Marieke Marieke

TV debate lesson TP3a (Marieke Steuben)
Pre-intermediate level


In this lesson, students practice agreeing and disagreeing using phrases introduced in the context of a television debate. First they discuss the question of who should pay for education, then listen to a sample debate on the topic. After listening for scanning and listening again for detail, they look more carefully at the phrases used in the dialogue. After establishing the meaning of these is clear, and drilling pronunciation, the students practice speaking the phrases in discussion with a partner.


Abc F2F Pre-Int CD1 recording 4.9
Abc F2F pre-Int Unit 4D p 34-35
Abc F2F Pre-Int CD1 recording 4.10

Main Aims

  • To give students practice with integrated skills - listening and speaking - in the context of a TV debate on education

Subsidiary Aims

  • To give students practice using functional language for agreeing and disagreeing.


Lead in (5-7 minutes) • Set context of debate and education issues

1) Show PP slide - Turkish debate or discussion show. Ask questions. What show is this? Do you watch it? What do they discuss on the show? 2) Next slide - Univ student / private HS student. In small groups. Who had to pay for their education? Do you think people should pay for education? Why/Why not? FB - WC. What do you think? Who should pay for education? Why?

Listening (5-6 minutes) • Listening for scanning

1) Next slide - Q&A panel from book. Here is a (made-up?) British TV show called Q&A. What does Q&A stand for? 2) Next slide - questions alongside picture. Hand out slip from p. 34 - Show ex. 2a. Here are 5 questions. Listen to the beginning of the programme and answer the questions. Work by yourself. 3) Play recording 4.9. FB - check with someone else. Answers: 1. Jackie 2. Stuart 3. Penny 4. Do you think university education should be free? 5. Current affairs or debate programme.

Listening (8-10 minutes) • Listening for detail

1) Next slide - question 2b next to picture. Which people think that university education should be free? Now I will play more of the programme. Listen carefully. Just one question - Who thinks that university education should be free? 2) Play recording 4.10. FB - on WB - circle on slide. Answer: Penny and Jackie. Check understanding: What does Penny think? What does Jackie think? What does Stuart think? 3) Show HO. Now listen again and answer questions in 2c - 5 questions. Are they true or false? Listen carefully. Work by yourself. 4) Play recording 4.10 again. Monitor progress. FB - WC. Check answers with a partner. 1T, 2F, 3F, 4T, 5F. Any problems?

Functional language (10-12 minutes) • Introduce functional language of agreeing/disagreeing

1) Next slide - Agree/Disagree/Ask for opinion. Show HO - look at phrases in 3a. Do you use these for agreeing / disagreeing / or asking for opinions? Work in pairs. Mark these a) b) or c) like in the example. "What do you think? ...c" 2) Circulate and monitor. After 2 minutes give early finishers a phrase on paper with tack. Ask them to go to the board and put it in the right place. Give one to each pair. 3) FB - does everyone agree? Any problems? "I'm not sure about that" - check that one. 4) WC practice. I will make a statement. Stand up if you agree / sit down if you disagree. "I think that pop music is rubbish. What do you think?" Invite responses. Point to board to suggest they could use these phrases. "I think that .... What do you think?" 5) Check understanding and pronunciation: mark stress and drill "What do you think?" "Definitely." "Yes, definitely." "No, definitely not." "I think so." "Yes, I think so." "No, I don't think so." "No, I think not."

Speaking (8-10 minutes) • Freer practice using the functional language

1) HO - show other side with ex. 6a. Read these statements to yourself. Don't discuss. Think about whether you agree or disagree and why. Read quietly to yourself. 2) Next you will find a new partner, and ask for his or her opinion. What will you say? "Do you think that..." See example. Have a discussion about these topics. You can agree or disagree and use the phrases on the board. 3) Find a new partner. Move around. Find someone you haven't worked with before. 4) Monitor the pairs. 5) FB - WC. What does your partner think? Do you agree or disagree?

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