Leigh Davidson Leigh Davidson

Relationships Part 2: Marriage
Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate, Prep Speaking level


In this lesson Ss will discuss many subjects connected to the concepts of marriage and relationships. Multiple reading and listening exercises will guide the conversation to consider various aspects related to marriage, including its advantages, disadvantages, and challenges, the concept of soulmates, infidelity, and divorce.


Main Aims

  • To provide Ss with an opportunity for freer-speaking practice on the tradition of marriage, its role and function for people in a relationship, and its usefulness (or uselessness) in modern society

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide Ss with an opportunity to practice their detailed listening skills.


Warmer/Lead-in (8-10 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Write on the WB WHY GET MARRIED? Try to elicit from the Ss some reasons that a couple may decide to get married (e.g. tradition, to have children, due to family/parent obligations). Write the Ss' answers on the WB. Reference the Ss-provided reasons on the WB and elicit the following: --"Do you think that marriage is no longer necessary today? Is it a 'thing of the past'?" --"Do you know someone who has had a long and happy marriage? Why do you think it has lasted so long? What makes [your example] such a good one for a 'successful marriage'?" --"Are married people treated differently from single people in Turkey? In what way?"

Productive Task: Why Get Married? (15-18 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Distribute the HO on "Reluctant Bachelors." Have the groups read the top 10 reasons for why men aren't excited about getting married in today's society. Instruct the groups to think about and discuss the following questions: 1) "Do you agree with any of the arguments in this list--are any of them valid?" 2) "Do you think a list of reasons for not marrying, created by women, would be similar or different? In what way?" 3) "This survey was completed in 2002. Do you think the top 10 reasons, for men to not marry, would change today in 2018? Why or why not?" 4) "What if the survey had been completed in Turkey? Would the results be similar or different? How so?" Following GW discussion, bring the groups together for WC FB. Write on the WB MARRIAGE: ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES. "Based on the 2002 survey we just discussed, and your own opinions on marriage, what are the benefits and the disadvantages for committing to someone for life, with a legal contract that is supported by your government?" Write the Ss' answers on the WB. Write on the WB UNIQUE MARRIAGES. Elicit from the Ss a discussion on being in a relationship--and married to--a person from another country, from another culture, of a different race, from a different religious background, etc. "Would you consider marrying someone from another country, culture, race, or religious background? What special problems do you think might occur from a marriage between people from different countries, cultures, races, or religious backgrounds?"

Useful Language: Phrasal Verbs on Relationships (8-10 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language for coming productive tasks

Write on the WB PHRASAL VERBS ON RELATIONSHIPS: CONTINUED. Write on the WB some phrasal verbs related to marriage and relationships: "Fall out (mostly used for friendships); run off with someone; settle down together; drift apart/grow apart; call it a day" Try to elicit the definitions from the WC. Focus on the 'drift apart/grow apart' phrase. "What might happen if a couple drifts apart?" Guide the Ss to use some of the phrasal verbs on relationships, taught from the previous lesson. [T Answer: 'Split up/break up' and then maybe 'make up' later on]

Productive Task: Soulmates (23-25 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive and listening skills

Write on the WB SOULMATE. Elicit from the WC what the term means to them. Instruct the Ss, in pairs, to discuss whether they BELIEVE in soulmates (for themselves or for other people), HOW DIFFICULT (HOW EASY) do they think finding a soulmate would be, and if they were to find a soulmate, what QUALITIES would that person have? While the Ss are discussing, distribute the "Soulmate Questionnaire" HO and have the groups complete it. Following PW discussion, bring the groups together for WC FB. Instruct the WC that they are going to watch a movie on soulmates. Two people are discussing whether the concept of 'finding a soulmate' is possible. Write on the WB the following numbers: --800,000 [T Answer: number of people in the couple's city] --400,000 [number of guys who live in the couple's city] --130,000 [number of guys who are the girl's age] --65,000 [number of guys who are the girl's age and single] --3,250 [number of guys the girl would find attractive] --16 [number of guys the girl would find interesting] --0.53 [number of guys the girl would 'click with'] Inform the Ss that these numbers are going to be mentioned throughout the video. "Each number refers to the chances of finding your soulmate. As you are watching and listening, identify what each number refers to. Based on this couple's discussion, do you think that it is possible to find a soulmate?" Vimeo.com: Less than One (5:30) https://vimeo.com/85997517 Following a viewing of the video, bring the WC together for FB.

