For these women, reading is a daring act

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Grammar - 1st and 2nd conditional sentences

TED Talk lesson plan


This TED talk lesson plan is based on the problem of women’s illiteracy and education. It is a great starting point for the discussion on gender inequality in general and that’s what the lesson is about.

B1 / Intermediate
B2 / Upper Intermediate
60 minStandard LessonFree / Premium Plan


The worksheet starts with a short warm-up activity. Firstly, students have to discuss the problem of discrimination against women in such areas as education, profession, workplace and society. Then, they have to complete questions with some words selected from the speech. After that, they work in pairs and answer the questions on women’s rights and struggles.


Next, there are two tasks on listening comprehension. The first one is a true/false exercise based on the first part of the speech (up to 1:40). Then, students watch the second part of the video and choose correct words in the sentences taken from the talk.


Finally, the last two tasks focus on the 1st and 2nd conditionals. In the first one students have to discuss whether they agree with the statements given or not. Then, they move to the second task and have to finish sentences using correct conditional structures. After that, they can work in pairs and discuss their ideas with their partners.

This TED Talk lesson plan has been prepared for around 60 minutes, including the TED Talk which can be easily watched during the class as it only lasts 5 mins. The lesson involves a lot of pair work, but of course it can be modified to suit the needs of an individual class as well.



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  1. Andreia De Jesus

    Its a great Lesson! Any chance you have the script for this video I feel some of my students would struggle understanding all of it, and it would be good to go over vocab before hand.
    Thank you.

    1. Justa

      Thanks! If you need a script, go to:

  2. Barbara

    I think it should be “in the beginning” but “at the beginning of”
    Also it should be “a new bacterium” because bacteria is plural

    1. Stan

      Barbara, I think “at the beginning” is an acceptable form, less common but still not an error. For the sake of clarity I’ll change that to “in the beginning”.

      Now for the other mistake, the case is a bit different. Yes, bacteria is plural and bacterium is the singular form, but… in speech it’s acceptable to use “bacteria”. I know it’s a nonstandard form but that’s what the speaker said. As it’s spoken English and the task is about listening for details, I don’t think I need to change that.

  3. Barbara

    True, she did say bacteria. I didn’t know it’s acceptable 🙂

  4. Mammainmilan

    Great lesson. Just a thought, I think this sentence: “If governments give more money to women’s organizations, they will spend it on education.” would read better as, “If governments gave more money to women’s organizations, it would be spent on education.”

    1. Justa

      Thanks for your comment! I think that in this case it’s a matter of choice. I don’t believe it has to be just a hypothetical situation.

    2. Joy Claridge

      The choice of conditional reflects the opinion of the speaker and the time period the speaker is referring to. So, either is acceptable, depending on the context of the discussion.

  5. Ksenia Mikhailiuk

    I love this talk, it’s very inspiring! Thank you 😊

    I think it would be great to add a listening task for the 2nd part of the talk (Slide 10) so that students have the purpose to listen to it. I’ve adapted the lesson by adding an exercise where students need to match the names of the women with the summaries of their stories.

    1. Justa

      Hi 🙂 thank you so much for the comment and the idea for an extension! Very useful, thanks!


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