An ESL Conversation Lesson
Planned Obsolescence

This is an ESL conversation lesson that I have based on a fabulous video. It is a documentary that looks at the issue of planned obsolescence.

Have you ever been frustrated because things you buy seem to break very easily? Have you found that it's difficult to get things fixed, because you have been advised that the parts are too expensive or are not available? Why is it that things that were made a long time ago, seem to last longer than things that are being made now? Do you really need all those new things that you buy?

Planned obsolescence is the action that companies take in order to keep comsumers spending. You'll be surprised by some of the companies that are mentioned and what they've been up to! It is a great springboard for further discussion around people's own experiences and their views on commercialism.

Free Downloadable Lesson


This ESL conversation lesson can be used for upper-intermediate, advanced and proficiency level students who are studying English as a second language(B1 to C2).

Language Focus

This ESL conversation lesson starts off with discussion around the topic of electronic items, appliances, computers, printers, mobile phones etc that seem to break as soon as their guarantee period is over. I have broken the lesson up into 4 parts, each consisting of a discussion point, learning vocabulary, and then watching the video and answering comprehension questions. The lesson finishes off with some idioms with the word 'break'.

This free English listening lesson plan can be used as the basis for an English conversation class, a vocabulary lesson, in group classes or for one on one lessons. My free printable worksheets come in pdf format with both teacher’s and students’ notes. Just print them off and you are ready for your next lesson!

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