Qatar 2022: The World Cup of controversy

Lesson plan overview

This ESL lesson plan is about the World Cup in Qatar and the controversies surrounding it. It is focused on speaking – students will discuss issues such as workers’ rights, human rights, LGBTQ+ rights and corruption. You may also like these worksheets: “Argentina wins the world cup”, “Phrasal verbs: The World Cup (football)”. For lower-level students, you can check this lesson:“Football fans”.  Another great lesson for the eng of 2022-the beginning of 2023 is “2022’s most important events”.

Speaking: The lesson starts with a few general questions about the World Cup. After that students are given a list of issues related to the World Cup in Qatar (e.g. Working conditions of migrant workers, bribery and corruption allegations, human rights violations, climate concerns) and they discuss what they know about each one. After that, they look at a few quotes related to the World Cup in Qatar and talk about each one, expressing their opinions and giving their arguments.

Collocations: in a short vocabulary activity, students practice collocations related to human rights. They complete the questions with the correct word and then ask and answer the questions with a partner.

Video: Students watch a video “How Qatar got to host the World Cup” and complete 2 tasks. Firt, they are asked to take notes about a few things mentioned in the video and then they complete extracts from the video with the verbs they hear.

Grammar: the second listening activity is also used as a transition to the grammar part of the lesson. After students have completed the extracts with the correct reporting verb (deny, accuse, allege, acknowledge), they match the verb to their definitions. Then, they complete a few sentences with the correct verb and word out the correct verb pattern each verb follows.

Speaking: next they are asked to share with a partner what they know about the topics given, using the reporting verbs from this lesson. The last activity is optional: a link to an article is provided where fans share their opinions about the World Cup. Students read it and discuss each of the opinions.

The printable conversation cards will provide further conversation practice.

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Teacher’s lesson plan

Student’s worksheet

Student’s interactive PDF

Conversation cards PDF

Pre-class activities

To send the pre-class activities to your students, copy the link below.

Vocabulary matching


The first time you watch the video, pay special attention to the correct pronunciation of the following words:

The vast majority of these migrant workers are low-wage workers who come from some of the poorest countries in the region.
They could be on duty for 8 to 12 hours in an incredibly oppressive, humid climate.
…after almost all the stadiums were completed and after all the infrastructure was in place.

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

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