This advanced English lesson involves listening and conversation based on a Ted talk by Scott Fraser. The speaker is a forensic neuro-physiologist and he uses a real court case to analyse the reliablity of our memories, and therefore eyewitness testimonies. The lesson includes discussion points, vocabulary and a 20 minutes listening with comprehension activities.
Get the students to discuss the following questions:
Write the following words onto flashcards and spread them on the table. Get the students to give definitions for the words they know, and then explain to them the words they don’t know.
Get the students to watch the video ‘Why eyewitnesses get it wrong’, by Scott Fraser, on www.Ted.com, and then answer the following questions (the answers are in the downloadable teacher's notes at the bottom of this page). To make the listening more difficult you can also ask the students to listen out for the vocabulary and then tell you afterwards what the words were referring to.
In the listening the speaker refers to 250-280 crimes where the alleged criminals were later exonerated. Get the students to investigate how the FBI were found to be giving false and exaggerated evidence in court over the last few decades.
Once you have finished the lesson, don't forget to go through the vocabulary once more with the students. You could get the students to pick up the flashcards one at a time and make up a story. Or get them to draw the plan of a house on a piece of paper, and then allocate each word to a different room of the house based on what associations they may have or can come up with. When they have done this, they need to explain the positioning of their words to the others in the classroom e.g. horsing around could be in the living room because that's where you play games, culprit could be in the kitchen because that's where you steal chocolate etc etc
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