Урок английского языка «Мир возможностей» (The World of Opportunities: Gap Year). 9-й класс : Иностранные языки

Level of class: B1 (intermediate), class 9.

Lesson focus: listening/watching for detail, working in groups, organising ideas.

Main aim: Summarise and organise ideas on the topic “Gap year”, using the mind-map technique.

Subsidiary aims:

Increase overall awareness about the real-life opportunities, that students can consider after leaving school.

Develop listening for detail, describing/comparing pictures and team-working skills.

What will the students ‘take away‘ from the lesson?

By the end of the lesson students will have practiced in listening for detail, filling in gaps in a mind-map, and will have developed oral fluency in the context of speculating about their plans after leaving school, giving opinions and arguments for/against taking a gap-year. They will be prepared to work on a group-project “Gap-year of your dreams”.

Materials/aids (References):

Video and audio files:

Кейт Пикеринг. Macmillan Exam Skills for Russia : Учебное пособие для подготовки к ОГЭ по английскому языку: говорение + DVD. (Для задания IV(см. Procedure) использовано видео из DVD к данному пособию: Unit “Gap Years”, Section 1).

Кузовлев В.П. Аудиоприложение к УМК для 9 класса.(Для задания (см. Procedure) использовано аудио: Lesson 8, ex.2, p. 144,“Prince William’s gap year”. )

“Education First” international language centres’ advertising video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krAEGX5egp4). The video is used in Slide 12 of the PPS Presentation for the lesson.

Interactive board, PPS-presentation, A3 mind-map print-outs (1 paper per group of 4-5 students). Markers, coloured pencils and stickers (for personalising the mind-maps).

Comment: For watching/listening for detail tasks of this lesson, a teacher is free to use other video/audio tracks on the topic, depending on the level of students, taught, and the course book, used. In this case, the mind-map could be partially changed, depending on the listening material, chosen by the teacher.


The topic of the lesson is "The world of opportunities". It\'s actually the topic of the lesson sequence, not just one particular class. So lesson by lesson, little by little, step by step we are trying to look from different perspectives at the problem of young people\'s self-determination, the problem of students’ life and career choices after passing State Exams and leaving school, at the problem of finding oneself in the world of modern life opportunities. I am pretty sure that for most of students these problems are quite familiar. So I believe, this topic is very close to life, and it can be related to each and every one high-school student this way or another.

Students work in groups of 4-5 people. The timing of the lesson is around 45 minutes.

Timing and Procedures:

Procedure Timing PPS Presentation
  Greeting and introducing the topic. 2 minutes PPS Slide 1
  Warming up. Helping students to personalise the topic. 5 minutes PPS Slides 2, 3
  Choosing the gap-year-city. 3 minutes PPS Slide 4
  Watching and listening for detail, fill-in-the-gaps activity. 5 minutes PPS Slide 5
  Answering personal questions, based on the mind-map information. 5 minutes PPS Slide 5
  Describing and comparing photos.
7-8 minutes PPS Slide 6
  Listening for detail. 5 minutes PPS Slides 7, 8, 9
  Weighing “pros” and “cons”. Group-discussion and adding personal ideas to the given mind-maps. 5-6 minutes PPS Slides 10, 11
  Self-check and home project-task. 5 minutes PPS Slides 12, 13
  Reflection. 2 minutes PPS Slide 14


I. Greeting + introducing the topic (2 minutes) /PPS Slide 1.

Teacher - Students:

T: Good morning. I’m glad to see you. Take your seats and let’s start our lesson.

The main aim of our todays\' lesson is to summarise, organise and arrange the main ideas on the topic, which we\'ll get from watching, listening, describing and comparing tasks, using the mind-map technique. I believe it could be useful for increasing your overall awareness about the opportunities that you can consider after leaving school, so that you might be able to weigh the pros and cons before you make the choice.

II. Warming up. Helping students to personalise the topic. (5 minutes) / PPS Slides 2, 3.

T: Next year is your last year at school, so it\'s high time you started to think of your future profession.

Teacher – Student:

1. Have you made up your mind what your future profession will be or not yet?

2.What can you say about your career choices? Have you made the decision - what your future profession will be?

3. Are you going to apply to the university after leaving school?

4. Are you going to study in our city or to apply to University in another city?

5. Would you like to study abroad if you had the chance?

T: Whatever option you choose, you don\'t want to set out on a career only to discover you\'re missing a vital qualification, or pick a university course that doesn\'t get you where you want to go.
It\'s not easy to make the right choice. That\'s why the problem of students self-determination is important nowadays in Russia and all over the world.

One of the ways of solving this problem in many European countries and in the USA, school leavers are given one more chance. Тhey can take a "gap year" before applying to a university. It\'s also referred to as year abroad, year out, year off, deferred year, bridging year"

Teacher – Group:

T: What is a gap year? Who can explain this term? ) / PPS Slide 3

(each group is free to express the opinion). After that the definition appears on the pps-slide.

(a period of time, usually an academic year, when a student takes a break from formal education. It\'s often spent travelling or working.)

T: On gap year you can think over your future plans and future profession one more time. You can take a break from formal education, tests, exams& homeworks and do something other than schooling (for example travel abroad or work).


1. Do you think taking a gap year is a good idea?

2. Would you consider taking a gap year if you had the chance?

3. What would you do if you had the opportunity to take a gap year? Would you work/travel/join some exchange programme/educational project?

