Leigh Davidson Leigh Davidson

#Social Media#
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced level


In this lesson Ss will discuss their online presence and interactions through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. The conversation will focus on the various advantages, and disadvantages, associated with these various forms of socializing. A short film and text will guide Ss to think about how they use Facebook and how online social media has changed society and the ways that we socialize.


Main Aims

  • To provide Ss with the opportunity for freer-speaking practice on the subject of social media, focusing specifically on the transformed role of friendship and socializing through Facebook.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To review and expand upon some slang terminology associated with online socializing and social media websites such as Facebook.


Warmer/Lead-in: Social Media Websites (8-10 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Write on the WB (or project the logos) the following social media websites: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, SNAPCHAT, TWITTER, LINKEDIN, REDDIT, TUMBLR, PINTEREST, and YOUTUBE. Elicit from the WC which of these websites they are familiar with; which of these websites they use; how often they use them; and which ones are their favorites. Elicit from the WC a general synopsis of what you can do on the more popular social networking websites. "What can you do on Facebook? What can you do on Twitter that is different from Facebook? What can you do on Instagram (or Snapchat, if Ss are familiar) that is different from Twitter or Facebook?" Try to highlight the similarities amongst all of these social networking sites. Focus specifically on YouTube. Elicit from the WC what is the main purpose of that website. "Why do you think YouTube is included in this list of websites for socializing? Why would 'YouTube' be considered a place to socialize?"

Exposure (15-18 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks through listening and reading

Elicit from the WC who has a Facebook account. "How often do you check your Facebook account? Do you remember the last thing that you saw or read on your NewsFeed?" If anyone responds that they don't have a Facebook account, elicit from that S(s) some of the reasons for why they don't utilize that social media site. Organize the Ss based on how often they visit/frequent Facebook in a day. Inform the Ss that they are going to now learn about their fellow Ss' opinions on and experiences with Facebook. Distribute the '#Facebook#' HO to the groups. Instruct the WC to choose 6 of the 9 questions on Facebook and discuss these subjects in their groups. Bring the WC together for some general FB. Focus on the last question on the HO. Elicit from the WC how they think Facebook has changed socializing. "Does Facebook make it easier, or more difficult, to be social? Does Facebook encourage people to be social face-to-face--to meet up in person and talk face-to-face? Do you think people today are more, or less social as a result of online social media and all of the opportunities that it offers?"

Useful Language (7-10 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language for coming productive tasks

Write on the WB some useful language for social networking sites such as Facebook: "oversharing; defriend; status update; following and unfollowing; likes." "If defriend is to stop being friends with a person, what do you think BEFRIEND (write on the WB) means?" "Why would social sites like Facebook and Twitter use the verb 'to follow' to describe what happens when we become interested in a person online and want to to learn more about them, or get more information from them?"

Productive Task: 'How Many Friends?' Reading Activity (20-22 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Elicit from some of the Ss how many 'friends' they have on Facebook. "How many of those Facebook friends do you consider 'close friends'? Would you call any of these 'close friends' your 'best friend'?" Instruct the Ss, in groups, to come up with a list of criteria for the different tiers of 'friendship.' "How do you decide who you accept as a 'friend' on Facebook? What about your 'close friends'? What 4 things should a person do, or meet, for you to consider them a 'close friend'? What 4 things should a person do, or meet, for you to consider them a 'best friend'?" During WC FB write some of the groups' answers on the WB. Refer back to some of the Ss' number of Facebook friends. "How many friends do you think a person should have? Do you think the actual number makes a difference (i.e. does it affect the person in a positive or negative way)?" Inform the Ss that they are going to read about a study on friendship and how the number of friends affect people. "Based on this article, has technology changed the number of people that we consider as 'close friends'?" After the Ss have read and discussed the article, bring the groups together for WC FB.

Productive Task: 'What's on Your Mind' Short Film (15-20 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Write on the WB "What's on your mind?" "Where does this phrase comes from? How do you understand this expression?/ What does this expression mean to you?" Try to elicit from some Ss what was the last 'post'--or update--they entered on Facebook. Inform the WC that they are going to watch a short video about 'posting' on Facebook. Write on the WB some of the posts that the Ss will encounter in the film: "Sushi with my girl tonite!!! <3; Presentation went g8!; 20k run. CHECK!; Going clubbin??; #followyourdreams." "Based on these Facebook posts, what kind of person do you think this video is about? Do you think this person is happy with their life or not? What can you predict about this person's personality and view/perspective on life?" Instruct the Ss, while watching the video, to decide if their prediction is correct or not. "Based on what you see in this video, what kind of person is this short film about? How would you describe their personality and view/perspective on life?" What's On Your Mind? (2:35): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxVZYiJKl1Y Following a viewing of the film, have the groups discuss the pre-watching Q's. Following discussion, bring the groups together for WC FB.

Productive Task: Short Film Continued (12-15 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Focus on some of the status updates. Elicit from the WC why they think we use misspelling and improper grammar on social media (write on the WB "tonite, clubbin and gr8") and why we use hashtags on social media (write on the WB "#followyourdreams# and #hunk#"). "What might be some advantages and disadvantages when communicating in this form?" Write on the WB "Hide All Posts." "This was the conclusion of the film; a consequence for Scott Thomson when he finally posted what was 'on his mind.' In your groups, discuss what you think is the message of this short film. What is the film-maker trying to say with this video? Also, in your discussion decide if you agree or disagree with the film's message." Bring the groups together for WC FB following discussion.

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