This documentary is featured on RTÉ Learn as part of the Documentary on One's Education Resources

- Download the Junior Cycle Worksheet

What happens when you fall in love online with someone who lives on another continent? This documentary aims to find out when it explores the highs and lows of a young couple, one from Dublin and the other from Florida, who meet online and fall in love… without having met one another. What challenges will they face and how will it be when they meet each other for the first time? The documentary explores love in the twenty-first century, the limitations of a cyber relationship and the limitless possibilities when you can step into someone’s home through an internet connection and webcam.

The thematic unit of work uses the documentary as a primary text, as is recommended in the English Specification.

  • In studying the documentary, students engage with all four LITERACY skills, i.e. Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.
  • The oral and written assignments support development of JUNIOR CYCLE KEY SKILLS as well as a selection of LEARNING OUTCOMES from the ENGLISH SPECIFICATION.
  • In a carefully staged, AFL process, the unit begins with pre-listening, challenging students to tap into their prior knowledge, their thoughts and feelings about the context in the text.
  • The documentary, for classroom purposes has been divided into short, relevant clips and the associated activities/ worksheets will develop a variety of comprehension skills, e.g. anticipation; active-listening; discussion; post-listening and reflective/ creative activities.
  • Methodologies used in the teaching and learning resources encourage the student to become a critical, autonomous, self-directed and reflective learner. This is facilitated through AFL tasks which include peer and self-reflection sheets.
  • By the end of this unit of work, students will be ready to complete a summative assessment task, suitable for the Oral Communication Task. An outline of the CBA can be found in the specification for Junior Cycle English (October 2015) which is available on the JCT website

Throughout the unit of work, students will be guided through activities which include:
- A fun numeracy and literacy activity when students will predict their own future using a timeline
- Create a "Fakespace" - a writing exercise to think more indepthly about their future
- A story prediction and anticipation exercise based on the title of the documentary
- "Vocab Grab" – a active-listening activity exploring the vocabulary in the text
- "Text me" – a creative post-listening activity exploring a text message conversation at a key moment in the documentary

The unit builds up to the final, summative task; planning and delivering a persuasive speech arguing for or against the motion "The internet is not a safe or healthy way to make friends".

The summative task is preceded by scaffolding activities, followed by AfL materials including self and peers assessment activities.

Click here to visit the Junior Cycle for Teachers Website


Documentary description from the documentary makers:

Ciarán got himself a new phone.

On it he found a dating website. On that he found Kelly. Only problem - he's in Ireland, she's in the US.

So, not much hope of romance then?

Liam Nolan tells the story.

Music Used

"Harvest", Neil Young
"New Slang", The Shins

First Broadcast in January 2012

The Curious Ear is produced by Ronan Kelly

(A short Irish radio documentary from RTE Radio, Ireland)