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Essential UK gives you varied topics for different levels about areas of contemporary United Kingdom every week. There are two versions: the language assistant version, with guidance on how to use the materials with your students; and the class version, for you to print and photocopy for use in class.

You may print out Essential UK materials for your own personal use, but you must ask permission for any other use from the British Council at

Please let us know what you think of the materials you've used, and what topics you'd like to see.

Date Topic What's it about? Language assistant Version Class version
13.02.04 Friends This lesson explores the different concepts of friendship among young people. Click here Click here
06.02.04 The Brit awards This lesson has some nice music related activities and texts based around a British music award. Click here Click here
30.01.04 Too young to vote Materials and ideas for exploring the political rights of young people. Click here Click here
17.01.04 Faith This lesson explores the role of faith in the UK and in students' lives Click here Click here
10.01.04 Innovation nation Looking at the past and present creativity generated within the UK Click here Click here
08.12.03 Teenagers talking Exploring relationships between teenagers and their parents and family Click here Click here
01.12.03 The Christmas number one Exploring musical tastes around Christmas time. Click here Click here
22.11.03 Fundraising UK style Exploring different ways of raising money for charities in the UK Click here Click here
11.11.03 Fizzy Drink Exploring attitudes to food and healthy eating Click here Click here
04.11.03 Young Roots Exploring students' sense of community and family Click here Click here
17.10.03 ICT in Education Exploring the effects of ICT on education Click here Click here
10.10.03 Freedom and you Exploring issues of personal freedom and responsibility for teenagers Click here Click here
21.05.03 School's out Talking about how to spend the summer holidays Click here Click here
16.05.03 Know the net
Internet use, safety and chat rooms.
Click here Click here
09.05.03 The Tested Generation
Revision strategies, exam stress and attitudes towards school.
Click here Click here
02.05.03 Holiday habits
Holiday trends, factors influencing holiday choices, the package holiday boom Click here Click here
25.04.03 Reading Houses Buildings and lifestyles, personal tastes. Click here Click here
18.04.03 Football culture Attitudes towards football in the UK, changes in football, supporters and fans, role models. Click here Click here
11.04.03 Visitors to the UK The UK tourist industry, foreigners impressions of the UK and overseas visitor trends for 2002
Click here Click here
04.04.03 Language learning in the UK The crisis in language skills and the school system in the UK. Attitudes towards learning languages
Click here Click here
21.03.03 April Fool's Day April Fool’s Day, humour and practical jokes. Using imperatives. Click here Click here
14.03.03 Teen Tribes Teenage groups and tastes in fashion and music. Describing people’s appearance and personality Click here Click here
07.03.03 No Smoking Day Smoking and young people’s attitudes towards smoking; the language of statistics (percentages), smell/taste. Click here Click here
28.02.03 Red Nose Day Charities, fund raising and red nose day frivolities; adjectives for describing opinions. Click here Click here
21.02.03 Science week March 7th-16th Using scientific content and discussion. Suggestions for all age ranges, plus web links with activity suggestions. Click here No class version
07.02.03 The Secret Agent Secret agents, technology, gadgetry and the James Bond exhibition at the Science Museum. Click here Click here
29.01.03 Valentine's Day Valentine's day, teenage relationships, celebrations, history. Click here No class version
22.01.03 School Discipline School discipline, bad behaviour, punishments. Click here Click here
15.01.03 Game on Computer games/gaming. Click here Click here
08.01.03 Goodbye horse, welcome ram! Chinese New Year celebrations. Adjectives to describe personality, celebrations. Click here Click here
20.12.02 New year’s resolutions New Year traditions and New Year resolutions. Reviewing the year, talking about past events, talking about intentions. Click here Click here
13.12.02 Toy fads and fashions Toys, fashions and consumerism. Click here Click here
6.12.02 Christmas for young Brits Christmas, communicating with the younger generation. Click here Click here
29.11.02 Christmas Christmas celebrations, history, customs and traditions. Click here No class version
22.11.02 Pocket money and Pester Power Young people’s spending habits in the UK, teenagers working. Click here Click here
08.11.02 The British Isles Overview of the UK and Republic of Ireland. Click here Click here
01.11.02 Diwali - My favourite festival The Hindu festival of Diwali, ways to celebrate, legends and superstitions. Click here Click here
25.10.02 A Multicultural Society Immigration, demography, ethnic minorities in the UK today Click here Click here
18.10.02 Show Racism the Red Card Football in the UK and campaigns against racism in sport. Click here Click here
09.10.02 Halloween Some ideas of activities you can do with Halloween. Click here No class version
02.10.02 Forced to wear a skirt School uniforms in Britain and teenage dress codes Click here Click here
27.09.02 A generation of couch potatoes? Young people's health, fitness, lifestyles. Click here Click here
20.09.02 Who does better? Girls’ performance in the GCSE exams. UK exam system. Click here Click here
10.09.02 Swap a Book Day Reading habits in the UK and National Literacy Campaign; your students ' reading habits Click here Click here


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