Intermediate grammar books often cover structures for giving advice with should, should not, ought to, had better, and so on. The best grammar books contextualize the lesson in a broadly appropriate way. Many teachers want to take the lesson further into a more personal practice session. Here’s an activity that personalizes the giving of advice.
take the lesson further into a more personal practice session.
- Preparatory Homework: Each student lists 10 things a visitor to his/her hometown should or should not do. For a mix of structures, add a caveat like, “Your list should have five things the visitor should do and five things the visitor shouldn’t do.”
- Modeling: While assigning this, give one or two examples: “In my hometown you should be a fan of the Detroit Lions football team,” or “In my hometown, you shouldn’t try to travel by taxi because taxis are rare.”
- Alternating Pair Work: In class the next day, students pair up. They alternate reading their statements to each other. Each student confirms understanding by repeating what he/she heard. A sample exchange:
- Student A (reads): In my hometown, you shouldn’t shake hands with older people.
- Student B: You said that I shouldn’t shake hands with older people. [Notice the pronoun shift to first person—an extra lesson if you want to teach it!]
- Student B (reads): In my hometown, a guest should bring a gift if he’s invited to dinner.
- Student A: You said a guest who’s invited to dinner should bring a gift.
- Whole-Class Follow-Up: Depending on time, call on a few students to share with the whole class one piece of advice from their partners.