Future Cities, NEOM, & The Line (Advanced Lesson Plan)

ESL/EFL Level: Advanced (C1/C2)
Lesson Topics: urban planning, sustainability, city development
Skill Focus: Speaking, Reading, Listening, Vocabulary
Approximate Class Time: 1.75 hours
Lesson Plan Download: future-cities-neom-advanced-lesson-092023.docx
Lesson Overview:

  • After warm-up questions, students read a passage on three topics: a new privately-owned city being developed in California, common features of future cities, and a large futuristic urban development in Saudi Arabia called Neom.
  • The passage ends with a link to a short promo YouTube video for "The Line", a linear city in Neom. The video is only 2 minutes long and contains subtitles.
  • Next, students answer comprehension questions, do a vocabulary-matching activity, and then create questions using the new vocabulary.
  • The first speaking activity is an urban planning scenario in which student must choose the amenities they'd like to include in their '15-minute city.' A budget restraint is given. This is followed by two roleplays: the first is basically a debate about living in the city or countryside, and the second is a scenario on the ethics of removing aboriginal inhabitants to construct the Line. Next, students discuss two famous quotations.
  • The lesson closes with a vocabulary review activity, final discussion questions, and a review of collocations.

An image of a city at night

ADVANCED (C1/C2) EFL Lesson Plan on Future Cities & The Line

Warm-up Questions

  1. Why do people live in cities?
  2. If you could live in any city in the world, where would you go?
  3. What do you know about the history of your city? How did it come to be?

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-- Lesson plan on Future Cities & NEOM written by Matthew Barton of EnglishCurrent.com (copyright). ChatGPT was used to create a rough draft of the Californian city story and some 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. Likely some landowners didn’t want to sell and felt pressured; others may don’t want a large private entity in their community.
  2. The project is described as ambitious because it involves the massive task of building a modern, sustainable mega-city, which requires significant resources, planning, and innovation.
  3. The purpose of the '15-minute city' concept is to enable citizens to reach essential destinations within a short walk or ride, emphasizing the importance of having services and amenities in very close proximity.
  4. NEOM and The Line reflect some of the ideas about future cities mentioned in the passage, such as sustainability and accessibility (with renewable energy and the potential for hyper proximity).
  5. Though not specified explicitly in the passage, some ethical issues related to NEOM and The Line could be the displacement of indigenous populations, potential environmental impact, and the allocation of vast resources for such projects while other pressing issues might exist in the country or region.

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

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


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