Speaking and writing activities

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Units 1-3

1          Speaking

A         Discussion

You and your partner have been asked by your school/university to plan the end-of-year festival. It will last for three days. Together, make the plan, thinking about the following things:

  • What will make this festival different?
  • What do people want to do?
  • Which famous people can you invite?
  • What will people eat /drink?
  • What about music?
  • When will special events take place?

B         Information gap

Work in threes. You are on a committee to decide who will be awarded the title Person of the Year. Read the description of your person. Compare and contrast and then agree which person will receive the prize.

Student A:

Sarah Cast – weather journalist who travels to all the places that have bad weather. This year she saw a hurricane, a volcano, an earthquake and five floods. As well as visiting these places and talking about them on TV, she also helps the people in these disasters.

Student B:

Piotr Wallace – film director. He makes films about difficult situations around the world. This year he made a film about children living and working on the streets. After seeing this film a millionaire gave £5 million to start a charity to help homeless children. Piotr’s next film will be about the disadvantages of a free media.

Student C:

Zehra Khan – Zehra cannot see, speak or hear. However, to make money for people like herself, she walked from New Delhi to Paris. She collected £2.5 million. Now she is learning to cycle and she plans to cycle from Tokyo to Paris.

2          Writing

Imagine a film that would be perfect for you. What would the story be? Who would be in it? Where would it take place? Write a review of this film for a newspaper.

(80-120 words)

Units 4-6

1          Speaking

A         Information gap

You and your partner work for a newspaper giving advice to people. You have mixed up two letters. Find out the information you don’t have and together prepare advice for both people.

Student A:

Dear Doctor Trouble,

Please help. My wife and I have been married for three years. We are very happy but we still live …

… I know nothing about the place and I am a little afraid. What do I need to do before I go?

Student B:

Dear Doctor Trouble,

Please help. I’ve just got a job in Iceland. I am very excited about going but …

… with my wife’s parents. The house is very crowded and I can’t relax. However, my wife has a very important job and she doesn’t want to work at home. I like my wife’s parents but I want to come home just to my wife, not her whole family.

B         Role-play


Topic: Health care

You think that health care should be free. Have a discussion with your partner. First, think of all the reasons why health care should be free. Then try and convince your partner that you are right.


Topic: Health care

You think that people should pay for health care. Have a discussion with your partner. First, think of all the reasons why health care should not be free. Then try and convince your partner that you are right.

2          Writing

Last week your friend took you to a national park. In the park you saw many different types of animals. The park was beautiful and you had a great time there. Write an email to a friend telling him/her about the trip and how much you enjoyed it, and thanking them for taking you.

(60-100 words)

Units 7-9

1          Speaking

A         Information gap

You and your partner are planning to go on holiday together. Tell your partner about what you would like to do on your holiday and decide together which holiday to choose.


You like: sports, adventure, history, food

You don’t like: doing nothing, shopping, going everywhere by car, train or bus


You like: beaches, sunbathing, reading and relaxing, trekking

You don’t like: too much exercise, spending all the time in cafés and restaurants, archaeology

B         Talk

You are going to give a presentation on ‘The Job for Me’. Think about the following things:

  • What is the job?
  • What do you have to do?
  • Why is it the best job for you?

Prepare your talk and also be prepared to answer one or two questions from other people.

2          Writing

Think of a great day or night you had out. What happened? Who were you with? Why was it so special? Describe it as if you were telling a story.

(80-120 words)

Units 10-12

1          Speaking

A         Information gap

You and your partner are going to conduct a survey of your opinions. Ask and answer both your questions and the questions your partner has, giving reasons for your answer. Try to agree on an answer for each question.


1. Is the world getting dirtier?

2. Do people understand about the ozone layer?

3. Do you think the world is getting hotter?

4. Can we do anything to stop global warming?


1. Are people careful with their rubbish?

2. Does it matter if we put bottles, tins and plastic in the same rubbish bag?

3. Will being careful with our rubbish improve our environment?

4.  Are governments doing enough to keep their countries clean?

B         Presentation

Your town (or a town you know well) is one of the finalists to be Town of the Year. You are going to give a presentation showing why your town should win. Make sure you have at least four main points. Think about the following:

  • How clean is it?
  • How beautiful is it?
  • Does it have interesting places to visit?
  • Are there things to do?
  • What makes it different?

Be prepared to answer a couple of question at the end.

2          Writing

Write a report about a plan to open a sports centre, using the information below.

Summary of research made by Donald Research Group in Spotsville 22-26 June 2007

Do we need a sports centre?

Yes – 55%


Something for young people to do - 45%

Make money for the town - 30%

Nothing to do in Spotsville - 20%

We’re unfit - 5%

No – 40%


Too crowded - 30%

Too noisy - 30%

No one will use it - 25%

Other things more important - 15%

Don’t care – 5%

(80-120 words)

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