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Table 7

Posted on January 21, 2013 by kierandonaghy

This EFL lesson is designed around a video and a short film called Table 7 by Marko Slavnic, and the themes of arguments and forgiveness. Students watch a video and short film, write a dialogue, role-play an argument and speak about arguments and forgiveness.



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Language level: Upper Intermediate (B2) – Advanced (C1)

Learner type:Teens and adults

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: Watching a video and short film, writing a dialogue, role-playing an argument and speaking

Topic: Arguments and forgiveness

Language: Vocabulary and expressions related to arguments

Materials: Video, short film and expressions used in arguments

Downloadable materials: table 7 lesson instructions     expressions used in arguments    foregivesness quotes


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Step 1

Ask your students the following question:

What do couples usually argue about?

Put students in pairs and ask them to discuss the question.


Step 2

Ask your students if they know any expressions which people might use to express strong disagreement in an argument. Write any useful expressions students come up with on the board and discuss them.


Step 3

Give students the document with expressions used in arguments. Go through the expressions.


 Step 4

Tell your students they are going to watch a short video in which a couple are having an argument, but that they are not going to hear the argument. They have to imagine what the couple are arguing about and what they are saying. Show the video and pause at 1:30.



Step 5

Ask students what they think the couple are arguing about.


Step 6

Put your students into pairs and tell them that you would like them to write a dialogue for the argument between the man and the woman. Encourage them to use some of the expressions and interjections the have seen in Step 3. Show the video again and pause at each stage of the argument to give students time to discuss and then write their dialogue.


Step 7

When students have finished their arguments ask a strong pair to come to the front of the class. Ask the student playing the role of the man to stand to the right of the screen and the student playing the role of the woman to the left of the screen. Tell the pair that they have to act out their dialogue as you play the video again. Ask more pairs to come to the front of the class to do the same. Vote on the best and funniest dialogues.


Step 8

Now show the video with the sound on. Students will probably find it funny as there is no dialogue, only music (Beethoven’s 5th Symphony).


Step 9

Tell your students they are going to watch the start of a short film in which a couple are having an argument, but they are not going to hear the dialogue and have to imagine what the couple are talking about. Show the film until 00:27 and then pause. Get feedback from the students.


Step 10

Show the start of the film again, but this time with the sound on. Ask students if their predictions were correct.


Step 11

Ask students what they think is going to happen next in the film. Show the film until 02:15. Ask students the following questions:


Were your predictions correct?

What is the man in the basement doing?

What do you think is going to happen next?


Step 12

Show the rest of the film and ask them if their predictions were correct. Ask them the following questions:

Did you like the film?

How did it make you feel?

Does the film have a message?


Step 13

Write the 2 proverbs in the fortune cookies on the board:


“A simple sorry between lovers can prevent life-long regrets.”


“To blame is Human, but to forgive is Divine.”


Ask students to discuss the proverbs.


Step 14

Give students the quotes about forgiveness and ask them to discuss them in small groups.
[scribd id=120974389 key=key-21d64ij7d8jw207z1n80 mode=scroll]


I hope you enjoy this English language lesson.

Support Film English

Film English remains free and takes many hours a month to research and write, and hundreds of dollars to sustain. If you find any joy or value in it, please consider supporting Film English with a monthly subscription, or by contributing a one-off payment.

Monthly subscription

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23 thoughts on “Table 7

  1. The lesson sounds very interesting, however, I can’t watch the other film on my PC. What should I do?
    Can anybody help?
    Thanks a lot.


  2. Wow – what a wonderful lesson! Not only does it provide interesting and useful vocabulary and the means to utilize it but, in the process, it also offers lessons on becoming a healthier and and happier person through the process of forgiveness. Absolutely brilliant. Can’t wait to use it in class – thanks so much.

      • Hi Kieran,
        “Table Seven” is so thoughtfully and thoroughly laid out for teachers that the entire lesson literally breathes a life of its own in the classroom. Like so many of your Film Lessons, “Table 7” seems to effortlessly reach students on a multitude of levels – speaking, listening, writing, vocabulary building – and it’s a great deal of fun. My students eagerly discussed the vocabulary and often added choice phrases of their own. A frenzy of speculation then followed the first showing of the “Argument to Beethoven,” and the groups debated sometime over what the crux of the argument could be. The natural breaks in the argument were clearly evident, but a limit of three sentences for each break was decided on for writing the dialogue as so much time had been spent debating the probable nature of the argument. The entire class was surprised and delighted to hear Beethoven’s 5th playing in place of the expected heated exchanges. Prior to learning this, the groups had acted out their drama in front of the class using the stage directions you’d suggested, and their efforts proved even more entertaining than the film itself. Your suggestions were also closely followed when showing “Table 7,” and the intrigue over what was actually happening lent an air of absorbing mystery to the exercise and once again sent the class off on a flurry of wild speculation. It was great to see such enthusiasm among the students, and this certainly helped to make the lesson an absolute joy. There wasn’t enough time to discuss the marvellous quotes, so students were asked to pick their favourites and then add one of their own for discussion the following week. “Table 7” is, without a doubt, one of my all-time favourite lessons. Thanks so very much.

        • Hi John,
          Thanks so much for your kind words. The way you’ve used the and adapted the lesson sounds fantastic,; I’m really happy your students were so engaged.
          All the best,

  3. Thank you so much for all your hard work putting together stuff like this for us to use. Whenever I’m stuck for something interesting and motivating I have a look on your website. I can’t wait to try this out with my students tomorrow – I didn’t have the heart to do it today – on Valentine’s Day!! Thanks again!

  4. One of the best classes I have ever given!!!!!!! Thanks to you and your wonderful ideas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Amazing material.. wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Hi,
    I just want to thank you for all the hard work that you put into preparing this beautiful teaching resource

    • Hi Lynda,
      Thanks a lot for taking the time to comment and for your kind words about the site, I really appreciate them.
      All the best,

  6. Kieran,

    Thank you for a great lesson! Could you please tell me the title of the documentary for step 4? Unfortunately, the original link is dead.


  7. Dear Kieran,

    I love all of these plans! Thank you for sharing. For my next lesson I’ve decided to use this actual plan. I’m thinking about changing the order of some of the steps. What do you think about going through Table 7 video in the first part of the lesson, discussing all the suggested points and then have the funny role plays (Beethoven) at the second part of the lesson?
    I’d really like to know your opinion….

    • Hi Petra,
      Thanks a lot for the kind words.I’m really happy you enjoy the lessons. Your ideas for changing the order sound really good to me. Let me know how it goes, please. 🙂
      All the best,

  8. Another great lesson from you, Kieran! I used parts of it today. However, can I make a suggestion regarding Step 3? The list has many expressions with the same function, e.g. “Firstly”, “For a start”, “For starters”. Don’t you think it would be easier if they were grouped together?

    Also, some of them are mildly offensive (“drop dead”), while others are pretty strong (“up yours!”). I think students would need some guidance as to which would be appropriate in what situation, e.g. talking to a co-worker, a friend etc. Especially since they are presented as a list, out of context, students might get an impression some of these are interchangeable, when they are not. “Nothing of the kind” and “of course not” are both used for disagreeing, only they are used quite differently.

    I hope you don’t mind me making these suggestions. Of course, you can always respond with “drop dead” or “kiss my arse” 🙂


    • Hi Leo,
      Great to hear from you. I’m glad you like the lessons. Your suggestions seem to make good sense to me. Of course, I won’t respond with “drop dead” or “kiss my arse” 😉
      I hope to see you at a conference soon.
      Take care,