What do you know about Northern Ireland?

This lesson plan for teachers of teenagers and adults at Intermediate level and above explores the theme of Northern Ireland. Students will develop their reading with listening skills.



This lesson is part of a series of plans based on interviews with people from around the UK. This one focuses on Northern Ireland. This is a challenging text which combines reading with listening. There are also some internet research tasks for those with access to the internet. The text included in this lesson touches on some sensitive issues, so it may be better to look carefully at it first and decide whether it is suitable for your students.

Before you use this lesson, you might want to check up on some of the background to the troubles’ in Northern Ireland. You can find more information about this on the BBC website at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/recent/troubles/the_troubles_article_01.shtml You can also find a series of video clips here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/z8d82hv/resources/1

For more general information about Northern Ireland you can look at this entry on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Ireland


Life and change in Northern Ireland


Intermediate +


60-90 mins


  • To develop students’ ability to take information from quite a difficult reading text
  • To develop students knowledge of Northern Ireland
  • To practise asking and answering questions


Lesson plan: guide for teacher on procedure.

Download lesson plan 110k pdf

Download student worksheet

Audio: the complete text
Note: The audio is not essential for the lesson but you may like to use it in class as an optional element.

  • 3.12Mb Mp3 - Interview

To download audio, right click on audio file in the Attachment below and save to 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: teachingenglish@britishcouncil.org

Language Level


Submitted by daniela bibu on Wed, 02/02/2011 - 15:59


A very nice activity which I intend to discuss with my 15 year old students. Thank you very much for the nice topics, for the lesson plans which are of great help for us, teachers of English, and for visual aids. It is a great pleasure to spend time learning from your site. 

Submitted by jakeska1 on Sun, 02/06/2011 - 21:20


Hi, I was trying to use this interesting looking lesson plan, unfortunately I am not able to download the listening. It plays only the beginning, but not the whole recording. Can you help?

Hi there

I've just checked the audio above and the file seems OK. If you use left click on your mouse, you should be able to hear it play on your web browser. Alternatively, you can right click and 'Save As' to save the file on your computer - so you can play it even if you're offline.

Hope this helps


Submitted by jakeska1 on Mon, 02/07/2011 - 21:33

In reply to by Rob Lewis (not verified)


Thanks Rob, tried that, that's what I always do anyway. 

Problem was somewhere else...found out that the recordings don't play in the Google browser. I had to use the Explorer.

Again, thank you for your answer



Submitted by loum on Mon, 01/09/2012 - 08:51


I think that when teaching about Northern Ireland and its history it is very important to make sure that you are not representing from one side of the coin, this shows only one point of view from during the Troubles when in fact there were many atrocities carried out by those fighting for the nationalist cause as well as those who wanted Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom.

Submitted by loum on Mon, 01/09/2012 - 08:55


What I mean to say is that perhaps the extremity of the divide could be shown better through use of two examples of experiences from people in Northern Ireland instead of just one?

I like the idea of the audio as it will be useful to students to hear different accents and I love the site, it is great for sharing ideas.

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