From C1 exams to C2 authentic materials

After a nice walk in the sunshine the other day, a refreshing few hours out of the house, I began to think about my young C1 student and how I could better prepare for his next few lessons.


Whilst I do want to focus on the exams, his hasn’t been rebooked yet and I think keeping him interested in the language is a little more important than repeating exam techniques he already knows by heart.


Last week we studied a text about failed inventions and the museum in Michigan. It was interesting, something I had never heard of (surprisingly) but also a topic that my student really enjoyed – he told me so twice, bless him! 

So on my walk home I called my friend and he gave me some advice on how to approach it. What I really needed was the reassurance that my ideas weren’t completely ridiculous and to see if he had any materials (of course, he did!).

Once I got home I logged onto the computer and started looking through TED talks on inventions – sadly, there aren’t many! And then on failures, success and teenage ‘stars’, but, to be honest, none of them were suitable. 

I went onto YouTube, but none of them seemed quite right either. They were too informal, not exactly what I was looking for or people just rambling on. For a 10 year old, I still want to keep the materials as professional as possible and would like to avoid videos of random men sitting in hotel rooms, babbling away about conspiracy theories. 

After a bit more research, I eventually came across BBC Ideas 💡 And surprisingly this is something that I have only discovered quite recently! I don’t know why I hadn’t heard of it before though. The video is under 5 minutes long, has good visuals and discusses interesting points. However, the language doesn’t seem too challenging, but I’m hoping this could be a chance to build on synonyms, antonyms and formal vs informal language.

The video is this: BBC Failed Inventions


If you have used, or know of, any materials relating to inventions, I’d be most grateful if you’d let me know! Alternatively, if you have any ideas on how to push boundaries of language learners at a C1/C2 level then that would definitely be helpful! 

I have taught numerous C1 students before but they have all had areas to improve on, whether it’s speaking confidence, perfect tenses or articles. But in all honesty, this lovely lad makes very few errors, has a huge vocabulary bank and is able to grasp both abstract and grown-up concepts that many 10-year-olds probably wouldn’t. He speaks with such amazing confidence, reads in English daily, he’s writing his own book and loves to draw (our break time consists of him drawing funny comics that relate to our lesson). 

I’d love to facilitate his love of learning and would hate for our lessons to be boring in any way. So I really am reaching out to you lovely people for any advice you can offer!


Thanks in advance and stay tuned for a lesson update too!

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