Little Dorrit: Circumlocution Office

Has dealing with bureaucracy ever been a simple process? In this lesson students read Dickens' humorous account of officialdom then they prepare and perform mini-plays on the same topic.

Level: B2/C1 +

Age group: Older teens/adults

Timing: 90 minutes


  • To develop skills of reading for gist and detail.
  • To practice producing humorous dialogues.

Suggested timetable fit:

  • As a humorous end to previous lessons on the topic of government processes/filling in forms/dealing with officialdom (possibly on a business English course).
  • As a stand-alone lesson.

Plan components

Lesson plan: download

Worksheets: download worksheet 01 / download worksheet 02

Answers: download answers worksheet 01

By Richard Lunt

The plans and worksheets are downloadable and in pdf format - right click on the attachment and save it on your computer.

Copyright - please read
All the materials on these pages are free for you to download and copy for educational use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place these materials on any other web site without written permission from the BBC and British Council. If you have any questions about the use of these materials please email us at:

Research and insight

We have hundreds of case studies, research papers, publications and resource books written by researchers and experts in ELT from around the world. 

See our publications, research and insight

Sign up to our newsletters for teachers and teacher educators

We will process your data to send you our newsletter and updates based on your consent. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every email. Read our privacy policy for more information.