Özlem GENÇ Özlem GENÇ

Describing Problems
B1 level


In this lesson, SS will listen to customer complains and develop skills in listening for main ideas and details. SS first will be encouraged discussion about problems that customers may have and will be involved in the lesson in the context of describing problems. This will activate their backround knowledge to engage in the lesson. SS will listen for gist to understand the general idea of the audio and than they will listen for the details and fill in the chart with the problems of customers. Finally SS will role-play a conversation describing problems between a customer and shop assistant by using the phrases they hear in the listening.


Abc Interchange Students Book HO (pg. 38)
Abc visuals
Abc listening audio from Interchange SB

Main Aims

  • To provide gist and detailed listening practice using a text about customer complaints in the context of describing problems

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in a conversation in the context of describing problems


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

T introduces the context of 'Describing Problems' by using some visuals of customer complaints and asks some questions in order to elicit ideas of the SS. 'Do you see a problem in this photo?' 'What happened to the customer?' 'What does the customer want?' after eliciting the ideas about the visuals T will ask if the SS experienced something similar, and activate their background knowledge and try to find out the problems in relation to the context.

Pre-Listening (5 minutes) • To prepare students for the listening and make it accessible

T provides some vocabulary in relation to the context and tries to remove obstacles and barriers to understand the listening. T uses some visuals representing some customer problems and elicits the meanings, then encourages students to match the problems with the photoes. T asks some ICQs after the instructions. 'Will you make sentences or match the words with pictures?'- match 'Will you work alone or with your pair? -Alone.

While-Listening #1 (10 minutes) • To provide students with less challenging gist and specific information listening tasks

At this stage, SS will listen for gist to understand the general idea of the listening. T will make SS listen to the audio only for once and SS will try to understand what the problem is in general. SS will write only one word about each conversation to decribe the situation in general. T will ask some ICQs after giving the instructions. 'Are you listening once or twice? - Once', 'Will you write only one word to the chart or long sentences? - one word', 'Will you work in pairs? - no, alone.'. After that, SS will check their answers as a group, and the T will provide the answer key.

While-Listening #2 (15 minutes) • To provide students with more challenging detailed, deduction and inference listening tasks

T will give simple instructions about the task. Students will listen to find out what the problem is in each conversation. SS also listen to understand if the store exchanges the products. They will listen twice if it's necessary and fill in the chart. First, they will listen individually and then they will compare their answers with their pairs and discuss. Before providing the answer key, T will ask some CCQs to make sure that SS got the detailed information. 'What is wrong with the suitcase? Is it price or the broken lock?- The broken lock' 'Are the shoes small or falling apart? - falling apart' 'Is the customer happy with the shirt?- No'.

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

SS will respond to what they heard and will personalise the context by a role play. They will make a conversation describing problems between a customer and a shop assistant. T will give simple instructions, demonstrate if necessary and ask some ICQs. 'Who is the customer, student A or B?- Student A', 'Is student B the customer?- yes ' 'Does the customer want to change the item?- yes'. SS will decide what item they are going to complain about. They will have some time to prepare themselves and after the conversation they will change roles if time allows. Finally T will provide a delayed error correction about each conversation.

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