Several days ago, I taught a group of students. Our lesson covered some aspects of health; to be precise, we discussed and learned about different medical conditions. At one point in our lesson, we listened to a conversation in which a young lady explained her reasons for visiting a dentist who fixed her teeth that had been displaced, cracked, or otherwise damaged by a baby.
I have a soft spot for three aspects of the English language: prepositions, phrasal verbs, and accents. In this particular case, the lady had a fantastic Scottish accent, which I couldn’t overlook. So, I immediately found the voice of another Scottish actor explaining local slang. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a lesson I’d like to teach someday when the opportunity arises. And now, the lesson itself for those who wish to do it themselves.
- Level: B2
- Age: 13-16 yo
- Duration: 45 min (but it’s adaptable)
By the end of the lesson, students will be familiar with unique Scottish slang and will be able to use it contextually in speech. The cultural aspect is obvious: to teach how different the English language is.
1. Introduction (5 minutes)
- Briefly discuss the variety and diversity of the English language across different regions and countries.
- Introduce the focus of today’s lesson: Scottish slang.
2. Watching and Listening (10 minutes)
- Show the video link provided: https://youtu.be/c42dvgPIfSk?si=55qJIv8qbzMPLKWm.
- Ask students to take notes on the words they hear and their perceived meanings. Inform them they will be using these notes in the next activity.
3. Vocabulary Extraction (5 minutes)
- After watching the video, create a list on the board with the slang words the students heard.
- For any words they missed, fill in the gaps. The list should include, at a minimum, the colloquials shared in the previous transcript like «hodge your weest,» «backy,» «trolley,» and so on.
4. Vocabulary Explanation (10 minutes)
- Go through each word, asking students if they can guess its meaning based on the context from the video.
- Confirm or provide the correct definition, referencing the previous transcript.
- Pronunciation Practice: Go through each word and its phonetic pronunciation, practicing as a class.
5. Group Activity: Role Play (10 minutes)
- Split students into pairs or small groups.
- Each group gets a scenario (e.g., shopping in a Scottish market, a night out in Scotland, attending a Scottish New Year’s celebration, etc.)
- Using the Scottish slang list, students create a short dialogue based on their given scenario. They should try to incorporate as many slang words as they can.
6. Group Presentations (3 minutes per group)
- Have each group present their dialogue in front of the class. This will allow students to practice using the slang in speech and also provide exposure to how their peers use the slang in context.
7. Conclusion and Homework (2 minutes)
- Recap the importance of regional slang and dialects in understanding the cultural context of a language.
- Homework: Ask each student to write a short story or dialogue incorporating the Scottish slang they learned today. They can use their group’s roleplay as inspiration or come up with a completely new context.
Note: The lesson plan includes estimated time durations, but the teacher should remain flexible based on the class’s needs. Adjustments can be made on the go, especially if students show particular interest or struggle in a specific section. The teacher should also be prepared to explain cultural contexts or answer any questions the students might have about Scotland and its traditions.