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ESL Taxes Lesson Plan

Should We Tax The Rich More?

Student Level


Video Length: 2:24

Updated on: 05/31/2023

Lesson Time: 1–2 hrs.

1 Credit

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ESL Taxes Lesson Plan Description


This ESL taxes lesson plan on taxing the rich contains activities, PDF worksheets, and digital materials for C1 advanced adult students. By the end of the lesson, students will have developed an understanding of the complexities of different tax systems and be able to express informed opinions about public services and taxes, while using tax-related idioms.


This ESL lesson on taxes begins by having students list examples of public services and assess their quality in their local area. Students then discuss factors that can increase pressure on these services and discuss various ways to finance them, specifically through types of taxes like income, consumption, and wealth tax. Finally, they discuss potential pros and cons of tax increases on the rich.


Students watch a video by The Economist that explores the complexities of taxes and the need for public services. During the viewing stage, students analyse a chart from the video to identify trends and discuss their implications. They also list pros and cons for various types of tax, such as income, consumption, and wealth, and respond to short-answer questions about alternative taxation methods.


In the post-viewing exercise, students discuss their agreement or disagreement with the ideas in the video. This is followed by vocabulary activities on idioms like "feeling the pinch," "bite the bullet," and "draw a line in the sand," some of which were used in the video to articulate complex ideas about taxes. Students then engage in an activity where they identify and explain arguments for or against increasing wealth taxes.


In this activation, students have the option to engage in debates on various topics related to taxes. These include increasing or decreating taxes for the rich, banning tax havens, or implementing carbon emissions taxes. There is also a third option for students to propose a brand-new tax concept. 

Benefits of using this ESL taxes lesson plan:

The lesson plan not only encourages critical thinking about taxes, but also argumentation skills through various debate topics about taxes.

The topic of taxes is a globally relevant and often divisive issue. Understanding its complexities can enable students to global perspective.

In summary, this ESL lesson plan on taxes is particularly compelling for advanced ESL students not only because they explore societal issues, but also because they touch on controversial and often polarizing topics. It enables students to engage in debates, offering them a platform to express their complex viewpoints on public services and the ethics of taxation.

Video Description

Taxation is necessary in order to provide public services like roads, education and health care. But as the world's elderly population grows, and the demand for public services increases, countries will need to reassess how they tax. Where should the money come from?

Lesson Activities


Public Services, Taxes


Charts & Trends, Pros & Cons of Tax Types, Short Answers


Types of Taxes, Idioms


Debate Tasks, New Tax Proposal Tax

Lesson Topics

Public Services, Taxes, Healthcare

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