Level: Intermediate/advace

Class Topic: Crime and law

Students will be able to:

  • Use vocabulary related to law, trials, crime.
  • Identify and discuss differences between legal systems in the US, Chile and other Spanish-speaking countries
  • Simulate a mock trial with a case taking roles as the different participants of a trial

Class structure:

Warm up:

The facilitator shows a picture of a crime scene in Chile and asks the students to describe what happened and what they think the motives were. The teacher will then introduce the topic of crime and law and ask the students what they think about it.

The facilitator writes vocabulary words in the white board that are relevant to use in the class


Students see an image of how the judicial system in Chile works. In groups, they compare it to the system in the US. They discuss similarities, differences, as well as pros and cons of them. They answer the question, what’s the good and bad thing about having a jury?

Activity: Mock trial

The class is divided in 3 groups to work on the cases at first.

First, each group decides what the case is going to look like: what is the crime in hand? Who is the suspect? What can witneses say about it? What evidence has been found?

Second, one person in the group becomes the defendant and another person becomes the lawyer. Then, for each case, the facilitator assigns people from other groups to participate in each case: a Fiscal (prosecutor), a witness and a judge. At the end of that part, for each of the 3 cases, each students has a role, which means that for one case, a student will be the attorney, but also the witness for another case and the defendant for another case.

Third, they role-play the trial of each case. Each student has a role for all of the cases, so they can all participate.

Wrap up:

Students discuss what they learned and how the trials went. They provide feedback on what could have been different in the trials and the evidence that could have helped.

Resources used: Powerpoint presentation

Reflection: What worked/did not work? How can it be improved?

The class was fun! At first, I was a little bit afraid that intermediate students might not be able to use legal jargon, but once we had vocabulary on the white board, they were able to access it at any time and they did a good job. Organizing the cases was a little bit messy, so I think I’d be good to show them a diagram of how cases are going to be organized, so that they know what they’re supposed to do. But it was fun to do the mock trials and students seemed to have fun doing it.