Tag Archives: energy sources

Does the world need nuclear energy? A listening lesson.

353/365 nuclear power vs ...

Nuclear Debate: Does the world need nuclear energy?


Intermediate and above


90 mins

Lesson Aims:

  • to practise listening for gist and for specific information
  • to practise language for debates
  • to give a presentation on the topic
  1. Lead in: Before you listen, discuss these questions:
    • What different energy sources do you know?
    • Which of them are the least/most harmful for the environment?
    • What are the “green” sources of energy?
    • Are you for or against nuclear energy? Why?
  2. Pre-listening: activating topic schema:

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What the world needs now is nuclear energy.” Do you agree with this statement? Prepare a list of arguments for and against this thesis. Put your ideas in the correct place below.

           For                                                                    Against

The talk:

  1. Listening: Speaker 1 (1:20 – 7:20)
  • Is he in favour or against the thesis?
  • Which arguments does he mention? Tick the ones we listed in the table and add the ones you hear.
    4. Post-listening discussion: Speaker 1
    • Does the speaker convince you?
    • Which arguments did you find surprising?
    • Which are strong and which weak in your opinion?
  1. Second listening: Speaker 1 (optional)
  • Did you find any parts of the speech difficult to understand? Would you like to listen to any of them again?
  1. Listening: Speaker 2 (7:25 – 14:04)

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  • Can you think which counterarguments this speaker might use?
  • Would you like to add any to the table? Listen and check which arguments the speaker uses.
     7. Post-listening discussion: Speaker 2
    • Have you found this speaker convincing? Why (not)?
    • Were any arguments new to you?
     8. Second listening: Speaker 2 (optional)
  • Did you find any parts of the speech difficult to understand? Would you like to listen to any of them again?
     9. Discussion:
  • Has your initial opinion changed? If so, in what way?
  • Is nuclear energy a solution to your country’s energy needs? Why?
  • With the hindsight of the disaster in Japan, do the arguments is favour of nuclear energy still hold water?
10. Speaking follow up:
  • Group presentations and debate: put sts into groups of three or four and ask them to prepare a 5 minute talk. They should imagine they are MPs and that they have to give a speech in the parliament convincing other MPs and the government of their point of view.

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