Bjorn Renberg Bjorn Renberg

Asking for favours- making requests
Upper intermediate level


In this lesson the students will encounter situations where people ask for favours. They will relate that to their own lives and learn to make proper requests and how to respond to someone asking a favour, either by granting it or refusing it. The lesson will focus on functional language.


Abc TP7 Handout one.
Abc TP7 Handout 2
Abc OHP Pictures of favours
Abc CD Global upper intermediate
Abc Response slips

Main Aims

  • Speaking: To provide fluency in asking for favours and responding

Subsidiary Aims

  • The students will develop their listening skills through their practice listening for details


Warm up: introduce the topic (4-6 minutes) • To build the context for asking favours

Four pictures will be displayed with the OHP. (TP7 OHP slide 1). Ask them what the people in the pictures are doing. This way elicit the word "favour". Elicit a precise meaning of the word and CCQ. Is it a good thing?(yes) Is it something I have to do?(no) Is it my choice? (yes) Does it make the other person happy? (yes) Elicit the favours that the people on the pictures are doing. As a whole class come up with a list of more common favours you ask people and drill for accuracy. Keep this on the WB for use in the fluency practice later.Before the next stage elicit the words grant and refuse and CCQ them. In pairs, as they sit, let them quickly talk about the question 1 from handout 1. Give them one minute or so.

Setting the stage: listening (6-8 minutes) • Audio recordings from which the language will be drawn

Divide them into pairs and group them into three tables, two pairs at each (if there are 12 students). Explain the listening task to them and give them the handouts. Play track 2.11-14 all through and let them note down and compare as pairs. Give them a minute to compare their answers before playing the CD one more time. This time add the last question. Play all through the tracks one more time. Let them have a little time to discuss and then hand them the right answers on the slip, one for each table.

Language focus- requests (8-10 minutes) • To work through the meaning, form and pronunciation of asking favours

Try to elicit the three phrases that were used and write them on the WB: I was wondering if you could help me with something? Can you do me a favour? Do you think I could borrow.....? Ask which is the most direct. It is number two. Explain that the longer the request the more indirect it is and more formal and polite. Analyse the form of the sentences Can you do me a favour? Can + S + do + O + a favour (n) The collocation is do + a favour, look at the examples given in stage 1 and see if there are other collocations and put them into the structure given above. Point to the fact that in the more polite phrases, the first part is interchangeable. Note also that the verbs are bare infinitive. Spend time drilling the pronunciation and the intonation. Make angry and polite intonation so that the students can see it is how you say it that also matters.

Language focus- responses (5-7 minutes) • To present the reponses form the text in preparation for the speaking practice

Each pair will get a slip with a response. There will be a table on the WB, one side having refuse and the other grant. Each of the pairs will decide which headline to write the response under. One of them will then come to the Wb and write it under the appropriate headline. As a feedback the class will decide if they agree. Explain the phrase "I'm afraid. Drill the responses until pronunciation is fairly good.

Fluency practice- using the requests and responses (10-12 minutes) • To let the students work with the phrases given until they are fluent and comfortable

Divide them into new pairs. Instruct them to use the phrases that they have on their handout to ask each other for favours and either grant them or refuse them. They should practice the various level of politeness, asking a favour... a) as a friend b) as an acquaintance or colleague If they finish quickly then let them switch partner and do it one more time.

Concluding (3-5 minutes) • To make sure the students have grasped the dialogue and correct possible errors

During the Fluency practice, the students conversations will be monitored and possible good phrases and errors will be corrected. This will now be addressed and talked about. If needed, the phrases will be reviewed again and maybe get some of the favours that were asked by the students to be spoken to the class

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