In one of the previous posts I wrote that it’s an excellent idea to follow work with an article with a discussion of it. But what is a discussion? It may be an exchange of opinions. In the case of the article it can also be summarising it (or parts of it) and using some vocab you’ve highlighted for it. But here I want to share a more original task
The texts for it are not from articles, but fiction, but I‘m sure you can adapt the activity.
There are 8 extracts from novels (see the attached photo), all of them about women or women’s attitudes to life. 4 of the extracts were written by men and 4 by women. Read and decide who wrote each extract and what makes you think so. Then discuss it with a partner and try to convince them where you disagree.
Interesting, isn’t it? How can we understand whether a text was written by a man or a woman? What criteria would you use to make your choice? Is it at all possible to deduce such things?
What else to practise
This is an activity for Advanced students, so the focus will be not just on understanding and analysing the texts, but on how to talk about them. Here we can practise quite a lot of Advanced expressions that make your speech more coherent and help to manage the conversation (in other words functional language). They will be expressions for
- speculating – I’d hazard a guess that… There’s something … about this text that… It seems like …
- giving opinions – I reckon… From what I can gather, … If you ask me, …
- giving arguments and reasons – There are several reasons why I think that …The reason (why) I say that is … For one thing, … for another…
- agreeing and disagreeing – Absolutely!.. I couldn’t agree more… Oh come on, you must be joking… That goes against my better judgement because …
- convincing the other – If you come to think about it, … Look at it this way… Surely you don’t think …?
I’ve borrowed these expressions from Speakout Advanced (from the third sections of different units), but you can google for more with “English expressions/ phrases for…” + one of the functions above (speculating, etc).
Also, it’s actually not easy to focus on both exchanging ideas and practising some phrases. So it’s usually recommended to
- prepare your opinion, ideas and arguments in advance, and maybe take some notes;
- think which phases you could you use and where;
- discuss the same thing at least twice (for example, with different partners or just repeat with the same and focus more on how you speak rather than what you say).
Good luck with the activity =) Let me know in the comments what you make of it.
Oh, and the keys (who wrote what) are below.