Zsófia Zsófia

Sniffle Sniffle
Upper Intermediate level


In this lesson, students learn about vocabulary related to common illnesses, practice giving advice and are shown how to express sympathy or lack thereof using through guided discovery. Students first read situational descriptions and match them with illnesses. They proceed to give advice for each situation. They then practice sympathetic and unsympathetic reactions and then finish with a series of productive activities.


Main Aims

  • To review and practice phrases used to show sympathy and give advice in the context of illness

Subsidiary Aims

  • To practice speaking for accuracy and fluency


Brainstorm • To activate schemata

Introduce context of illness by asking students about their health. Then brainstorm by elicit examples of illness from students. Students call out examples of illnesses that they know.

Gallery Reading • To introduce context and practice reading for gist

Indicate conversations posted on the walls. Chest ailments card handout and instruct students to match illnesses with each conversation. Students stand up and match ailments with conversations as they move about the room. Confirm answers as feedback.

Test • To check students’ written use of target language

Chest handout of complete copy of conversations and instruct students to complete the advice for each ailment. Students work in pairs to complete advice. Answers confirmed by listening and answer key on WB.

Target Language Clarification

Chest sympathy sentences and instruct students to mark each as S for ‘sympathetic’ or U for ‘unsympathetic’. Students work in pairs. Confirm answers as feedback while drilling and eliciting stress.

Mingle • To provide controlled speaking practice

Chest symapthy cards and instruct students to mingle while relating problems and eliciting/showing sympathy (or lack thereof). Students mingle and practice the target language phrases. Provide immediate error-correction where appropriate.

Speaking • To provide practice in speaking for fluency

Put students into small groups. Chest “You’re the expert” discussion sheets. Instruct students to discuss the questions. Students discuss the questions in their groups. Elicit example answers as feedback.

Questionnaire • To practice reading for detail and speaking for fluency

Chest the “Body knowledge quiz” and instruct students to complete it individually and then compare answers with a partner. Elicit a survey of answers and listen to CD as feedback.

Gap-fill • To highlight and introduce language for giving advice

Chest gap-fill and instruct students to fill it in from memory in pairs. Play CD as feedback and confirm answers. Then have students discuss which advice is best or most difficult.

Game • To provide semi-controlled speaking practice

Chest role cards and instruct students to mingle and relate their problems and elicit sympathy and advice. Tell them their goal is to decide on the best advice they hear. Elicit examples as feedback.

Running Dictation • To prepare for writing task

Point students to the “Dear Liz” letter posted on the wall. Instruct students on doing a running dictation in pairs. One student from each pair tries to memorize segments of the letter and report them to their partner. The fastest group wins. Elicit the author’s problem as feedback.

Letter writing • To provide semi-controlled written practice

Instruct students to write a letter in pairs in reply using sympathy and advice language they learned earlier. Monitor and take notes on relevant errors for delayed error-correction as feedback.

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