TEFL teaching materials

teaching professional people english

How has the world changed?

‘How the world has changed’ is a common element in revision of the present perfect.  Unfortunately, many people find it very difficult to jump into a lesson on that theme.  I suppose it’s all due to us having different types of imagination.  This post brings together some resources on the theme of the Berlin wall which will enable you to do lots of fluency work, as well as leading on to some practice of the present perfect and ‘how the world has changed’ if you are lucky.  There are also possibilities for working on ‘where were you/what were you doing when…’  and of course ‘have you ever visited Berlin?’.

Berlin’s outdoor gallery

This is a super little exercise combining a video with interactive comprehension questions.  Only six, so folks will hardly feel they’re working.  You can get it from ‘esolcourses.com’ here.


The open air gallery is a nice twist on a very sad subject, of course.  Berlin celebrated, or rather marked the 50 years since the building of the wall in the summer of 2011.  Students will probably come on to that aspect of it with very little prompting.  You can ask them if they remember (I didn’t offhand) and then go on to these resources ;

Slide show

As a lead in to the video news piece which I’m suggesting next, this is an interactive slideshow from the BBC which will allow you to talk through all the vocabulary students will need.  you can go to it here.


To finish off, students can watch and follow a video for once in my class without me bothering them with comprehension questions.  I ask them to watch with an open mind, and warn them that I’ll want to know their impressions afterwards.  You can find that by clicking here.

The juxtaposition of these two views of the Berlin wall allows lots of use of comparatves, lots of revision of adjectives.  The conjugation possibilities are obvious too.  I’ve had lots of thoroughly enjoyable discussion with very little effort on my part, as long as I’ve thought through the conversation ahead of time.  Happy teaching ; )


About Catherine Kennedy

Second year undergrad (super-mature) at Sheffield Uni doing single honours Religion, Theology, and the Bible. (Formerly TEFL teacher in France)

4 comments on “How has the world changed?

  1. ijkblogger

    Well, I remember the wall going up, I was a young girl then and I remember it coming down as well but then I am your Mum and knocking on a bit now! Another good post. Keep it up gal!

    • Catherine Kennedy

      Funny you should mention the ‘going up’ of the wall – there are a lot of poignant pieces on the BBC site about just that, but nothing which I thought could be used. Pity, it would all have been good practice for ‘what were you doing when…’

  2. Kylie liz

    Great post!! Love the ideas. Thanks for the resources. Don’t think my kids will remember the Berlin wall, but I will keep this in mind for future classes!! Thanks!!

    • Catherine Kennedy

      I’m glad you like it – of course you & I barely remember the wall either ; )

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