This is a quick activity I threw together to help higher level students with expressing opinions on a range of controversial or “hot button” topics. I got the list of opinion expressions from the excellent englishclub.com, they have some great lists of functional language exponents organised by level, check them out:
Project the powerpoint onto the board and go through the slides. Play devil’s advocate and ensure that students debate each topic thoroughly.
You could split the class into teams and debate one of the topics. Give each team an opinion, for example “the best way to break up with someone is by text”, and they have to defend that opinion even if they don’t agree with it.
Have students choose one of the topics raised and write an essay on it; exploring the different ways suggested and reaching a conclusion as to which is the best.
This is a conversation activity for adults (B2+) based around an article about a Dutch retirement home where university students can live rent free in exchange for spending time with the senior residents. It also includes Cambridge exam style open cloze and word formation exercises.
You can either split the class into groups to discuss the questions or conduct the discussion as a class. Warmer questions:
What is ageism?
Have you ever experienced it or seen an example of it?
In what ways/situations are people discriminated against because of their age?
Do you think older people are treated well in your society?
What type of problems do elderly people face in modern society?
How could this be improved?
Do you think the way in which older people are treated has got better or worse in your lifetime?
Are young and elderly people well integrated in modern society? If not how can we improve this?
Give out article and have students read it, clear up any vocabulary issues. Then give out the open cloze and word formation exercises.
What do you think of the program?
What are the potential advantages and disadvantages?
Why would this program appeal to the students?
Why would this program appeal to the elderly people?
What would the students get out of the program?
What would the elderly people get out of the program?
Would you have liked/like to spend your university years living in a retirement home?
Would you like to live in a home like this when you retire?
Follow up activity: Students write a CAE style essay, report or proposal on the topic of ageism and the retirement home program outlining pros and cons or highlighting advantages and disadvantages for the students and the elderly people.