Reading and speaking activities with problem pages

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Reading and speaking activities with problem pages

Unread postby ngoclinh » 01 Apr 2006, 14:27

Dear Lucy,
I desperately need your help now. I'm asked to conduct a sample lesson on next thursday. My lesson is focused on reading and speaking. The reading text consists of problems sent to the problem page of a magazine and readers' advice. I have come up with a few ideas to lead in to this topic but none of them really satisfactory. Could you please give me some ideas as to how to introduce this topic in an interesting way (some warm up activity or some questions to arouse students' interest.). And I'd be very grateful if you could give me some suggestions about speaking activities to follow up the reading text. The three problems are about the use of mobile phones in offices, a woman of 47 wants to do things she like even though they are not suitable for her age, and a woman complain about her son's using drugs.
I have to finish my lesson plan in just one or two days. so could you please reply me as soon as possible.
Many thanks

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Problem page and advice

Unread postby Lucy » 02 Apr 2006, 18:47

Dear Phuong,

I suggest you start by having your students speaking. Conduct the first stage as a whole class activity. Show them a picture of a 47 year-old woman and ask questions about her. What does she do every day? What does she like doing? Hobbies? Etc. They’ll probably come up with traditional responses, so ask them to use their imaginations. Ask them if she goes dancing on Saturdays, if she plays video games etc. Look at the language in her letter to the problem page and introduce it at this stage. Tell them that in fact this woman enjoys doing things not usually related with her age group. Then ask them to imagine what the people around her think about this and how they react. If the students don’t mention it, explain that she has a problem with this and needs some help. Introduce the idea of problem pages. If problem pages are common in your country, give the name of a famous figure.

Depending on how much time you have, you can do the next part as a whole class (quicker, but fewer students speak) or in pairs (takes more time but everybody speaks).

Show a picture of a mother and a young son. Explain that he takes drugs and ask students to imagine the relationship between the mother and son. What sort of letter do the students think the mother would write to the problem page? Use this activity to introduce the vocabulary from the reading text. Do the same with telephones ringing in an office. Put the new or difficult vocabulary from all the texts on the board.

Then work with the reading text. You could jumble the questions and answers and ask students to match them, give them only one or two minutes to do this. This will be a gist reading exercise. Then give them questions that focus on specific aspects: What advice is given to the mother? Etc. After checking all answers, ask the students what they think of the advice that was given. Do they agree? Can they think of anything better?

Then you should focus on the language. Put some of the sentences used for giving advice on the board. You could ask students to find the phrases, if they have a higher level. Then focus on the structure: you ought to, you should, if I were you, I would …. (or whatever else there was in your text). Depending on the level of your students and on whether they have seen these structures before, you will spend more or less time on this stage.

Finally, you can give students some problems and they give advice orally in groups.

I hope this works well for you.

Good luck


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