Upper Intermediate level
To provide writing practice making an argument in the context of smart phones
To provide gist and scan reading practice using a text about social media in the context of smart phones
To provide clarification and practice of language used for making an argument in the context of smart phones
Procedure (37-45 minutes)
Tell the Ss that we are going to watch a short TV commercial made by T-Mobile. T-Mobile is a company that provides a 5th generation wireless mobile network. Tell them that the basic situation of the ad is that a son has changed his mother’s wireless network. Now the mother has a very good mobile connection. (a 5G connection). Tell the students to think about the following question as they watch the ad: "Do you think that smart phones are good or bad for this mother and son's relationship?" Play the ad (Youtube video imbedded in Google Slide 3) and tell the Ss to respond to the question above with one written sentence in the chat box. Ask the Ss to read their answers aloud.
Share Slide 5 and ask Ss whether our use of smart phones is beneficial or harmful to relationships in general. As a class or in BORs (depending on the number of Ss present), tell the Ss to come up with as many reasons as they can for each side of the argument (at least two reasons for each side of the argument "beneficial" and "harmful") in 3 minutes. They can use the chat box as well as mentioning their answers to the group. Write their answers on Slide 5.
Tell Ss that they are going to write an argument in relation to smart phones, but that first they are going to look at a model of the same type of text. Share Google Slide 6 and give them 3 minutes to read individually. Model text: Social Media Some people argue that social media is a good thing because it helps us connect with other people. However, this new invention creates numerous problems in our lives. Social media is addictive. Many people feel anxious nowadays whenever they are away from their phones. It is deceptive, too. People use it to share only the good parts of their lives. In addition, these platforms transform every moment into a search for attention. Before they were invented, it was possible just to relax with friends without worrying about likes! On the whole, I think life was more enjoyable when we spent most of our time together offline. Text adapted from T. Hedge 2005 Writing, page 107. Copyright Oxford University Press
Show Google Slides 7-11 to the Ss in sequence. For each slide, give Ss 1-2 minutes to read the slide and send their answers to a partner before sharing the answers in OCFB. Slide 7: Match each phrase with the FUNCTION you think it serves in the text: 1-Some people argue that a. To add an additional idea/argument 2-However b. To introduce one possible argument 3-In addition c. To give a general summary of what the writer thinks 4-On the whole d. To say something which contrasts with the argument that the writer mentioned before Answers: b, d, a, c Slide 8: Find alternatives for the words in pink: 1-Some people argue that a. also, too 2-However b. in general, in summary 3-In addition c. but, nonetheless, yet 4-On the whole d. believe, think, say Answers: d, c, a, b Slide 9: Look at each of the phrases in pink (a-d) and then answer questions 1-3: a-Some people argue that b-However c-In addition d-On the whole 1-Which phrases are followed by a clause that can function as a complete sentence in the text? (Answer: a, b, c, d) 2-Which phrases are followed by a comma? (Answer: b, c, d) 3-Which phrases appear at the beginning of the sentence in this text? (a, b, c, d) Slide 10: How is the text organized? Put the following parts in order: a-The writer adds some additional arguments. (Answer: 3) b-The writer provides a general summary of his/her own opinion. (Answer: 4) c-The writer mentions the opposing argument. (Answer: 1) d-The writer introduces his own argument. (Answer: 2) Slide 11 shows a cline with a continuum that goes from less formal to more formal. The Ss have to fill in blanks 1-5 with words/expressions a-e. yet, but, 1, nevertheless on top of that, besides, 2, 3, moreover, furthermore say, 4, believe, 5, posit a-also b-however c-think d-in addition e-argue Answers: 1-b 2-a 3-d 4-c 5-e
Share Google Slide 12 and tell the Ss that each one of them is going to write an argument of 50 words following the example of the model text. Each student must choose ONE of the 2 following options to write about: 1-Smart phones are beneficial to relationships. 2-Smart phones are harmful to relationships. Send the Google Slides presentation to the Ss and write each Ss's name at the top of one slide (starting with slide 14) on which the student will write. Be sure to make the Ss editors of the presentation before sending it. Give the Ss 10 minutes to write on their individual slides.
Tell each student to check another students' work and to make any notes on their classmates' slides in a different color at the bottom of the page. Alternatively, they can write one or two corrections in the chat box. Give Ss 3 minutes to work and then conduct OCFB first on the content produced during the task, and then on language. Give FB on some good uses of language and then focus on between one and three errors.