Tag Archives: opinion

Walk, Talk and Give Opinion

Is there anything that students love more than walking around the classroom while talking to their classmates? I doubt it!

One of the most effective techniques to keep students engaged is probably varying the dynamics in the classroom. It’s true that some tasks require that students work alone, but working in pairs or in small groups is always a good alternative and if you add movement to the activity, then you can almost guarantee success. What is more, varying the dynamics during the course of your lessons helps to reduce the weariness that sets in when students are asked to sit two-hour lessons, which are the ones I teach.

The activity I am going to share with you today is a very simple one where students will need to work in small groups and move around the classroom discussing some controversial statements. It is highly adaptable to any topic. In this example, I am revising food- related vocabulary with intermediate students. This discussion technique allows students to be actively engaged as they walk around the class.

  • Level: intermediate to advanced
  • Time: one hour
  • Language point: Expressing opinion. Agreeing and disagreeing
  • Organisation: Small groups of 3 or 4 students
  • Materials: Posters containing controversial statements (see mine here). Handout with target language. PDF here
  • Aims: To teach how to express opinion and how to support or contradict other people’s opinions through the discussion of some controversial food-related statements.

PROCEDURE

Before the class

Write some controversial statements you want your students to discuss about the current topic of study. Write each one on a slip of paper or print some photos and add the text to the picture- I have used picfont. Stick them on the walls of the class. For more advanced classes you can choose random polemical statements. I would suggest that you avoid statements that might lead to embarrassment or offence.

Teach how to give opinion

Give students the handout with the target language and ask a student to read it out, clarifying meanings and focusing on pronunciation and intonation.Ask them to choose 3 or 4 expressions from each column; the ones they feel most comfortable using.

Group students.

Ask students to work in small groups of three or four students depending on the size of the class and direct students’ attention to the walls of the class, where the statements will be displayed.

Begin

Ask students to stand up. Each group should start at a different statement where they will discuss their opinions and agree or disagree accordingly. Remind them to use the expressions they have underlined, either to give opinion or to agree/disagree with someone’s opinion.

Help

While the students are talking, walk around the class offering help and guidanc

Rotate.

After six to eight minutes, ask the groups to rotate to the next statement. Repeat until all the groups have talked about all the statements

Share

Ask students to sit down and choose a statement to discuss as a whole class.

Below, some of my students doing the task.

Students’ Corner: Two Opinion Essays

There is little that gives more satisfaction than publishing students’ work ;they are  the reason behind all the hard work that means keeping  this blog going.

Thank you very much to Raquel de Paz and Lucía Fernández, from the Intermediate Level (B1)  for sending their essays.

Education is the single most important factor in the development of a country.

By Raquel de Paz 

In my opinion, there is a very important thing in society which helps us to improve: education. A strong education system helps people to improve their knowledge and to be successful in their lives.
Education gives the keys to solve the problems. There is a famous saying which says: “If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day, if you teach the man to fish you feed him for a lifetime”. Firstly, education is essential to our life. Again and again we have to call on to our basic knowledge to understand basic daily information about life. We need it to do the shopping, to understand signs and signals, etc.
Secondly, a good education brings a long number of qualified people with a lot of knowledge on a wide range of subjects and, as a result, these people work in different areas improving technologies and techniques supporting the development of a country.
To sum up, education is a very important factor in the development of a country. Education provides experience, training and personal development and, as a result, more skills, better productivity and greater ability to improve living conditions.

Children watch too much television   by Lucía Fernández

Nowadays children spend an excessive amount of time watching  television wherever they are, helped by the Internet and mobile phones instead of enjoying other kinds of activities healthier and more educative .
Although many people believe that watching  television is a good way of learning new things and an  innocent distraction for children, from my point of view,you waste a lot of time doing something unproductive. It’s more like something parents use  so as not to be  bothered by their children in some situations; for example,when a child is nervous, the parents play cartoons on his mobile and the child then  stares at the  mobile screen  for hours as if  he were in another world.
Children should play with each other and develop their imagination in a healthy mood ,but also  their parents should help them to achieve it.
To sum up,I think television is necessary and  complements  other activities, but it should be used with care.