Agony Aunt with a twist

Objectives:

  1. To practise giving suggestions and advice
  2. To revise reported speech

Procedure:

1. In pairs ask students to brainstorm expressions to offer advice and suggestion e.g. I (don’t) think you should…, you could try…

2. Go through the expressions together and when the students run out of ideas add expressions of your own.

3. Individually ask students to think of a problem they or their friends are struggling with and write down a very brief description of it. Please feel free to use the worksheet I’ve attached. Let students know they shouldn’t think of anything too personal as they will be sharing the information with each other. Alternatively you can ask them to think of a problem they’ve had and solved but tell them to keep the solution to themselves at this stage. Discourage students from inventing the problem as then their investment in the activity won’t be the same.

4. Students switch papers and write down a piece of advice for the first student using ONE of the expressions they thought of or learnt at the beginning of the class. Tell students to underline the expressions to make them more visible e.g. I don’t think you should date Jack. He makes you so unhappy.

5. Students then pass the paper to the next person who offers a new piece of advice and uses a new expression e.g. How about seeing a marriage counselor? I’m sure he could help you both.

6. Students continue passing their pieces of paper or notebooks round until each person in the class has given each student a piece of advice. Tell students they are not allowed to repeat expressions and suggestions which forces them to read what has been written and constantly exposes them to expressions they might still be unfamiliar with or uncomfortable using.

7. At the end of the activity students choose the most adequate piece of advice they have been given or if their problem has already been solved they compare their own solution to the suggestions of other students and comment on it in their pair/group.

Homework:

Students rewrite the suggestions into reporting statements e.g. Maria suggested breaking up with Jack. Maria recommended that I should see a therapist.

dear-agony-aunt-worksheet

2 thoughts on “Agony Aunt with a twist

  1. Great activity! I used in my Upper Intermediate class today and the students really enjoyed it! We were studying a unit that was talking about asking for technical help and I was able to apply the same concept, but with different vocabulary! Really fun!

    Like

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