Productive Task: Infidelity (20-25 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Write on the WB INFIDELITY. Ask the Ss if anyone knows what this word means. If no answer arises, give them a hint by providing them with the definition of fidelity (to be faithful to one's partner). Elicit from the WC what actions, behaviors, or thoughts they would consider cheating. Write the Ss' answers on the WB. Distribute the HO on "Cheating Situations" and have the groups discuss which of the situations they would consider cheating and why. Then bring everyone together for WC FB. IF TIME: Write on the WB CYBERCHEATING: INFIDELITY AND TECHNOLOGY. Elicit from the Ss how they think technology has changed the way people cheat. "Has technology made it easier to have affair? Has technology made it easier to catch an infidel partner? Has technology made it more difficult for couples to stay committed to one another or not?" Distribute the "Online Affair" article to each group and instruct them to read about an online romance that happened on Second Life. Ask the Ss if they know what Second Life is. "Please read this article in your group. What does the husband do that the wife considers cheating? Do you consider this situation cheating or not? Why?" Bring everyone together again for WC FB.

Productive Task: The Affair (10-12 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Provide Ss with a description of a generic couple (Helen and James) from the HO "The Affair." Instruct the groups to quickly read the description of Helen and James and to discuss the questions below the text. Bring the groups together for FB. 1) "What do you think about this couple? Do you think this is a good, healthy relationship or not? Why (or why not)?" 2) "Do you know any couples, in real life, that have experienced (or are experiencing) similar issues?" 3) "Why do you think a couple might have these sort of problems?" Elicit from the WC the concluding question. "From what you know about this couple, based on the text, do you think Helen and James should divorce or remain married?"

Productive Task: Divorce (20-23 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive and listening skills

Write on the WB DIVORCE. Elicit from the WC their personal experiences with (and opinions on) divorce. Do they know anyone who has been divorced? Do they think that divorce should be an option for a struggling, unhappy couple? Why (not)? Write underneath the header the following situations: --He's been unfaithful to me. --Life is boring. --She doesn't sleep with me anymore. --We just have nothing in common. --We've just grown apart. --He hits me. --I want my freedom back. --I just married the wrong person. Elicit from the WC which reasons they think are suitable, and appropriate, for getting a divorce and why. Write beside the reasons column the following: --Divorce on demand (whenever and for whatever reason) --Year-long waiting period (a 'temporary separation' while trying to make it work) --Mandatory/compulsory counselling for 6 months (before divorce is an option) Elicit from the WC how easy they think divorce should be. "Considering the options here [on the WB], how easy should divorce be for any couple?" Write on the WB AMICABLE DIVORCE. Elicit from the WC a definition--if they are unfamiliar, ask for the term's connotation (is it positive or negative?). Write underneath the term CONSCIOUS UNCOUPLING. Mention Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin (of the band Coldplay) as a hint for the meaning of the term. Show a news video clip on 'conscious uncoupling.' Instruct the Ss to watch, and based on what is discussed in the video, define 'conscious uncoupling' [and 'amicable divorce'] and describe some of the ways (the steps) that a couple can 'consciously uncouple'? Following a viewing of the clip, bring the WC together for FB. Wrap up the lesson with some concluding questions: --"Can a divorce every really be 'amicable'? Can you end a partnership with your lover and still remain friends (or at least be friendly towards each other)?"

Web site designed by: Nikue