Who the Hell is Hamish Episode 2

Before listening to the second episode of Who the Hell is Hamish divide the class into three groups to research a topic and discuss vocabulary. Then share the information with the other groups.


Group 1

Research topic

Lisa Ho, fashion designer Australia


  • autism
  • psychiatric
  • fleeced
  • mind-boggling
  • pyramid scheme
  • reverse psychology
  • parasite

Group 2

Research topic

Energetic treatments


  • superannuation
  • nest egg
  • reneged
  • web of deceit
  • unencumbered
  • naïve
  • savvy

Group 3

Research topic

Musgrave House, Sydney


  • hard-nosed
  • under the radar
  • empty the coffers
  • loot
  • King Midas
  • squirreled away
  • made good coin

Now listen to Episode 2: Fashion Crimes 

After listening to the second episode discuss these questions with a partner:

  1. Use your knowledge of the Research and Vocabulary from the previous activity to explain what happened in Episode 2.
  2. What countries are mentioned?
  3. List the people mentioned and the amount of money they lost to Hamish.
  4. Use the example of Victim A, Victim B and Victim C to explain how Hamish tricked the people.
  5. How does music and sound effects create mood for the podcast?

For more academic English lessons go to:
Smart English Class

Who the Hell is Hamish?

This lesson is based on Episode 1 of the Who the Hell is Hamish podcast from The Australian reported by Greg Bearup. Hamish has stolen millions of dollars from innocent victims and this podcast aims to explain how he did it.

Before listening to the podcast discuss these questions:

  1. Have you ever cheated? Have you found out someone who has cheated?
  2. Do you always tell the truth? Are there any situations when you think it would be acceptable to lie?
  3. If you had money to invest how would you make decisions on what to do with it?

Do you know what these words mean?

  • bankrupt
  • sociopath
  • banter
  • vulnerable
  • algorithms
  • authentic
  • declaration
  • incriminate
  • legit
  • discombobulating
  • cohort

Now listen to Episode 1: The Day Max Died

After listening to Episode 1 use a map to locate these places and discuss what was mentioned about each place:

  1. World Trade Centre
  2. Sydney Opera House
  3. Stewart House, Curl Curl
  4. Bondi Beach
  5. MIT
  6. Harvard
  7. Wallstreet
  8. Circular Quay
  9. Byron Bay
  10. Bronte
  11. Tamarama
  • Summarise what happened in Episode 1.
  • What is your opinion?
  • What do you think will happen in the next episode?

For more academic English lessons go to:
Smart English Class


Spoken Presentation on a famous site

Use your poster from the writing activity where you researched a famous site in your country. Prepare a short presentation using the poster as your visual aid to present the famous site.

  1. Introduction – introduce yourself and your famous site. Describe where it is located and what it looks like.
  2. Body – give more detail about your famous site dividing your ideas logically. Think about the history of the site and any interesting facts.
  3. Conclusion – sum up the ideas you have presented and give your opinion. Consider why this site is popular.

Video yourself giving the presentation and assess yourself on:

  • fluency and coherence
  • vocabulary
  • grammar
  • pronunciation
  • delivery
  • strengths
  • areas to improve

For more academic English lessons go to:

Smart English Class

Discuss autonomous transport

Now that you have read the article We asked people if they would trust driverless cars and listened to How autonomous taxis could change the way you travel this month it’s time to have a discussion to share your findings and your opinion.


Use your answers for Vocabulary and Exploration as well as Comprehension and Images to have an extended group discussion.

  • What is your opinion on autonomous transport?
  • What do you think it will be like in the future?

For more academic English lessons go to:

Smart English Class

Discussion on learning a second language

For this discussion use the reading from this month Younger is not always better when it comes to learning a second language and the listening from this month Why should you learn a second language?


According to the article:

  1. What is the ideal way for young children to learn a language?
  2. What skills do adolescents need to learn a new language?
  3. Someone who chooses to study a second language by themselves is usually in what age group?


