What leads to success?

SuccessHere’s a video-based classroom activity on the theme of success using a TED.com┬ávideo and Quizlet.

1. First, ask Ss to work in groups of three to exchange stories about successes that they have enjoyed in the past. Explain that they should give details of how the success they had was achieved and what, if any, were the outcomes. You can, if you like,┬ámodel this by telling the class about a success story of your own. Make it clear that they can talk about any success – little or great.

2. Conduct some class feedback with one or two example success stories from the group’s discussions.

3. Ask Ss to imagine being in a situation in which they are asked by a teenager the question, “What leads to success?” Ask Ss to work in their groups to first brainstorm some ideas and then select a list a five possible things that they would say in reply to the teenager’s question.

4. Explain that they are now going to watch a video of analyst Richard St. John condensing years of interviews into a 3-minute presentation on the real secrets of success. As they watch Ss should compare the points he makes with those they brainstormed and listed themselves. The talk is from the wonderful TED.com website.

5. Watch the video:

6. Ask Ss to compare their notes on the video and then conduct a class feedback session eliciting and comparing St John’s eight points with those of the Ss. Ask for comments on St John’s ideas. Elicit vocabulary (if you like you can ask Ss to watch again and focus on the language rather than content). The video can also be exploited to develop presentation techniques by, for example, asking Ss to consider the interaction between the visual and verbal elements of the talk, the structure, etc.

7. If you have access to the Internet in class (if not this next activity could also be set as homework) ask student to use the following Quizlet set to recycle the ideas in set out by St John in the video:

Ss can practise further by using the “Study this set” link. Note, however, that this is not really a vocabulary activity and so the “Test” activity in Quizlet does not work well with this set.

Here is a more recent version of Richard St. John talk:


Further reading