Tag Archives: modals

A Fun Writing Activity to Practise Giving Advice . Students in the limelight

Raise your hand if you have never had a problem!  Nobody??? Good! That’s what I thought! Now, raise your hand if you have never asked for advice!! I see !! OK ! Maybe some of you don’t like to ask for advice!!

Ok folks !!! What’s clear is that we all have problems and and when we have them, we most usually turn to friends or family asking for advice; it remains to be seen whether we follow the advice but even if we  end up feeling that the advice  given hasn’t helped much, I’m sure, at least, you would  feel grateful  just because someone you trust has been willing to take the time to listen to you.

In this post, I want to share with you an activity to practise giving advice, which has worked really well with my students (see photo below)


AIM: to give written advice using

♥I think / I don’t think you should…

♥ If I were you , I would…  

MATERIALS: A clean sheet of paper and a pen or you can download the template here.


1. Introduce / revise the two structures above, used to give advice. Share with your students a problem and ask them to offer you advice using the two structures above. Choose the funniest or most sensible advice as the best offered.

2.  Give students a copy of I NEED SOME ADVICE or display the template so that they can copy the information on a clean sheet of paper.

2. Students write their name  and their problem in the space provided and leave it on their table, face up.

3. Introduce the idea of Agony Aunts ( see definiton here) and tell students they are going to act as agony aunts to solve some problems.

4. Students stand up and they go around the class reading their classmates’ problems and writing their piece of advice in the space provided, together with their name inside the brackets. The same advice cannot be repeated. Allow 10 minutes for this step

 5.  Students sit down at their desks, read the advice offered for their problems and decide on the best. Problem and advice will be read aloud. The students who has offered the best advice gets one point. See who gets more points and name him the new Agony Aunt.

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Speaking: Practising Modals

I shouldn’t be saying this but I have to… I hate teaching modals and I am not a hundred per cent  sure I  am the only one to blame for this. Maybe grammarians should reach an agreement on how best categorise them ?

Anyway, let’s face the teaching of modals with some speaking activities to help lift spirits. Mine, of course!


Work with a partner. Take turns asking your partner questions about the abilities in parentheses. Use Can in your questions and Can or Can’t in your answers. Demonstrate you can -let’s have fun, shall we?- where necessary:)

♥ (say the alphabet backwards)

♥ (wiggle your nose)

♥ (read in a car without getting sick)

♥ (touch the end of your nose with your eyes closed)

♥ (curl your tongue)

♥ (remember your first teacher’s name)

♥ (raise one eyebrow without raising the other)

♥ (cross your eyes)

♥ (pull your fingers backwards to your wrist)

Do you have any other outstanding abilities?

Ready to continue…?

ACTIVITY 2. In pairs once again, talk about the following…

Modal Verbs of Obligation, Deduction and Possibility

Tired of always looking for exercises for different grammar points I have started putting together everything I need, related to a certain point of grammar on the same page.

Today I have uploaded Modal Verbs of Obligation (must/have to, mustn’t ), Possibility (may/might/could) and Deduction (must and can’t). I have gathered together Grammar and Exercises for a pre-intermedite level.

Hope it is as helpful to you as it is to me. Now, I can safely take them to the computer room, ask them to go to this url where they’ll find everything they need to work on. Very useful too, to do as homework or revise just before exams at their own pace.

Click here to start practising