Leigh Davidson Leigh Davidson

Time of Your Life
Intermediate to Upper Intermediate, Prep Speaking level


In this lesson Ss will discuss, debate, and decide when is the best--and worst--ages in a person's life. A reading activity and vocabulary matching exercise will prompt Ss to think about the various advantages and disadvantages associated with different age groups, and how they are viewed/judged/perceived by society. Ss will also listen to an interview and discuss the phenomenon of the 'superyoung.'


Main Aims

  • To provide Ss with an opportunity for freer speaking practice on the topic of age and maturity--and the advantages and disadvantages related to some specific age groups and maturity levels.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To review and expand upon vocabulary (both terms and phrases) linked to the topic of age and maturity.


Warmer/Lead-in (14-17 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Write on the WB the following list of ages: "10; 15; 20; 30; 45; 65." Show the Ss some pictures of people who fall within those age groups. Elicit from the WC which age group they think each photographed individual falls under. "How old do you think this person is?" Elicit from the Ss how old they think their T is. Ask the Ss to think about these different age groups on the WB and try to elicit from them what they think are some advantages and disadvantages of being the ages on the WB. Write some of the Ss answers on the WB. Ask the Ss to think about their age group--and their current life, studying at a University. "What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of being a young adult (a twenty-something) student, studying at a University?" Following this discussion, divide the WC into groups and instruct the Ss to decide which of the 6 ages they would consider the 'best age' of an individual's life. Have the Ss discuss and come up with at least 4 reasons for why they think their selected age is the 'best age' of an individual's life. Bring the groups together for WC FB. Write some of the groups' answers on the WB.

Exposure (15-18 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks through reading

In the same groups, distribute the 'Age Questionnaire' HO. Inform the Ss that this HO includes 6 individuals, of different ages, who were asked the following question, 'What's the best and worst thing about being your age?' Instruct the Ss to read each response and decide, first, how old they think each respondent is. Reference the Ss to the original list of 6 different ages as their possible answers. Instruct the groups to also discuss whether they agree or disagree with the respondents' comments on the advantages and disadvantages associated with their age. Bring the groups together for WC FB. Focus specifically on Respondent C. Elicit from the Ss whether they think this description applies (or doesn't apply) to them and their approach to University life. What about their appearances? Do they think they look too young for their age? Do they know anyone who looks too young for their age?

Useful Language (20-22 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language for coming productive tasks

Distribute the 'Age Vocabulary' HO to the same groups and instruct them to match the words/phrases in bold (in the questions on the left-hand side) with their associated meanings. Inform the Ss that we will discuss the questions in the HO following the matching activity. Write the answer key on the WB and have some volunteers provide their answers for the matching exercise. Continue with a WC discussion of each of the questions from the HO: 1) "If someone looks young for his or her age, is that good or bad? Why (or why not)?" 2) "When is someone in his or her 'prime'?" 3) "If you tell a twenty-five-year-old man, 'Act your age!' what kind of thing might he be doing?" "Has someone ever yelled at you (e.g. your parents) to 'act your age'?" 4) "At what age do people generally 'come of age' in Turkey?" "Why do you think that is?" 5) "Do you think most eighteen-year-olds are too immature for university? Why (or why not)?" 6) "At what age do you think a person has the maturity to make a decision about marriage or a career?" 7) "At what age is a person 'elderly'?" 8) "Does age discrimination affect people looking for jobs in Turkey?" "Does age discrimination affect people, in any other way, here in Turkey? (e.g. interactions on public transportation)"

Productive Task: The Superyoung (20-22 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Write on the WB SUPERYOUNG. Try to elicit from the WC what they think this term might mean, if we are talking about age--both mentally and physically. Refer the Ss back to the pictures (of the adults) at the beginning of the lesson, as well as some other pictures. Have the Ss guess the ages of the newly-introduced individuals. Elicit from the WC: "Do you know anybody over 40 who looks or behaves much younger than their real age?" Encourage a detailed description of this individual. Reference the Ss back to the term on the WB ('superyoung'). "If you were to define a 'superyoung' person, what physical and mental characteristics/qualities/traits would that person have?" Write some of the Ss answers on the WB. Reorganize the WC into different pairs (maybe based on birthday and age) and inform the Ss that they are going to listen to an interview with Dr. David Weeks. "In this interview, Dr. Weeks discusses what he calls the 'superyoung' and what specific characteristics all 'superyoung' people share. Listen to this interview and then discuss in your group what are the 10 most important factors that contribute to the phenomenon of the 'superyoung.'" Following discussion, bring the paired groups together for WC FB. Write some of the groups' answers on the WB. Elicit from the WC whether they agree or disagree with Dr. Weeks' assessment of 'superyoung' people, and the characteristics/qualities/traits that he thinks every 'superyoung' person shares.

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