Using TV commercials

Daniel Brint Lesson plans, Resources for teachers Leave a Comment

Using TV commercials.


This activity is a simple but highly effective and enjoyable way of working on pronunciation and intonation and drawing out the meaning of a spoken text.

Materials: A TV commercial that uses a voiceover. It could be an ad with more than one voice but this can get confusing so I look for ads with one voice.

In this example, I have used a Conservation International (CI) spot called Home.

This is the transcript:

I am home. I give you comfort. I shelter your family. See me for who I am. Home, sweet home. I am your refuge. I am the floor that supports you. The foundation that keeps you steady. The walls that give you shelter. The roof that protects you. I am your home. If you don’t take care of me, I cannot take care of you.

Divide students into two groups. One group watches the ad without sound or text. They make notes on what they see.

The other group read the text. Tell them they must read it so it ends after 53 seconds. Encourage them to try reading the text in different ways (sad, happy, puzzled, etc.)

Make new groups of four – two from each group. With the text and the description of the ad the group produces a reading of the text they think sounds good. These versions can then before performed with the ad on the screen with sound turned off.

Finally, watch the ad with the sound and discuss questions such as:
In what ways is the reading similar or different from the way we read? Which words are emphasized?
Does the speed change or stay the same?

If you think it is appropriate, students can try to imitate the way the ad was read.

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