4.  If you were to choose, would you prefer to spend a gap year in Europe, in the USA, or in some exotic country?

5. Would you like to take part in “work&travel” or “work&study” programmes?

III. Choosing the gap-year-city. (5 minutes) / PPS Slide 4

T: Now please, look at these posters with the names of the well-known cities of the world. Each team should decide and choose one city, where your team would go for a gap-year. Pick the photo off the blackboard and bring to your team- table. These cities will symbolize your teams and what is more, your project - hometask will depend on this choice as well. So think twice. Give me at least one solid case in favour of the city you\'ve chosen.

(After a short discussion each team-leader picks a poster with the name of a city from the black-board and gives a short explaination for the choice made. The name of the city becomes each team’s gap-year destination.)

IV. Watching and listening for detail activity, fill-in-the-gaps activity (in the mind map). (5 minutes) / PPS Slide 5 / Macmillan Exam Skills for Russia DVD : Unit “Gap Years”, Section 1.

Each team is given a mind-map print-out, pencils, markers and stickers.

T: Now have a look at the incomplete mind-map in front of you. we are going to watch a short video, summarizing the main ideas of what students\' opportunities after leaving school are , if they choose to take a gap year.

As you can see, some information is already put in, but there\'re some gaps to be filled. Please try to fill in the missing parts of this mind map while watching the video. We\'ll watch it twice. You\'ll have 1 minute before i replay it once again. Is the task clear? The tempo of speech is rather fluent, so be attentive!

V. Answering personal questions, based on the mind-map information. (5 minutes).

1. Which of these 4 opportunities would you choose for a gap year?

2. Would you like to do the voluntary charity work?

3. Would you prefer working with animals( like in wild life conservation projects) or with people (like in the “Red Cross”)?
Comment: Each team has to choose some options and explain the choice.

E.g. “Volunteer work combined with travelling can give you the precious and challenging life experience as well as getting to know the new people and culture”.

T: Let’s vote, which gap year option would be the best for you. Raise your hands – those who like Option 1 (Option 2,3,4).

As far as the British students are concerned, they tend to choose volunteer work, because it’s not only the opportunity to get some life and job experience, but also the chance to help real people or animals and see the world, so it’s considered to be a very noble activity, great for self-development and self-actualisation.

VI. Describing and comparing photos. (8 minutes) / PPS Slide 6.

T: Look at these pictures. You can see students on their gap year here.

Take a look at the chart, giving you the useful expressions to compare these pictures.

Team1:  you are to describe picture 1.

Team 2:  your task is to describe the second picture.

Team 3:  you should find as many similarities as possible between these two pictures.

Team 4:  you’ll be talking about the differences between the pictures. Team-members: each of you will be speaking in turns. Each team member should say something. You have a couple of minutes to arrange your ideas.

(Each team performs its task in front of the class after some minutes of discussion time).

VII. Listening for detail. (5 minutes) / PPS Slides 7, 8, 9. / Кузовлев В.П. Аудиоприложение к УМК для 9 класса, lesson 8, ex.2, p. 144,“Prince William’s gap year”.)

Pre-listening task:

T: Now let\'s get back to our mind map. Here\'s the part with the crown. Well, members of royal families and presidents\' children also consider taking a gap year. We are going to listen now to a very short story about the member of Royal family and the gap year activities of this famous person. You can see the crown there. Can you guess, whose name should be written in the crown? Let\'s try to guess. Give me your ideas... (looking at the photo of the royal family in PPS-slide 7, students try to guess and predict – who of the people in the photo they are going to listen about).

Now let’s check our guesses – look at the next slide (PPS Slide 8 - Prince William).

Listening for detail task:

Each team fills in the gaps in the mind-map (crown section) while listening.

VIII. Weighing “pros” and “cons”. Group-discussion and adding personal ideas to the given mind-maps. (5-7 minutes). / PPS Slides 10, 11.

T: Please, now look at the part of your mind map with arguments for (+) and against (-) taking a gap year. Please, discuss within your group and fill in 2-3 arguments FOR taking a gap year, and 2-3 arguments AGAINST in the mind-map gaps. You are free to personalize your mind-maps in your own way, add some statements to each section, express your opinion, point out the options you liked best or least of all. Be free to express yourself using bright colours and stickers.

Hand in your completed mind-maps to the jury for them to be checked and assessed (the jury might consist of other teachers, other senior students, parents, invited to the class).

IX. Self-check and hometask (5 minutes). / PPS Slides 12, 13.

T: Have a look at the mind map and check your answers.

Which was the hardest/easiest part of the mind-map for you to fill? (Each team gives feed-back).

Well, it\'s time to remind you, that at the beginning of our class each team has chosen the city, where you\'d like to go for a gap year . Look at the next slide (PPS Slide 13).

Your team-task is to make an advertisement project for the chosen city and the variety of (working/studying/travelling/volunteer) programmes for gap-year students. Try to find and use in your project some authentic information about existing for real programmes. Each team member should say at least 3-4 phrases on the topic, and it’s recommended to use any visual aids you may think of.

X. Reflection (2 minutes). / PPS Slide 14 (“Education First” international language centres’ advertising video).

Now it’s time for us to think what we can “take home” from today’s class. Let’s watch a short video and try to keep the most instructive, interesting and exciting things saved in our memory. I’ve had a great time working with you today! Thanks, everyone, for being so active, well-organised and creative!

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