1. T asks each SS to imagine and write down one problem connected with the topic. They imagine that they have this problem, and write about 20-30 words explaining the problem and saying why it is a problem for them. The problem could concern any of the following issues:
- other people’s behaviour
- family problems
- your bad behaviour
- personal habits
- your personal views conflict with the general view
- physical or mental health problems
- addiction: drugs, alcohol, food, etc.
Life in General:
- rearranging a plan
- sby/sth is unavailable
- not knowing how to do sth
- 7 deadly sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride
Or, T asks each group to write a set number of problems (e.g. 6-8) in a given period (e.g. 10 minutes). SS could look at the examples in Talk a Lot Intermediate Book 1 (e.g. p.56 of Unit 3: Media) to see what kind of text they should write. SS could write in note form. It is more important to get their ideas down on paper than to get everything grammatically correct.
2. T (or a SS) writes a few of the problems on the board until there are a certain number, e.g. 3 or 4. The more problems, the longer the activity will last. The person writing the problems should choose the best ones from the many that SS have thought up. Or, SS asks each team to swap their list of problems with another team.
3. SS discuss the problems in pairs or small groups. They should answer the main question: “What would you do?” SS have to put themselves in the place of the person who has the problem. T monitors, checks, and corrects.
4. Group feedback – T asks different SS for responses to each problem. T or a SS could lead a general discussion about each question with the whole group. T writes errors on the board and discusses corrections with the group.
5. T or SS could choose one or more of the problems and use them as the basis for a role play activity (see p.84).
- SS could use vocabulary words from the vocabulary stage as they write their problems.
- Encourage SS to work with partners they do not know very well. This will help everybody get to know one another better.
- Getting SS to write their own material, rather than reading from a book or worksheet, will encourage them to engage with their learning more deeply, as well as make them more confident with expressing ideas in a group and writing short texts.
- SS could write a letter or email in reply to one or more of the problems as homework, to consolidate work done in class.