ESL Games Adult Resource #010 – Moshe Safdie: How to reinvent the apartment building

Ted Talks are a great lesson idea for adult learners. ESL lessons aren’t always about games but they should always be interesting.

In 1967, Moshe Safdie reimagined the monolithic apartment building, creating “Habitat ’67,” which gave each unit an unprecedented sense of openness. Nearly 50 years later, he believes the need for this type of building is greater than ever. In this short talk, Safdie surveys a range of projects that do away with the high-rise and let light permeate into densely-packed cities.



  1. I teach TED.com lessons by telling my ESL class the name of the TED Talk and having them guess what it’s about.
  2. After that, I play the the talk once and ask the ESL students to listen and tell me what the heard.
  3. Then, I let them watch the TED talk and ask them to tell me any addition information they gathered.
  4. Next, I hand out .pdf file located at the bottom of this page and ask the ESL students to follow along with the talk while filling in the missing words.
  5. Then, do the definition match portion of the .pdf provided below.
  6. Then, the entire class takes turns reading the TED Talk and we discuss any English vocabulary or comprehension issues.
  7. Finally, the class breaks into pairs and works on the questions provided. It’s important to switch partners frequently.