Tools for Generating Discussion About Generations

Something funny happens when the topic of generations comes up. People come together to discuss their similarities and differences. Those from the same generation bond over a common sense of identity. Those from different generations are interested in making comparisons. With the right atmosphere, such discussions can be positive and productive. The goal of my latest vocabulary video was to highlight the commonly used names for generations in the U.S. and allow opinions to be voiced regarding generational differences and ageism. Watch the video Generations (Gen X, Millennials & more!)

Interesting comments have revealed larger issues to discuss, especially in an ESL or EFL classroom. One viewer observed how classifications can be culture-specific. For example, in the U.S., millennials are tech-savvy and post-millennials are true digital natives. However, access to digital technology is limited in some countries, so not all characteristics of those generations are common around the globe. Another viewer commented that although she was a millennial, she has identified with Gen Xers quite often. This points to an overlap in views and characteristics, especially when one is born on the boundary between two generations.

If you’d like to bring the topic of generations into your classroom for upper level students, consider using my Generations_vocabulary handout and my Generations_discussion questions handout.


Featured photo by Mimirebelle. Retrieved from

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