The jobs we’ll lose to machines – and the ones we won’t

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  • Technology

Speaking - debate


This lesson focuses on the future of work. The big question here is whether robots will take over our jobs or not. During the lesson students will watch a short TED talk by A. Goldbloom called “The jobs we’ll lose to machines — and the ones we won’t”

B2 / Upper Intermediate60 minStandard LessonPrintable & Digital$6 Plan

The worksheet kicks off with a warm-up speaking task to introduce the topic in which students must discuss which professions have no future and which are on the rise. As the TED talk is only 5 minutes long this worksheet has two listening comprehension tasks: one for general understanding of the speech and second to practice listening for details. What follows is a short  vocabulary gap-filling exercise to practice a few new words from the speech. The next stage has some speaking points to talk over the content of the speech. Finally, students will have to prepare and hold a debate on the key question: will machines steal our jobs.

With the recent development in AI/machine learning/voice recognition, I found that students have different opinions on the subject and the debate usually has to be stopped because we run out of time. Obviously, you can divide the class into smaller groups or hold a class-wide debate, let the students choose their sides or decide yourselves how to divide them or just turn the last task into a discussion topic. Whatever you do is up to you but I found that the warm-up and discussion tasks allow you to see how diverse opinions on the topic you have in the class and then choose your strategy appropriately.



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Leave a Reply

  1. Great lesson content and staged. It is also appropriate to the level.


  2. really bad lesson awful!


    1. Can you be more specific in your feedback and tell us what you and your students didn’t like about it? It will definitely help us to improve our future lesson plans


  3. The only drawback is the video. The speaker is indistinct at times and speaks too quickly, many students have difficulty grasping what is said. For the second, gap fill, listening, I stopped it after each sentence.


    1. Thanks for the feedback! I agree that he does speak quite fast and it might be a bit challenging for learners but that’s the beauty of authentic materials – they reflect how people talk in real life.


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