Friendship in the 21st Century (Upper-Intermediate Lesson)

ESL/EFL Level: Upper-Intermediate (B2/C1)
Lesson Topics: Friendship, loneliness
Skill Focus: Speaking, Reading, Vocabulary
Approximate Class Time: 2 hours
Lesson Plan Download: friendship-upper-intermediate-lesson-022024.docx
Lesson Overview:

  • After warm-up questions, students read a 291-word passage about friendship in the 21st century. The passage mentions the 'friendship recession' faced by many people in Western countries today.
  • After a read, recall, retell activity, students match topics to each paragraph. They then complete comprehension questions, a vocabulary-matching exercise, and an activity where they make questions using the target vocabulary.
  • There are two debate topics about friendship students can choose from. After, there are three roleplay activities. The first asks a student to give advice to a newcomer who needs friends. The second asks a matchmaker to match an elderly person with a potential friend. The final roleplay has a student give advice on escaping the 'Friend Zone'.
  • This is followed by a story-telling activity in which students use images and vocabulary to retell a story about friendship. (Note: the images are meant to depict the story of a fair-weather friend.)
  • Next, students review the lesson's vocabulary, discuss famous quotations about friendship, and review some friendship proverbs. Finally, the lesson ends with collocations and final discussion questions.

Friends having a picnic

UPPER-INTERMEDIATE (B2/C1) Lesson Plan on Friendship


  1. How many close friends do you have? How often do you see them? How has the frequency changed as you’ve aged?
  2. What qualities should a good friend have?
  3. Does modern life make it easier to make friends? If your answer is ‘no’, then make a list of reasons.

Membership is required to view this post. Please support EnglishCurrent by becoming a member today. Members, please log in.

This lesson plan was created by Matthew Barton of (copyright). 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. ChatGPT was used to generate answer keys, proverbs, and some famous quotations. For questions, contact the author.

Comprehension Question Answer Key

  1. Online friends and AI chatbots are the examples of non-traditional friendships.
  2. Fair-weather friends disappear during challenges, only appearing in good times.
  3. The author argues for the difficulty of maintaining strong friendships in the 21st century due to various factors.
  4. Increased mobility and parental involvement (in Western generations) are mentioned as reasons for fewer friends at 30.
  5. The cigarette comparison emphasizes the seriousness of loneliness' health impact…

Paragraph Topics: 1-Types of Friends, 2-Friendship Throughout Life, 3-General Friendship decline, 4-Health Effects

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

Collocation Answers: 1c. turn to someone for support, 2e. AI chatbots , 3a. when times get tough, 4d. the friend zone, 5b. then drops significantly








2 comments on “Friendship in the 21st Century (Upper-Intermediate Lesson)

  1. Mekonnen Zeleke (Posted on 2-23-2024 at 04:43) Reply

    This is probably what I need for my classes.

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 2-23-2024 at 07:56) Reply

      Great. Please become a member if you haven’t already so you can access the materials.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *