This is a conversation lesson plan designed with higher level adults in mind (C1/C2). It could also be adapted for lower levels. Download the handouts below:
The advanced discussion phrases handout is a truncated version of my C2 speaking phrase sheet, other phrase sheets could be used for lower levels.
Give out the phrase sheet. Have students peruse it and ask questions about unfamiliar expressions. You may also want to model pronunciation of some of the exponents, although this could also be done reactively. You could also ask students to choose their favourite expressions from the list to encourage ownership of the exponents.
Give out the discussion topics. Explain the system: students must read the topic and first individually circle one of the numbers between one and six to determine how much they agree with the statement. Students are then free to discuss the topic in groups or as a class. They must decide their level of agreement before discussing the topic to avoid following the crowd. This system should lead to more in-depth discussion and hopefully more disagreements!
Encourage the use of the expressions on the phrases sheet; you could award points for the number of expressions used. Some of the discussion topics are common proverbs or phrases so be ready to give definitions and examples to illustrate meaning.
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This is a lesson plan for higher level learners (C1+) in which students learn some common English proverbs. Download the worksheet and key below:
Match the different sentence halves to form English proverbs.
|1. Where there’s a will
2. Don’t look a gift horse
3. If it ain’t broke,
4. Beggars can’t
5. Too many cooks
6. There’s no such thing
7. People who live in glass houses
8. Two wrongs
9. The squeaky wheel
10. Don’t put all your eggs
11. Two heads
12. Don’t count your chickens
|a. Be choosers
b. Before they hatch
c. Spoil the broth
d. There’s a way
e. Are better than one
f. As a free lunch
g. In the mouth
h. In one basket
i. Shouldn’t throw stones
j. Gets the grease
k. Don’t fix it
l. Don’t make a right
Now match the proverb to its definition:
- Getting revenge will only make things worse.
- Don’t criticise people if you’ve got imperfections too.
- If something is working well, why change it?
- If you’re desperate you’re not in a position to be picky.
- If you complain about a situation you’re more likely to get better service.
- Have a backup plan. Don’t risk all of your money and time on one plan.
- If there are too many people involved in making a decision, it won’t turn out well.
- If someone gives you a present, don’t question it.
- Two people will probably solve a problem faster than one.
- Your plan might not work out. Don’t assume they are going to work out and start celebrating or planning the next step too early.
- If something is free, there’s normally a catch or hidden cost.
- If you really want something, you’ll find a way to achieve it.
- Which proverbs are the same in your language?
- In which ones is the meaning obvious?
- Which ones will you remember?
- Which ones will you forget?
- Which one is your favourite?
- What image do you associate with each proverb?
Match the picture to the proverb (only show up on the handout 😦 )
Match the scenario to proverb.
- Just because he cheated on you doesn’t mean you should cheat on him.
- The Christmas play is going to be awful because there are 5 different directors!
- I gave him my old bike for free and now he’s complaining about the tyres.
- I know they said we only have to go to the timeshare presentation to get the free camera but I smell a rat.
- I’ll ask Julia for what she thinks; we’ll work on it together.
- He’s desperate to go travelling in the summer but he’ll have to save up a lot of money first.
- Is your soup cold too? We should say something.
- You can talk Martin! You drink just as much as Tony does!
- I just think we should have something else up our sleeve if they don’t like the first idea.
- Hold your horses, we haven’t won the competition yet so stop planning how you’re going to spend the prize money.
- It’s the only room you can afford, so it’s take it or leave it I’m afraid.
- The new accounts system is working really well but I hear they’re thinking of changing it again.
In pairs, take it in turns to read out the first half of a proverb to your partner, they must complete it.
A: Too many cooks…
B: Spoil the broth.
Choose 3 proverbs and try to relate them to a time in your life. Write three sentences.
1. Two wrongs don’t make a right
2. People who live in glass houses…
3. If it ain’t broke…
4. Beggars can’t be choosers
5. The squeaky wheel
6. Don’t put all your eggs in…
7. Too many cooks…
8. Don’t look a gift horse…
9. Two heads are better than one
10. Don’t count your chickens…
11. There’s no such thing as a…
12. Where there’s a will…
1. Too many cooks…
2. Don’t put all your eggs…
3. Don’t count your chickens…
4. Don’t look a gift horse in…
5. People who live in…
6. 2 wrongs don’t make a right
7. 2 heads are better than 1
8. There’s no such thing as a free lunch
1. 2 wrongs don’t make a right
2. Too many cooks…
3. Don’t look a gift horse…
4. There’s no such thing as…
5. 2 heads are better than one
6. Where there’s a will there’s a way
7. The squeaky wheel…
8. People in glass houses…
9. Don’t put all your eggs in one…
10. Don’t count your chickens…
11. Beggars can’t be choosers
12. If it ain’t broke…