Chilean Miners Speak Out

Have you ever wondered what the Chilean miners were thinking during the first 17 days of their ordeal? Were the toughest days the ones before they were discovered alive?
33 Brave Chilean MinersThis BBC Video: I was alive, but I was dead (a clip from the documentary Chilean Miners: 17 Days Buried Alive) offers a small glimpse into the thoughts of two Chilean miners who had almost given up hope. If you used our 33 Brave Chilean Miners lesson last year, this video will be a nice follow up to a discussion you may have already had with your students. If you did not use the lesson, (available in low-intermediate and high-intermediate) consider using it as an extension after you show this video.   

“To myself, I was l already dead.” Survivor in a BBC video, August 12

Here are some ideas to get the conversation started after showing the video:

  • What do you think kept the miners going while they were trapped underground?
  • How do you think you would have acted in a situation like this?
  • Do you think any of these miners went back to their job after they were rescued?
  • How did the second speaker stay positive during this difficult time underground?
  • Why do you think the miners swore to a vow of silence about their experience?

While our Something to Talk About suggestions are useful for getting your students involved in a group or pair discussion or debate, the topics, articles, and videos can also be used if you are looking for something for your students to blog/Skype/or write an opinion essay about. If you like this topic, please be sure to participate in our 33 Things We’re Thankful for Challenge. The audio to our 33 Brave Chilean Miners lesson is also available on our podcast.

Go to ESL-Library’s low-intermediate and high-intermediate lessons on the 33 Brave Chilean Miners.


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