The Debate Over TikTok (Advanced Lesson Plan)

ESL/EFL Level: Advanced (C1/C2)
Lesson Topics: the arguments for and against TikTok, social media, influencers, family time
Skill Focus: Reading, Vocabulary, Speaking, Prepositions
Approximate Class Time: 2 hours
Lesson Plan Download: tiktok-debate-advanced-lesson-072023.docx
Lesson Overview:

  • After warm-up questions, a pre-reading task asks students to brainstorm the arguments for and against TikTok. Next, students read a 389-word passage covering an introduction to TikTok, the allegations against it, and some of its advantages.
  • Afterward, there is a recall activity and then a vocabulary exercise that asks students to match C1/C2-level words to definitions. This is followed by some question-making with the key vocabulary.
  • The first speaking activity presents links to three typical TikTok videos; students watch and rate them on a Likert scale. After, students debate whether TikTok should be banned.
  • The roleplay scenario for this lesson is set around a family who wants to spend more quality time with their daughter, who wants to spend more time building her brand on TikTok. The second roleplay is between a company that wants the daughter to be a brand ambassador for their product.
  • The final page focuses on language, with a review of key vocabulary, collocations, and prepositions.
  • The lesson ends with discussion questions.

Advanced TikTok  Lesson Plan (C1/C2)

ADVANCED (C1/C2) EFL Lesson Plan on the Debate over TikTok

Warm-up Questions

  1. Do you use social media? What are your favorite sites?
  2. How do social media sites make money?
  3. What are your favorite things to do that do not require a computer or phone?
  4. Are you happy to have been born in your generation or do you wish you’d been born earlier?

Pre-reading Tasks

  1. The passage shows a ranking of the popularity (based on total users) of these apps: TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, & WhatsApp. With a partner, make a list of how the apps might rank.
  2. What are some arguments for and against TikTok? Make a list with a partner.

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-- Lesson plan on TikTok written by Matthew Barton of (copyright). ChatGPT was used to create (some of) the cloze stems and answer keys. Site members may photocopy and edit the file for their classes. Permission is not given to rebrand the lesson, redistribute it on another platform, or sell it as part of commercial course curriculum. For questions, contact the author.

Possible answers to follow-up questions:

  1. A report that indicated TikTok tracks user location data was a cause.
  2. The company explained that its headquarters are outside of China, and the majority of the company isn’t owned by Chinese people.
  3. TikTok is prohibited in China.
  4. TikTok has a feature that asks users to step away after an hour of scrolling.
  5. The gist here is that the content becomes extreme: it either notes the BEST thing ever or the WORST thing ever. A polarity results from the desire to attract viewers.
  6. She thinks this would only strengthen other social media apps. She believes we need to address social media as a whole, not TikTok only.

 Vocabulary Answers: 1-c, 2-e, 3-a, 4-h, 5-b, 6-i, 7-j, 8-k, 9-g, 10-L, 11-d, 12-f

Vocabulary Review Answers: 1-rival, platforms, 2-accusations, 3-brand ambassador(s), 4-exaggerated, 5-boils down to, 6-true calling, 7-algorithm, 8-call out

Collocation Answers: 1-d, 2-g, 3-f, 4-e, 5-a, 6-c, 7-b

Preposition Answers: 1-on, 2-for, 3-on, 4-by, 5-through/with/via, 6-on


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