Robot appointed as CEO

Lesson plan overview

Note: The video of this lesson was updated on 27th April 2023

This engaging lesson plan is based on the news that a robot has been appointed the CEO of a Chinese company. It works great both as a general English lesson and a Business English lesson as it touches on topics like leadership and automation in the workplace. It is focused on speaking, vocabulary and word formation and is helpful for students preparing for First or Advanced Cambridge exams. You can combine it with “Idioms: technology”. It would also be useful to teach the lesson “Dealing with a difficult co-worker” first as it introduces a few advanced phrases to make predictions for the future and this lesson is the perfect opportunity for further practice.

The lesson starts with a discussion about robots: students are given a few photos and they need to talk about the applications of robots in our everyday lives. Then they move on to talk about possible usage of robots in different areas such as industry, medicine, space exploration. They share their general opinion about robots.

Vocabulary: The next part of the lesson is focused on differences between humans and robots. Students are given a few adjectives (biased, selfish, empathetic), which they need to match to their definitions and then create the opposite adjectives. After that they talk about the adjectives used to describe humans and robots. Students are also given a few verbs used when talking about robots (take over, threaten, enhance, streamline). They need to rephrase the statements given using the correct verb and discuss the statements. Lastly, students read about different skills a CEO should have (decisiveness, approachability, fearlessness) and answer a few questions. These activities also serve as pre-listening activities as they introduce the more advanced words students will later hear in the video.

Video: Students watch a video “Unconventional Move: NetDragon’s AI CEO Delivers Impressive Results!” and answer 6 questions. After that they discuss the video. Students practise all the vocabulary they’ve learned during the lesson with a word formation exercise.

The lesson concludes with a debate “Would we be better off with robots running the world?” There are plenty of opportunities to practise and develop the topic further: you can use the conversation cards, encourage your students to work on the suggested research questions or make use of the additional resources provided on This lesson can be combined with other technology-related lesson plans such as “Paying with your face” or business lesson plans such as “The importance of company culture” and “Emotional intelligence at work”

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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:

Car mechanic and repairman jobs surged even though jobs began to disappear.
It’s hard to imagine that robots can replicate human characteristics like empathy or compassion that are required in many jobs.
They might get stuck with lower wages in a world with more robots.

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

Additional resources

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