Speaking & Vocabulary lesson: describing changes

Describing Changes lesson


One of my favorite topics for a lesson is CHANGE.  The word plays a big role in our lives.  We experience change in our personal lives, professional lives, in our cities and countries.  With so many avenues available for discussion there are a plethora of options to create a lesson.  It’s worth remembering that there are many words that collocate with the word as in these examples: sweeping/revolutionary/ complete/ significant/ dramatic and many others.  We also have many words that express change such as: transition, transformation, restoration, evolution, revert back to something etc. Alternatively, you can supplement this topic beautifully with some of my other lesson ideas on  Tackling societal issues, The media lesson and social networks or Employment trends. All these topics are fantastic when discussing them with the language of change. I also have a lesson on the pandemic which is absolutely perfect for describing changes.

Change management themes

Another aspect to the lesson that can be introduced if you have a business class is change management.  This can be introduced in the context of how to introduce changes to a workplace, sometimes employers impose it on their employees when actually they should be facilitating change but helping their staff through the transition.  Teachers can create a text with the words associated with change being used so they can see how they are being used in context. Here’s my YouTube video on change if you need more details:

Speaking idea

Here are some conversation topics where students use the target vocabulary while talking about changes they have experienced in their own lives recently, personal or professional.  Additional topics can be on:

  1. Changes you have witnessed or experienced in your town/city in the past 20 years or since you were a child. Think of: infrastructure, historical restoration, roads, commercial centers, pedestrian areas, bike lanes, public transport, sports facilities, international cuisine etc.
  2. Changes in your country. Think of: how people lived many years ago and how they live now. Eating habits, technology, lifestyles etc.
  3. How difficult is it to deal with change? Discuss how well you handle it….
  4. Talk about the changes you have witnessed in the employment sector or at your workplace? Have they been positive/ negative?

I’m sure you can think of more but these can get students talking for quite a while.  Vocabulary exercises can be fill-in, matching, sentence completion, word completion etc.  Choose whatever you like to reinforce the new vocabulary.  This topic can easily fit in an hour or a bit longer.  You could include a listening or reading that you find on the internet related to the topic, remember to make it relevant to your students depending on age and/or occupation.

Enjoy this lesson idea? You can find many more lessons by clicking on the lesson ideas subheading. Alternatively, you can check out my YouTube channel with over 170 videos on ESL topics and language you might find useful.

Enjoy and please comment with ideas.

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