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Arguments and how to avoid them
upper-intermediate level


In this lesson, students will talk about when they argue, with whom they argue most, and what they do to end the argument. They will learn some lexis in this context. Later, they will listen to an expert who gives tips to avoid arguments or take them under control. They will do listening for gist and for finding specific information activities. They will talk about the tips of the expert and finally do an argument role play.


No materials added to this plan yet.

Main Aims

  • To provide gist and specific information listening practice using a text about how to avoid arguments or take them under control in the context of arguments to make students talk about arguing and do an argument role-play

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in a role play in the context of arguments


Warmer/Lead-in (1-2 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Teacher tells an anecdote of an argument and asks some questions about arguments. T:"Hello everybody! How are you? If you ask me, I am angry. Last night, I argued with my husband. He told I was always studying and I didn't cook for 5 days. I got frustrated and raised my voice. I know I was in the wrong. Today I'll apologize. Have you argued with somebody recently? Whom do you argue with most? Do you try to take the argument under control or go on arguing angrily?"

Pre-Listening (7-8 minutes) • To prepare students for the text, make it accessible and to pre-teach vocabulary

Teacher gives a hand-out. Students read the paragraph about arguments there and match the bold words with their explanations below in pairs. T: "Now let's read a short paragraph about arguments. In the text, there are some bold words. Read, try to understand the meanings of the words and match them with their meanings below in pairs. You have 3 minutes. So what are you doing?" Students finish the activity. Teacher asks them to compare with other pairs. T: "Ok, let's compare your matching and see if there are any differences." Teacher gets the answers after they compare. She writes the words and then clarifies the form and pronunciation by asking their parts of speech and by drilling them.

While-Listening #1 (6-7 minutes) • To provide students with a gist listening task to introduce the text and to prepare them for a more detailed listening task

T: "Now, we will listen to a psychologist who will give some tips about how to avoid arguments or how to take an argument under control. But, before that, let's guess what tips she might give, in pairs. You have 2 minutes for that. You may use imperative sentences in your predictions like 'Don't do this' or 'Do this' " 2 minutes later, teacher gets their predictions and writes them on the board. Then she asks them to listen and check if they have predicted correctly. After listening, teacher asks them which ones are mentioned in the text.

While-Listening #2 (14-15 minutes) • To provide students with a more challenging finding specific information listening task

T: "We will listen again. This time, I will give you 6 tips she mentions and you will take notes about them. Don't write full sentences. Take short notes. Write as much as possible." When the activity finishes, she plays the audio again so that students can take more notes. Later, she asks them to share their notes with their partners. Finally, she asks some questions to check how much they understand and remember and to make them respond to the text. T: "Ok you have got some tips now. So which tip do you think is the most important or useful? Why? Is it possible to avoid arguments according to the psychologist, Is she optimistic about this? What happens if you raise your voice?"

Post-Listening (10-13 minutes) • To provide with an opportunity to respond to the text and expand on what they've learned through a role-play activity

Teacher gives them role play cards and they prepare themselves for 1-2 minutes. Then they play their roles. T: "It is time to argue! I will give you role play cards. Prepare yourself in 1-2 minutes. Then play your role. There are 2 cards for everybody. Play the first one first and then the second one. Don't forget that it is an argument, so pay attention to your intonation. You should seem angry." Teacher listens to students and takes notes of their mistakes. When they finish, she asks if they have followed the tips of the psychologist. Finally, she gives feedback on their mistakes, makes them correct their own mistakes and wraps up.

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