English is a piece of cake
Google NGram Viewer

Business English is a piece of cake

What would you do if you had five million books digitized? Would you make all that information accessible to everyone? Would you share it? Would you use it for research? This is a question that Google faced a few years ago, when they decided to do exactly that....digitize five million books.

And their answer was the NGram Viewer.

This lesson is based on a video from TED. Erez Lieberman Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel show us how the NGram Viewer works ..... how to extrapolate information, browse cultural trends, how to assess history, culture, bias and propoganda through the data, and they show us fun things that you can do with 500 billion words.

Free Downloadable Lesson Plan


This English listening lesson can be used for upper intermediate, advanced and proficiency level Business English (B1 to C2).

Language Focus

In this lesson your students will get to practice their listening, comprehension, vocabulary and and graph reading skills.

The lesson starts with a warmer, where the students have to come up with some creative ideas as to how they would use five million digitized books. Once they have exhausted all their ideas, they will learn some vocabulary that they will come across in the video clip. After that, they get to watch the video and answer some questions, in order to improve their listening and comprehension.

For homework they get to have fun playing around with the NGram Viewer, so that at the following lesson they can present some of their ideas and graphs that they created. The students have to describe their graphs to each other, so they get to practice presenting information given in a graph, as well as listen and draw graphs themselves. While doing this they will get to learn vocabulary specific to graphs.

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