James Bond rents a car!

This is a video-based lesson for intermediate students, suitable for both teens and adults. It focuses on skill development and introduces / reviews quite a lot of functional language students might find useful. These are the three key principles underlying the activities:
1. The first viewing task should allow students to actually watch (and enjoy) the video without too many distractions.
2. Subsequent viewing tasks should enable students to “squeeze the video dry” and understand as much as realistically possible without necessarily having to watch the whole thing again. In this day and age, when video is so ubiquitous, class time should be devoted to helping students do things they’re not naturally inclined / able to do on their own. So, in that sense, settling for general comprehension is clearly not enough.
3. Important as skill development is, it’s not tangible enough for most students to perceive as “real learning.” This is why skills development should, as a rule, be accompanied by some sort of language input: lexis, functional language, grammar or pronunciation.

The actual lesson starts here.

If by any chance sound and image are out of sync, scroll across back to the beginning of the video and it should play fine.


1  What are the most popular car rental companies in your country?
2  Mention three reasons why people sometimes rent cars.
3  Have you / your parents ever rented a car? Where / When / Why? What was the experience like? (If more than once, think of the last time.)

B  Watch the scene. Which two words best describe RentalCo’s service? Use video 1.

[  ] very rude          [  ] old-fashioned          [  ] friendly          [  ] bureaucratic

Video 1

C  Watch a few selected excerpts. For each excerpt, choose the correct answer. Check your answers on the screen. Use video 2.

1 “Wreck” probably has a:
[  ] positive meaning
[  ] negative meaning
2 Something went wrong with one of the cars in the fleet. What?
[  ] A child felt sick inside it.
[  ] The previous driver had a minor accident.
3 Why is Bond in a hurry?
[  ] There are people trying to kill him.
[  ] He has to kill someone.
4 What is the clerk worried about?
[  ] his physical integrity
[  ] his clothes
5  Bond admits to wrecking three cars, but, in his defence, said he’s always:
[  ] paid for the damage.
[  ] remembered to fill up the tank.
6  What does he say about driving into a volcano?
[  ] He’s done that before.
[  ] He’s going to do that.

Video 2

D  Useful language: renting a car. Choose the correct answer using your intuition. Then watch video 3 to check.

1  I’ll be [soon / right] with you.
2 Thank you [for / about] being so patient.
3 I don’t have that. Could it be [in / under] another name?
4 What did you say [was your name / your name was] again?
5 Let me check your rental [history / past].
6 Do you want the additional [security / insurance]?
7 Let me just print [out / off] your contract.

Video 3

E  Memory test! Look only at the screen, say the sentence out loud (fast!), check and say it again. Use video 4.

Video 4

F  Roleplay.

Student A: You want to rent a compact car for five days – either a Ford Focus or a Chevy Cruze. You’re very superstitious, so you want a blue car, or perhaps white. You’ve done business with this company several times this year, so you expect them to be flexible and accommodate your needs.

Student B: You’re the clerk. A customer you’ve never seen before walks in and says (s)he wants to rent a blue Ford Focus. The only available car is a red Honda Civic. The customer claims (s)he has done business with the company several times this year, but you have trouble finding his/her name. You eventually do, but then realize (s)he has a terrible rental history, which means his/her insurance premium will go up.

24 thoughts on “James Bond rents a car!”

  1. Célia Carneiro says:

    Thanks a lot for devising such incredible materials and sharing them with us !!! Bjs.

  2. What a great teacher you are. Amazing material. Tks

  3. Rosana Mania says:

    Thankvyiu for sharing. Excellent material!!!

  4. Rosana Mania says:

    Thank you for sharing. Excellent material.

  5. Just great! I can’t wait to show it to my students! Thanks a lot!

  6. thanks a lot to share such a brilliant work with us.we expect the same in future too.

  7. Isaac Wajntraub says:

    Excellent material! Very appealing for the students!

  8. Thank you again for devising and sharing such a wonderful activity. Looking forward to using it with my students. They’ll certainly enjoy it a lot!

    1. Luiz Otávio says:

      Thank you! Let me know it goes!

  9. Beth Mattei says:

    A lot of fun for both teacher and student. Great! Thanks.

  10. Awesome! Thank you for sharing! The interview Wagner Moura gave Jimmy Fallon could be of great interest also, don’t you agree? (Only a suggestion).

    1. Luiz Otávio says:

      Yes, definitely, Agnaldo. But I’d need to check it for level, interesting language points etc. Thanks for the suggestion.

  11. Maria Salete Magrini Linz says:

    Hi, Luiz! Just stopping by to say that my students simply loved this activity(one of them is an amateur car racer!!), and that I’m your big fan as well. Love the English ID series! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Luiz Otávio says:

      Thanks very much, Salete! I appreciate your feedback!

  12. Betina Krebs Eberth says:

    Amazing work!

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