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Success

Posted on September 30, 2015 by kierandonaghy

success-film-english2

This EFL lesson is designed around a short film by Lara Lee for The School of Life titled Success, and the theme of the nature of success. Students talk about success, watch a short film, and read a transcript.

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Language level: Intermediate (B1) – Upper Intermediate (B2)

Learner type: Teens and adults

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: Talking about success, watching a short film, and reading

Topic: Success

Language: Vocabulary related to success

Materials: Short film and transcript

Downloadable materials: success lesson instructions     success transcript

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Step 1

Write “success” on the board. Elicit its meaning, its verb form – to succeed – and its adjective form – successful – forms.

 

Step 2

Pair your students and ask them to discuss what success means to them.

 

Step 3

Get feedback from the whole class and write up some of their ideas.

 

Step 4

Tell your students they are going to watch a short film about success. As they watch they should try to understand what the narrator says about the nature of success, and to compare the narrator’s definition of success with their own.

Show the film.

 

Success from Lara Lee on Vimeo.

 

Step 5

Get feedback from the students on how the narrator’s view of success compares with their own.

 

Step 6

Tell your students they are going to watch the film again. This time their task is to listen for examples of what success is according to the narrator.

Show the film again.

 

Step 7

Elicit some of the examples such as:

  • Listening to a child.
  • Filling your mind with interesting things.
  • Knowing when to put your arm around someone.

Get your students to discuss whether they think these things are really examples of success.

 

Step 8

Give your students the transcript and ask them to read it. Help them with vocabulary. Ask them if they agree with the narrator’s point of view.

 

Step 9

Pair your students and ask them to tell their partner what they think they are a success at in their lives.

Step 10

Hold a plenary session based on what students consider themselves to be successes at.

 

Homework

Give students this link to a video in which the writer Alain de Botton, who is also the narrator of the Success short film, examines our ideas of success and failure. For homework students should watch the video and in the following class discuss the ideas in it.

http://www.ted.com/talks/alain_de_botton_a_kinder_gentler_philosophy_of_success?language=en

[ted id=605]

I hope you enjoy this ESL lesson.

Support Film English

Film English remains ad-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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15 thoughts on “Success

  1. Love the animation (and the lesson plan 😉 but I’m not so keen on the voiceover.

    I reckon some of my learners will disagree that some of those things are “success” (though disagreement is obviously a good thing for class).

    Nice topic for them to write about — or record themselves talking about!

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  5. Hi there,

    liking it a lot and planning to use it in class on Monday.
    Currently, I am working on the transcript, yet I don’t understand the word after “People who try …. are also big success stories” (around 1:00). Who can help me, please! Thanks A TON!

    All the best,

    Ann-Kristin

    • Hi Ann-Kirstin,
      Thanks a lot for commenting. The narrator says “People who triumph here are
      also big success stories.” You can download the transcript at the top of the lesson. I hope your students enjoy the film and the lesson.
      All the best,
      Kieran

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