Click on the links to look at these images relating to the topic of learning a second language.

The most spoken languages worldwide

These languages have the most speakers

Linguistic diversity around the world


  1. Discuss the 3 images in detail.
  2. When did you first start learning a second language?
  3. What age do you think is best to start learning another language?
  4. Why did you start learning a second language?
  5. Do you think everyone should learn a second language?
  6. What do you think the advantages and disadvantages are of learning in a classroom compared to learning online?
Answers to the Comprehension Questions:
1. Living, learning and playing in a second language environment
2. Meta-cognitive skills
3. Adult

For more academic English lessons go to:

Smart English Class

Spoken Presentation on Plastic Pollution

From this month’s activities you have listened to a lecture and read an article about the problem of ocean plastic pollution. You have then done further research and written a report on plastic pollution. Now it’s time to use all this information to prepare a spoken presentation on plastic pollution.

Explain in your presentation:

  • What is plastic pollution?
  • What are the problems?
  • What are possible solutions?

Include visual aids and use palm cards with keywords to help you remember your speech. Practise your talk before your final presentation to improve your confidence!

Remember this is a spoken presentation….DON’T read from a script…….DON’T memorise a script……..DO speak naturally and…….DO video yourself to assess your own presentation techniques.

For more activities on spoken presentations go to Unit 8 Biography.

Will a robot do your job in the future?

Discuss these questions about jobs with a partner.

  1. Do you have a job now? What is it?
  2. Could a computer do your job? Explain why or why not?
  3. What types of jobs can computers or robots do now?
  4. What types of jobs will computers or robots do in the future?
  5. What is your opinion on machines doing jobs.
  6. Will a robot do your job in the future?

Now paraphrase to another person what your partner’s opinion is. Use your own words to explain what they have discussed.

For more activities on paraphrasing go to Unit 11 Paraphrasing.


A debate is an argument between two teams on one topic where each team supports one side of the argument. In other words one team will agree with the statement and the other team will disagree.

When looking at a topic you need to consider the pros and cons and make a list of both the positive and the negative points.

A class can hold a debate by having 2 teams debating the same topic. One team supports the statement and the other team opposes the statement. Students must listen carefully to the other teams arguments to be able to respond with a rebuttal or explanation that disagrees with their arguments.

Divide the class into groups of 6 students to debate this topic:

All countries should create a new national anthem every 50 years.

For each group have 3 students agree with the statement and come up with 3 main ideas or points to support the statement. The other 3 students must disagree with the statement and figure out 3 main points to oppose the statement. Each student must speak uninterrupted for a set time to explain their point (between 2 – 4 minutes). The rest of the class will be the audience and they will judge which team wins the debate with the stronger argument.

Follow this guide for each speaker:

  • Speaker 1 (PRO): introduce the topic and their team and what each speaker will discuss, argue the first point
  • Speaker 2 (CON): introduce the topic and their team and what each speaker will discuss, rebuttal, argue the first point
  • Speaker 3 (PRO): rebuttal, second point
  • Speaker 4 (CON): rebuttal, second point
  • Speaker 5 (PRO): rebuttal, third point, conclude argument
  • Speaker 6 (CON): rebuttal, third point, conclude argument

Debates are a great activity to practise speaking and listening and forming opinions, but most of all to have fun!!

For more speaking activities go to Unit 8 Biography.

Speaking about the news

Choose a current news story that you are interested in to talk about. You can either listen to the news story or read about it – in English of course!

Once you have chosen the news story take notes on these questions:

  1. Who is the story about?
  2. What happened?
  3. When did it happen?
  4. Where did it happen?
  5. Why did it happen?
  6. How did it happen?

Now use your notes to tell your partner what your news story is about. Once you have finished telling the news discuss what your opinion is on the news story.

For more lessons on the news go to Unit 4 Reading News Reports.