Speaking of… Facial recognition in China: B1-B2
Ian Kime
March 9, 2021

Speaking of… Facial recognition in China: B1-B2

Need something quick to use with your higher-level students to get them talking? Look no further than our new “Speaking of…” series of simple conversation activities. The basic premise is to watch a short video and then present your students with polarizing statements with which they must agree or disagree. And sometimes, we will throw in a little activity to push them just that much further.

This Speaking of… is about facial recognition and social credit score in China. Even without an activity or teaching tool, this subject is so shocking that everyone has something to say about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXyzpMDtpSE

However, we are nice and we want to give you something to make your teaching experience that much more enjoyable and simpler. Our downloadable resource comes with 3 items:

  1. A list of polarizing phrases to get a discussion started with your students.
  2. A “screen-share” version adapted for online lessons.
  3. An extra activity to take the discussion further.

Begin the warm-up by asking your students What makes someone a model citizen?” This question should give you a wide variety of answers and even a bit of debate. Once everyone has given at least one example of model citizen behavior, move on to the video.

After watching the video, you could go straight to the discussion activity or regroup the information as a class. “Tell me one thing you learned from this video.” Or pool the more shocking details according to your students, “What was the most shocking thing you heard in this video.” Now, if you are working offline, you can cut out and place the polarizing phrases one by one in the middle of the table and get everyone’s opinion.


If you are working online, you can share the online version:


Don’t be afraid to play the devil’s advocate during this discussion. It will make things much more interesting! If your students get interested in one phrase, in particular, let them talk. You may realize you don’t have time to do all of the phrases. That’s a good thing!

If you have time at the end or want to go the extra mile, use the extra activity in which students will create their own social credit scorecard. Which of these activities merits a gain or a loss? Can they come up with some good ideas of their own for earning or losing social credit? This activity works well for both offline and online lessons.

Ian Kime

Ian Kime

I have been teaching English abroad since receiving my CELTA certificate in Poland in 2018. I enjoy tracking my individual students’ development but love having lessons with big groups! Now that I teach online, I am accompanied by my sidekicks Olaf, Mała, Pirate and Bandit on a regular basis.



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