Saturday, 28 November 2009

Mobile phones review lesson plan

A nice authentic reading that also gets students talking about and exploring their mobile phones in class.

Type: Reading

Level: Intermediate and up

Time: 70-90 minutes

Objective: Students will be able to identify which reviewers of a mobile phone expressed which opinion from the online review text in order to discuss which features of mobile phones they consider most important for their daily lives.

Lesson Stages :

  1. As a lead-in, ask students to get out their mobile phones (which they generally do anyway in class!) and ask them to note the physical differences between them. Elicit terms like flip phone (or clamshell), slider, candy bar. Put on board round bubble containing the word mobile phone. Elicit one or two features their phones have (e.g. mp3 player, alarm, camera). Give them time to work in pairs/small groups to come up with a list of other features their mobile phones have.(5-7 mins)

  2. T After they have had 4-5 mins to do this, ask one person from each group to come to front and add ideas to the board. if the class is big, you may just want to elicit or to give them papers to stick on the board. Check any vocabulary that students aren't familiar with. If you are not sure about some of them, get students to explain, they normally know more than the teacher about technology :-) (10 mins)

  3. T Now give out a description of one mobile phone from a website - this one is the Nokia N95 - here it is - and ask them to look through and a) check which features it has that are mentioned on the board and b) any extra features it has that were not mentioned. Give them time in pairs to do this. There is a lot of technical info so don't get too involved in dealing with questions about strange technical words, though you may want to clarify some more obvious ones.Get feedback open class.(5 mins)

  4. First reading: Explain to the students that they are going to read a text about mobile phones. Tell them that the first time they read, they just need to identify what kind of text it is. Give them three choices to choose from a) an advertisement for a mobile phone b) reviews of a mobile phone by users C) an article in a magazine about the phone. Elicit what will help them identify which kind of text it is (big pic for ads, personal opinions for reviews etc) (3-4 mins)

  5. T Hand out the text, which is here, but put it face down on their desks and tell them not to turn it over. Explain to them that they will only have 15 seconds to answer the question. Check that they shouldn't try and read the text just look over it and look for visual clues. Tell them to turn it over and give them 15 seconds, then tell them to turn it back over. Then ask them to work in pairs to check their answers. Elicit open class the correct answer and ask them to justify (stars to show opinion, different names, no pictures etc)(5 mins)

  6. T Second reading: Quickly elicit how they know which people like the phone and which don't (from the stars and words next to them like 'poor' 'excellent'). Ask them to suggest which adjectives can be used to describe positive feelings about something and which negative. Give them time to come up with ideas and add to board. Then ask them to read through the text and find as many as they can which they mentioned and also to see if there are any more. Give them five minutes to do on own, then check in pairs, then get feedback open class.(7 mins)

  7. T Third reading: now explain to them that they are going to read the text more closely and try to match the statement to the reviewer. Below is the task to give them (if you feel it's too difficult for the students, you can reduce the number of questions or write your own).
    Task: which of the reviewers...

    a) is unhappy with the battery life of the phone (3 answers: Alex, Stuart, Mark)
    b) really likes the camera on the phone (4 answers: Alex, Ash, Adrian, Mark)
    c) took it back because of problems or general dissatisfaction (2 answers: Alex, Stuart)
    d) didn't like the fact that the maps were not included with the phone (2 answers: Alex, J Dixon)
    e) compares the phone with other phones (2 answers: Alex, Adrian)

    Do one of them as an example, then give students plenty of time to answer the questions on their own, and then compare their answers with their partner. Elicit answers open class, making sure that they justify their answer with reference to the text.(15 min)

  8. T Post Reading: There are various options here depending on your students, their level and their interests. Option One: Get them into groups and get them to design the 'perfect' mobile phone, they can draw it on poster paper and write the description/features next to it. Option 2: Get them to do a class survey on what students use their mobile phones for most. So, they can write questions and ask each other how much in a day they use it for music, messages, phone calls, taking pictures etc. Option 3: get them to write a review of their own mobile phone for others to read and then they decide which other person's phone they would like to have. (15-20 mins)


  1. Hi David,
    A very thorough and interactive lesson.
    Thank you,

  2. Great post with nice details. I really appreciate your info. Thanks for sharing. cep telefonunun

  3. Hi

    I have tried to find the resource for this lesson. When clicking on 'here' above for the reading text, it redirects to another page, but the reading text is not there. Please can you help.