In the context of the ELT week that British Council Argentina organised in March 2023, we invited teachers to submit lesson ideas for the remote and online classroom that drew on the contents of the talks they attended during the event.

This activity was contributed by teacher Candela Casatelli as a response to this call. It is designed to be used with elementary level teenagers aged 12-14 and its main aim is to develop learners’ listening and speaking skills while they learn about and discuss different jobs and professions. 

The starting point of the activity is a video. Storytelling through videos can provide ESL students with several benefits. For instance, it constitutes entertaining and engaging material, it provides a memorable context in which language is used meaningfully, and there are illustrations that support understanding.

Students are invited to use apps such as Vocaroo and Padlet, which are examples of digital tools that can support students' language learning in the context of 21st-century online lessons.

Lesson activity: Future career
Author: Candela Casatelli


Topic: Jobs and professions


  • Discussing different jobs and professions
  • Developing learners’ listening and speaking skills

Age: 12 – 14

CEFR level:  A2 (Pre- intermediate) 

Timing: 30 minutes class time, 40 minutes asynchronous work

Procedure summary:

Students will be invited to watch a video in which many jobs are mentioned and some are described in detail before the class. They’ll also have to explore key vocabulary.  During class time, they will recast the story, revise key vocabulary together and discuss what they’d like to do in the future.

Detailed procedure

1. Before the class

Assign students the following tasks for homework: 

  • Watch this YouTube Video by the BBC Channel
  • Record yourself using the app ‘Vocaroo’ giving a one-minute summary of the story and send it privately via Google Classroom or the LMS students are used to working with. 

Note: a number of other digital tools can also be used for this purpose, the choice will depend on learners’ digital skills, the affordances of their devices and their familiarisation with digital tools. 

  • Choose one of the following words, look up their definition in the dictionary and upload it to ‘Padlet’ as a way of creating a glossary: gadget, trawler, polish, hose, pull up, snuggle down, pick up, gaze, whistle, get rid of sth, turn sth back.
    The entry should include the following aspects:
    > Word class
    > Definition
    > A phrase or sentence from the story where it is mentioned.
    > Example sentence of your invention.

This is an example of the expected resulting Padlet.

2. During class: Lead-in (5 minutes)

Ask students if they’ve watched the video, ask them to recast the story again in open class, inviting different learners to contribute more details until there is a comprehensive recasting of the story. Following this, ask them whether there are any details they did not include in their ‘Vocaroo’ story summaries that they would now add.

3. During class: Focus on vocabulary (10 minutes)

The teacher will go over the Padlet entries and ask students if they want to add any other word they might not know. 

4. During class: Personalisation (15 minutes)

Students will work in groups in breakout rooms so that they can discuss which of the jobs mentioned in the story they would like to do and why. The teacher should monitor and help the students in case it is needed. 

When time is over, one student per group will have to report what the others have told them.

Learners should pay attention to each other's contributions to identify the most popular jobs in the group.

5. After class: follow up

As a follow-up activity, you can invite learners to conduct interviews: 

  • Interview a family member and ask them the following questions: Where did you go to school? What did you study? What was your first job? What’s your current occupation?
  • Once the student has compiled the information, they will have to create a profile for a professional network (such as LinkedIn) following a template (which you can download below) and upload it to the class LMS.

Note: depending on your learners' contexts, family configuration or other characteristics, you may want to use fictional characters for this stage or have them interview someone in the school community instead so as not to expose them or make them feel uncomfortable.