Melody Norris Melody Norris

Friends and strangers - Speaking (functional language)
Intermediate level


In this lesson, students practice phrases we use to start a conversation. The lesson starts with 4 pictures and the students have to compare and contrast them in terms of location, whether they are friends or strangers and what they could be talking about. This leads into activities discussing the differences in conversation between friends and strangers. The students listen to 2 conversations and identify what topics are talked about and then in a second listening activity the students decide which phrases are used with friends and strangers. The production is a speaking activity. Students perform a role play and create a conversation using question tags.


Main Aims

  • By the end of this lesson, students will start a conversation using phrases appropriate to use with friends and strangers in the context of a public meeting place.

Subsidiary Aims

  • By the end of this lesson, students will perform a role play using functional language to start a conversation with a friend or stranger.


Warmer/ Pre-listening (4-5 minutes) • To set the lesson context and prepare the students for the listening activity.

T hands out pictures of 4 different situations. and shows slide with questions: Where are the people? Are they friends or strangers? Why do you think this? What could they be talking about? T tells Ss to compare and contrast the pictures in pairs, using the above criteria. T elicits and demonstrates: T: 'Where are they in picture a?' Ss: 'on a bus." T: 'In picture a they are on a bus.' T monitors.

listening (3-5 minutes) • To practice listening for gist.

T asks pointing to the pictures. "What do you think they are talking about? Ss: 'The weather, work etc..' T: 'Why do you think that?' Ss own answers. T tells ss they are going to listen to 2 conversations and they need to match the conversation to the correct picture. T asks: What helped you decide? Ss volunteer answers.

Listening (8-10 minutes) • To practice listening for specific information.

T tells the ss to listen again and asks : 'How do the people start the conversations?" Ss: Sorry but I know you from somewhere? (conversation 1) So, how was your meeting? (conversation 2) (ii) "Tick the things they talk about." FB: T asks volunteers for answers.

Clarification (4-5 minutes) • To clarify the meaning, form and pronunciation of the target language

T asks ss: What kind of things do you ask a stranger? Ss call out ideas. T: What about people you think you know? or People you have seen before but you are not friends? T shows slide with phrases CCQ You're Lucy's neighbour, aren't you? Do I know Lucy? (Yes) Is the listener someone I think I know or a stranger? (someone you think you know) You work in a supermarket, don't you? Am I sure I know this person? (No) Am I sure they work at the supermarket? (No) Have I seen the person before? (Yes) T asks the ss in pairs to decide which phrases they can use with friends and strangers. T gives out HO. T monitors FB T gives out answer key

Controlled Practice (3-5 minutes) • To concept check and prepare students for more meaningful practice

T points to phrase [You work in a supermarket, don't you?] T elicits by asking: 'Are we asking a question or checking information?' S: "Checking information.' T asks ss to underline which phrases are used to check information. FB: T calls on volunteers. Tasks: 'What do we call these phrases?' S: 'question tags'. T highlights rising intonation on tags. T asks ss to practice saying the phrases with question tags with rising intonation. T monitors. T shows slide and asks the ss to complete the rule about question tags. 1. After a positive verb use a positive/ negative question tag. 2. After a negative verb use a positive/ negative question tag. FB: T calls on volunteer.

Free Practice (10-15 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the functional language

(i) In pairs, T tells Ss to choose a picture and create a role play using the phrases discussed to start a conversation. T demonstrates. T monitors and notes errors T asks volunteers to show the class.

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