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Teaching House Nomads Blog | June 24, 2021

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Controversial Lesson Download: The Psychopath Next Door

Controversial Lesson Download: The Psychopath Next Door

By | On 27 Feb, 2014

Hey TEFL Teachers!

Have you noticed how animated your students get when classroom discussions veer toward the controversial? Do you wish you had a collection of controversial lessons you could use to get your students talking?

Well, today is your lucky day!

In the interest of encouraging English language fluency by turning your students into complete chatterboxes, I’m using my experience as an ESL coursebook writer to provide you with Teaching House’s downloadable series of “Controversial Lessons,” starting with The Psychopath Next Door, aimed at Intermediate-level students or higher and guaranteed to raise the noise level in any class. In a good way.

Here’s what you do:

1. Download this PDF containing 6 pages of photocopy-able materials plus teachers’ notes:

The Psychopath Next Door – Teaching House Controversial Lesson

2. Print out a copy for yourself and share with other ESL teachers. (Or at least the ones you like.)

3. Go take a nap. Your lesson planning is done.

Oh, and don’t forget to add your comments below after you’ve taught “The Psychopath Next Door” lesson. How did it go? Do you have any suggestions? I love receiving feedback from teachers, so join in the discussion!

John Harrop

John Harrop

A small, freckled traveler from Liverpool, John never imagined he’d end up working in education. Then, one night in a British pub, he met some Spanish students, ended up moving to Spain and the rest, as they say, is history. Based in Seville, he now spends his time teacher-training, teaching, writing and performing interactive puppet shows with Bat-i-Burrillo Teatro de Títeres.
John Harrop


  1. It is often a challenge to get teenage boys involved and keep them talking. I am so excited to try out this lesson. This will probably perpetuate their idea that Americans are crazy and violent, but I guess that just means they will have to pay close attention to their American teacher….she might be crazy! >:)

  2. Hi Lesley

    I see what you mean…I hadn’t thought about that! Though I have talked about Swedish psychopaths and finished off by saying that there is the possibility of us all (wherever we are) knowing somebody with psychopathic tendencies.

    Anyway, you’ll be happy to know that future lessons will be more international – and there’s one that will show north Americans in a much more positive light!

    By the way, I’d be really interested to know how you got on with the lesson with your teenage boys, you might need to spend some time pre-teaching some of the vocabulary found in the text. Hope it goes well.

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