Last year I taught an EOI (Escuelas Oficiales de Idiomas) exam preparation course for the first time.

My students (C1 level) mostly needed help with two tasks:

  1. writing summaries of TED talks .
  2. collaborative speaking.

So, what I usually did was..

.. find interesting TED talks and use them to help students improve their paraphrasing and summarising skills. After that, students would discuss some ideas from the talk to practise interactive communication.

One of my favourite TED talks was Bel Pesce’s 5 ways to kill your dreams.

You can download the worksheet below (transcript and key included).

In this lesson, students:

  • listen once for gist
  • listen again and take notes
  • compare notes in pairs and then read the transcript to check
  • do a matching activity to understand some new lexis
  • complete a summary of the talk
  • notice reporting verbs
  • write a summary for homework using reporting verbs and paraphrasing the text as much as possible.
  • discuss with a partner one of the ideas mentioned in the talk.

Note: in the matching task, overnight is an adjective (overnight success) and overlap a noun (overlap between dreams and projects).

Hope you and your students find it interesting!

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