Body Language

Rob - author of the lesson plan   Rob February 07, 2024
General English, Speaking Lessons
Crime, Body Language
C1 Advanced
Grammar, Speaking, Vocabulary, Listening
Lesson ID
Lesson Time
45 minutes
American English (ESL) lesson plan for an online class titled “Body Language”

Lesson Overview

Have you ever communicated with your eyes? In this lesson, students will learn about body language and nonverbal communication. This lesson features a video of a former FBI agent and body language expert who talks about how his expertise helped him catch a spy. Students will learn and practice speculative adverbs and vocabulary relating to this topic. This lesson includes plenty of engaging discussion activities and worksheets that have been developed for adult and teenage learners.

Lesson Objectives

  • Grammar: Students will delve into the use of speculative adverbs, enhancing their ability to express possibilities, likelihoods, and certainties. They will practice these expressions in various scenarios, learning to communicate more nuanced thoughts about potential or hypothetical situations.

  • Listening: Students will improve their listening skills through engagement with a video featuring a former FBI agent discussing nonverbal communication. They will focus on comprehending detailed content about body language and its interpretations, enhancing their ability to listen actively and critically in English.

  • Speaking: The lesson encourages students to actively participate in discussions and role-play exercises that revolve around interpreting body language and making speculative statements. This will help them improve their spoken English fluency, particularly in expressing observations and forming hypotheses about others' behaviors and intentions.

  • Vocabulary: Vocabulary development will focus on words and phrases associated with body language and speculation, such as "likely," "probably," and "definitely." These terms are essential for discussing nonverbal cues and the degrees of certainty in various contexts.

  • Cultural Awareness: Students will explore the cultural implications of body language, discussing how nonverbal communication can vary across different cultures and the misconceptions that often arise from these differences. This part of the lesson aims to broaden students' understanding of nonverbal communication in a global context.

  • Homework: Learners will complete exercises that test their understanding of body language cues and speculative language. They will choose appropriate words to complete sentences about body language, select the correct interpretations of described scenarios, and fill in blanks with speculative adverbs to assess the likelihood of different actions based on described situations.


If someone touches their nose or clears their throat, are they lying? Watch this video about a former FBI agent and body language expert, Joe Navarro, who talks about body language and explains how his expertise helped him to catch a spy.

Video Transcript

Vocabulary and Pronunciation

nonverbals [noun]: gestures or facial expressions that nonverbally show how you feel about something
peephole [noun]: a small hole or opening in a wall or door through which you can see to the other side
sheer [adjective]: not mixed with anything else; pure
deception [noun]: the act of hiding the truth, especially if you want to get an advantage
tradecraft [noun]: the skills and methods used by someone doing a skilled job; the skills and techniques used by people whose jobs involve secret activities such as intelligence work and spying
neutralize [verb]: to stop something from having an effect or from working properly
sophisticated [adjective]: complex; not simple; made with great skill
soothe [verb]: to make someone less upset or angry; to cause someone or something to hurt less
stand out [phrasal verb]: to be more noticeable or easily seen
indicative [adjective]: being a sign or showing that something exists and is true
misconception [noun]: a wrong idea, mainly because it is based on a failure to understand a situation
empirically [adverb]: in a way that is based on what you experience or see rather than on theory
propel [verb]: to make something move forward or onward
lousy [adjective]: very bad
espionage [noun]: the practice of spying or using spies to obtain information about the plans and activities, especially of a foreign government or a competing company
hostile [adjective]: not friendly
stock [noun]: the stem of a plant or flower
mole [noun]: a person working within an organization, such as a government department, who secretly reports information about its enemy
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