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Teenage Problems

Giving Advice

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Aim: Building reading comprehension and advice giving skills / focus on modal verb 'should' and modal verbs of deduction

Activity: Reading about teenage problems followed by group work

Level: Intermediate - Upper Intermediate

Outline:

  • Start off the lesson by asking students to suggest what type of problems teenagers typically may have.
  • Use one of the problems mentioned and inductively review modal verbs of deduction by asking questions such as, "What must have happened to the boy?", "Do you think he might have lied to his parents?", etc.
  • Ask students for advice on what the person should do (reviewing the modal verb 'should').
  • Have students get into small groups (four or five students).
  • Distribute the handout with the various teen problems taken from real life. Assign one (or two) situations to each group.
  • Have the students answer the questions as a group. Ask students to use the same forms as given in the questions (i.e. "What might he have thought? - ANSWER: He might have thought it was too difficult.")
  • Students should then use the sheet to report back to the class actively using the modal verb 'should' to give advice.
  • As a follow-up exercise or homework:
    • Ask students to write about a problem they have had.
    • Students should not write their names on their short problem description
    • Distribute the problems to other students
    • Have students answer the questions about the situation described by on of their classmates
    • Ask students to verbally give recommendations
Teenage Problems - Giving Advice

questionnaire: Read your situation and then answer the following questions

  • What might the relationship be between the person and his / her parents?
  • How must he / she feel?
  • What can't have happened?
  • Where might he / she live?
  • Why might he / she have this problem?
  • What should he / she do? (Give at least 5 suggestions)

Teenage Problems: Texts

Should I Marry Him?

I have been with my boyfriend for almost four years, We are going to get married next year but, there are a couple of concerns I have: One is the fact that he never talks about his feelings - he keeps everything inside of him. He sometimes has trouble with expressing his excitement about things. He never buys me flowers, or takes me out to dinner. He says that he doesn't know why, but he never thinks of things like that.

I don't know if this is a side effect of depression or, maybe, he is sick of me. He says that he loves me, and that he wants to marry me. If this is true, what is his problem?

Female, 19

For Friendship or Love?

I'm one of those guys who have "the quite normal" problem: I'm in love with a girl, but I don't know what to do. I have already had a crush on some girls, never with any success, but this is something different. My problem is actually that I'm too cowardly to tell her anything. I know that she likes me and we're very, very good friends. We've known each other for about three years, and our friendship has constantly become better. We often get into quarrels, but we always make up. Another problem is that we often talk about problems with each other, so I know she is having problems with her boyfriend (who I think is no good for her). We meet almost every day. We always have a lot of fun together, but is it really so difficult to love someone who has been a good chum until now?

Male, 15

Please Help me and My Family

My family don't get along. It's like we all hate each other. It's my mom, my two brothers, a sister, and I. I am the oldest. We all have certain problems: My mom wants to quit smoking so she is really stressed out. I am really selfish - I just can't help it. One of my brothers is too bossy. He thinks he is better than the rest of us, and that he is the only one who helps my mom. My other brother is kind of abusive and depressed. He always starts fights and he's really spoiled. My mom doesn't yell at him for doing things wrong and when she does, he laughs at her. My sister - who's 7 - makes messes and doesn't clean them up. I really want to help because I don't like being upset all of the time and having everyone hate everyone else. Even when we start to get along, someone will say something to upset someone else. Please help me and my family.

Female, 15

Hates School

I hate school. I cannot stand my school so I skip it almost every day. Luckily, I am a smart person. I'm in all of the advanced classes and don't have a reputation as a rebel. Only the people who really know me know about my strange feelings. My parents don't care - they don't even mention it if I don't go to school. What I end up doing is sleeping all day and then staying up all night talking to my girlfriend. I get behind in my work and, when I try to go back to school, I get a bunch of crap from my teachers and friends. I just get so depressed when I think about it. I have given up on trying to go back and am considering dropping out altogether. I really don't want to do that because I realize it would ruin my life. I don't want to go back at all, but I also don't want it to ruin my life. I am so confused and I have really tried to go back and just can't take it. What should I do? Please help.

Male, 16

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