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C1 – Mastering Focus with a 1990s Mindset

Article-based ESL lesson which discusses the decreasing attention spans of office workers due to digital devices and notifications. Gloria Mark’s studies show that the time spent on tasks dropped from 2.5 minutes in 2004 to 75 seconds in 2012. It suggests strategies like turning off notifications, taking timed tech breaks, and dedicating time to deep reading to regain focus. ESL students can learn about the impact of technology on attention, strategies to minimize distractions, and the importance of managing their focus effectively in various situations.

This is a flipped lesson. Not sure how to teach it? Click here for more instructions.

TypeLevelVocabularyReading timeLesson Time
Flipped LessonC1 / Advanced16 (21) words8 min / 1550 words60-70 min
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Teaching guide

This is a flipped lesson. Before class, students need to preview 16 words from pages 3-4.

  1. Lead-in: In class, start by discussing as many lead-in questions as necessary.
  2. Vocabulary: Briefly go over the lesson vocabulary. If anyone needs help with the words, you can provide further explanations.
  3. Article reading and Comprehension questions: Students read the article (either individually or together). When everyone’s done reading, discuss some interesting takeaways and answer the comprehension questions on the next page. You can also talk about anything else that your students found interesting or thought-provoking.
  4. Vocabulary check and Discussion: Students complete the vocabulary-related activity and discuss thought-provoking comments.
  5. Write a comment: The final slide of the lesson could be assigned as homework, or feel free to do it in the class if you have enough time left.


  • Attention span
  • Omniscient
  • Omnipotent
  • Swearing off
  • Novelty
  • Auspice
  • Wan
  • Urge
  • Cortisol
  • Cognitive 
  • Replenish
  • Ebb
  • Rejuvenating
  • Go cold turkey
  • Inevitably
  • Sophisticated
  • Inference
  • Deduction
  • Opt for
  • Deliberately
  • Avid reader


  • Lead-in
  • Vocabulary 1
  • Vocabulary 2
  • Article reading
  • Comprehension questions
  • Vocabulary check
  • Discussion
  • Write a comment