The Science of Smiling

Theresa Dash - author of the lesson   Theresa I December 21, 2021
General English, Speaking Lessons
Emotions, Feelings, People, Science
B2 Upper-Intermediate
Auxiliary Verbs
Grammar, Speaking, Vocabulary, Listening
Lesson ID
Lesson Time
45 minutes
Students engaged in an online lesson discussing the epidemic of loneliness, while practicing auxiliary verbs and vocabulary related to this topic.

Lesson Overview

Have you ever felt like you were on a deserted island or lost in a maze? In this lesson, students will learn about the epidemic of loneliness, the consequences of this feeling, and how to overcome it. This lesson features a video of a psychiatrist explaining one practical thing we can do to make our lives better. Students will learn and practice auxiliary verbs and vocabulary relating to this topic. The lesson includes plenty of engaging discussion activities and worksheets that have been developed for adult and teenage learners.

Lesson Objectives

  • Grammar: Learners will explore the use of auxiliary verbs (do, does, did) to emphasize feelings, actions, and experiences. They will practice constructing sentences that highlight emotions, such as "I do appreciate this," or show contrast, like "I don't know, but I did in the past."

  • Listening: By listening to a video featuring a psychiatrist discussing loneliness and social connections, students will focus on understanding how auxiliary verbs are used to emphasize personal experiences and emotions. This exercise aims to improve their comprehension of spoken English with a specific focus on sentence stress and intonation used for emphasis.

  • Speaking: Students will engage in discussion activities where they practice using auxiliary verbs to emphasize their own feelings and experiences. They will also simulate interactions, such as asking someone, "What made you smile today?" to develop skills in initiating and maintaining empathetic conversations.

  • Vocabulary: The lesson will introduce vocabulary related to social interactions and emotional health, such as "transactional," "loneliness," and "subconscious." Students will learn how these terms are used in context and apply them in discussions about mental well-being and social habits.

  • Homework: Students will complete sentences using auxiliary verbs from a provided box, practicing the emphasis structures discussed in class. They will also write about personal experiences using the learned vocabulary and structures, such as rewriting sentences to emphasize specific parts: "What I always remember is..."


Watch this video to learn how to tap into the hidden psychology of your mind. Dr. Goulston, a psychiatrist of over 40 years, explains how we can do one practical thing to make our lives better. What made you smile today?

Video Transcript

Vocabulary and Pronunciation

paradox [noun]: a seemingly absurd or contradictory statement that may be proven true
epidemic [noun]: a sudden, widespread occurrence of a particular unwanted phenomenon
psychology [noun]: the mental characteristics or attitude of a person or group
suicidal [adjective]: deeply unhappy or depressed and likely to commit suicide
deteriorate [verb]: to become worse
despair [noun]: a feeling of being without hope or unable to improve a situation
tap into [phrasal verb]: to manage to use something so that it brings good results
coworking [noun]: an arrangement in which workers of different companies share an office space
strip away [phrasal verb]: to get rid of something that is considered not to be necessary
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