Celebrities

"I don't think I could think of a single thing that's more isolating than being famous."

Lady Gaga, American pop star
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This free ESL lesson plan on celebrities has been designed for adults and young adults at an intermediate (B1/B2) to advanced (C1/C2) level and should last around 45 to 60 minutes for one student.

Celebrities are people we pay attention to. In the past, famous scientists, philosophers or writers would cause quite a stir with their presence. With the advent of film and cinema, our attention turned towards movie stars. Next came pop stars and TV actors. The common denominator was that all of these people were famous for something, whether that was acting or singing. More recently, with the spread of social media and reality TV shows, celebrities are increasingly famous for nothing more than being famous. In this ESL lesson plan on celebrities, students will have the opportunity to discuss and express their opinions on issues such as famous people and why we obsess over them.

For advice on how to use this English lesson plan and other lesson plans on this site, see the guide for ESL teachers.

PRE-CLASS ACTIVITIES

Reading activity
Before the English class, send the following article to the students and ask them to read it while making a list of any new vocabulary or phrases they find (explain any the students don’t understand in the class):

Live Science | Oscar Psychology: Why Celebrities Fascinate Us

The article looks at the psychology behind why we are so obsessed with celebrities, and the dangerous of turning from fan to fanatic. What do they think about the issues raised in the article? Do they agree with what was said? Can they think of any ways they might disagree with the content of the article?

Video activity
To save time in class for the conversation activities, the English teacher can ask the students to watch the video below and answer the listening questions in Section 3 of the lesson plan at home. The questions for the video are styled in a way similar to an exam like the IELTS.

The video for this class is a called “From celebrities to influencers: A brief history of celebrity” by BBC Ideas which looks at the history of celebrities, from the Victorian era to the age of Hollywood, and to the recent trend in internet celebrities.

IN-CLASS ACTIVITIES

The focus in the class is on conversation in order to help improve students’ fluency and confidence when speaking in English as well as boosting their vocabulary.

This lesson opens with a short discussion about the article the students read before the class. Next, the students can give their opinion on the quote at the beginning of the lesson plan – what they think the quote means and if they agree with it. This is followed by an initial discussion on the topic including how people become celebrities, the students’ favourite celebrities and which celebrities they’d like to meet.

After this, students will learn some vocabulary connected with celebrities such as glamorous, claim to fame and household name. This vocabulary has been chosen to boost the students’ knowledge of less common vocabulary that could be useful for preparing for English exams like IELTS or TOEFL. The vocabulary is accompanied by a cloze activity and a speaking activity to test the students’ comprehension of these words.

If the students didn’t watch the video before the class, they can watch it after the vocabulary section and answer the listening questions. Before checking the answers, ask the students to give a brief summary of the video and what they thought about the content.

Finally, there is a more in-depth conversation about celebrities. In this speaking activity, students will talk about issues such as why so many people want to be famous, celebrities that are famous for being famous, and which people have not coped with fame very well.

HOMEWORK

After the class, students will write about their opinion of celebrities. This could be a short paragraph or a longer piece of writing depending on what level the student is at. The writing activity is designed to allow students to practise and improve their grammar with the feedback from their teacher. For students who intend to take an international English exam such as IELTS or TOEFL, there is an alternative essay question to practise their essay-writing skills.

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