Gökçen Türkkan Gökçen Türkkan

Complaints and Modern Life Problems
Intermediate level


In this lesson students will learn about the complaints of the modern life. The focus is on the problems of everyday situations like travelling, using technology and traffic. Students will learn about the problems that they can face every day and practice through listening to a conversation about a man complaining about problems he faced during the day. Then they will talk about their problems and what things annoy them.


Main Aims

  • To provide listening for gist and specific information practice using a text about modern life complaints that we face everyday in the context of things that annoy you

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in the context of complaints through a conversation about a difficult day and the problems faced.


Lead-in (3-5 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

I will start with a story of mine: (While telling the story I will write the keywords on the board) “Do you know what happened yesterday? It was a nightmare , a very bad experience for me. First I had to drive to work very early in the morning. Can you imagine there was a traffic jam , no cars could move? Normally it takes 20 minutes to go to work however it took 40 minutes to get there. Later that day I had to book a ticket to İstanbul and rang, called the customer service. They put me on hold, I waited for 10 minutes and listened to the recorded message “Thank you for holding, the operators are busy”. Then the operator asked me a lot of security questions like my id number, my mother’s surname etc. It was really annoying . I was really annoyed. Then I had to go to Kızılay to meet with my friend. I took the bus to go there. One man on the bus was talking loudly on his mobile phone. Everyone could hear his plans for the evening. He really drove everyone crazy/mad.” Then I will ask: What do you think? Remember what things annoyed me? What about you? What things annoy you? Or make you feel angry? Possible answers: ………………….annoys me. …………………. drives me mad / crazy. …………………. is really annoying.

Pre-Listening (10-12 minutes) • To prepare students for the text and make it accessible

I will tell the students: Look at the pictures in HO1. His name is Jack. Where is he in each photo? Does he look happy in the photos? What problems is he having? They will discuss with their pairs for 2 minutes and tell their answers. Possible Answers: 1. on the bus; the girl is talking on the phone loudly. The boy is playing with his tablet. Jack is trying to read his paper. 2. at home/on his computer, he doesn’t remember his password. 3. on the phone, he is waiting to talk to an operator but listening to the message: “Hold the line please” so he has to wait. 4. in his car, he’s having a problem with another car/driver or there is a traffic jam. 5. in a car park, parking his car is very expensive. VOCABULARY CLARIFICATION: Possible CCQs: Look at the first picture: Is Jack happy? (No) How does he look? (Angry/Annoyed) What about the little boy? Does he look happy? (Can’t tell) Does he look like he is polite or behaves badly? (behaves badly) Do you think when he’s asked to turn down the volume he’ll say “sorry I’ll turn down the volume of my tablet” “or make short, low sound angrily” So he’ll grunt…V. Look at the second picture: Why do you think he’s using the computer? Maybe he’ll arrange a trip. How will he travel? By bus or train or plane? What does he need for travelling? (he needs bus or train tickets to go.) So what does he try to do on the computer? he tries to book his tickets. (BOOK: to arrange to use or do something at a particular time in the future) Complain about: /kəmˈpleɪn/ to say that something is wrong or that you are annoyed about something When you feel annoyed what do you do? Do you stay silent or keep talking and talking? So it’s complaining about sth.

While-Reading/Listening #1 (10-12 minutes) • To provide students with less challenging gist information listening task

I will tell the students that “we are going to listen to Jack talking his friend Alan about his stressful day. Now before we listen, go over your guesses please and listen if your guesses are correct." After listening students will compare their findings, then I will try get their answer to the question: “What is he complaining about?” for each picture. ANSWERS: 1. the girl behind him 2. the little boy 3. booking a ticket 4. traffic 5. parking

While-Listening #2 (12-15 minutes) • To provide students with more challenging detailed listening task

In this part, I will play the recording again to listen for details. This time they will listen to find out answers to the questions (HO-2): Before the listening they will read the questions in pairs and discuss them for a minute or two then they will listen. If they cannot find out the answer of a part they will listen that part again. 1. What was the girl doing the whole journey? 2. Was the little boy well-behaved? 3. Why couldn’t he book a ticket online? Where did he buy his ticket from? 4. Why does he hate driving into town? 5. Why does he think that parking is a nightmare? After listening is complete they will in groups of 3 compare their answers and make one good answer. (5 minutes) Then we will discuss the answers together. ANSWERS: 1. She talked on her mobile phone loudly the whole journey. She talked about everything. 2. No, he was badly-behaved/impolite. He played on his Gameboy and it made a lot of noise. 3. Because he didn’t know his password, he called the company but he hold the line a long time so he bought his ticket at the train station. 4. Because there is too much traffic and there is traffic jam. 5. Because it’s impossible to find a parking place and parking is expensive. WEAKER GROUPS: In stead of questions they will be given TF activity. (Alternative HO-2) They will listen and decide if the statement is true or false. The same interaction pattern will be applied. After listening they will go over the answers in groups of 3 then open class feedback will be given.

Post-Listening (8-10 minutes) • To provide with an opportunity to respond to the text and expand on what they've learned

As a freer practice they will work in pairs to find the answer to the question: "What things annoy you? Why?" They will talk about their complaints and report back to the class. If they cannot find anything to talk about then very short brainstorming can be done. If we have less time then the annoying things may be brought up to discuss in pairs: people who smell rude customer service noisy eaters noisy kids/children people who talk loudly on their mobile phones some TV programs (example, survivor, reality-shows, wedding tv shows) smoking adverts/advertisements in between programmes delays at the airport waiting in the queue (a row of people waiting for something, one behind the other) people jumping the queue children at weddings traffic jam people that have their mobile turned off when you really need to get in contact with them recorded messages automated phone systems slow internet connections

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