opinion about it?

3. How do you compare the fashion in Marie Antoinette and in Lost in Translation?

4. Which adjectives in the previous exercise apply to the TV host? And to Bob Harris?


Work in small groups. Read the sentences below and decide whether they apply to the way you see yourself and fashion. Explain why you chose or didn't choose each of them.