Tuesday, 9 March 2010

How to live before you die

Earlier today I came across this talk below given by Steve Jobs via TED's Best of the Web videos. I confess I didn't really know a lot about his background. It didn't matter who he was, however. The point was that in the 15 minutes that he had to address new graduates from Stanford University, USA, in 2005, Steve Jobs had me gripped right from the very start. I was totally engaged by what he was saying and the strong messages that he conveyed, taken directly from his very own tumultuous life. I urge you to watch the video if you have never seen it and prepare to be inspired.

Generating Conversation
The following are quotes that I liked from his talk. They are quotes that I want to remember. They are quotes which have a meaning. They have a forceful potency. You could use these quotes in a conversation class to encourage debate and speaking practice.

Choose one of the following quotes from Steve Jobs and give your opinion about it. Which one do you like best?
  • "Keep looking for what truly inspires you. Don't settle".
  • "You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart".
  • "Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition".
  • "Don't lose faith!"
  • "Stay happy. Stay foolish".
  • "The only way to do great work is to love what you do."
Phrasal Verbs


The video contains some great examples of Phrasal Verbs. This is how I would exploit them.
Make a wordle as a preteach for the video content as above. Students find out the meaning of the phrasal verbs and then think of example sentences in which the verbs could be used in a meaningful way. Students predict what the video is about.
Students watch the video and take down notes as if they are attending a "live" lecture. While they watch, they listen out for the context in which the phrasals above are used. Discuss answers as a class and compare their original predictions.

Gut Feeling

There is a fabulous 3rd conditional sentence which Steve Jobs uses during his talk. "None of this would have happened, if I hadn't been fired by Apple." Imagine how his life would have turned out if he hadn't been fired by the company he had originally co-founded? Would he still be where he is today? What an interesting thought. My gut feeling is that he would definitely have got where he is today by following his heart and intuition. So the underlying principle of his talk is the following. Believe in yourself and do not lose faith. These are indeed inspiring words of wisdom.


DaveESLetc said...

Thanks for this! I've been working on a unit about what to do after college, and this seems like it would be a neat addition.

Janet Bianchini said...

Hi Dave

I'm happy if this post has helped in any way. Thanks for your feedback!

Eva Büyüksimkesyan said...

Hi Janet,
My husband kept telling me to use this video in the class. Thanks for the inspirations, I think I can adapt sth for my 12th graders now.
Thanks for sharing.

Janet Bianchini said...

Hi Eva

Thanks for popping by with your comment. I agree this video has got a lot of potential for exploiting in all sorts of lessons. Good luck with your project. Let me know how you got on.

Natasa said...

Thank you for this, Janet. I first watched this video when a CAE student mentioned it in class last June. I am still teaching that class and I think I am going to give your lesson plan a try.

Janet Bianchini said...

Hi Natasa

Thanks for your comment here. I hope the ideas work for you and your students. It's not a complete lesson plan, so lots of scope for further activities, I am sure.

Please do report back when you can :-)