Discussion points

A range of resources that are particularly good for prompting class discussion

Major update 19/01/24 written in 2005 but updated and re-mapped to reflect the Reformed Functional English Content. Page one is will prompt discussion and is probably best tackled in pairs or small groups. Page 2 is a handout with plenty of examples to study before moving on to the final pages of challenging exercises.

Answers are available (resource contributors only) please see answer sheets page for more details

Level
Level 1
Level 2
English
AL Ws/L2.4 Use apostrophes & inverted commas
Adult Lit Rs/L2.2 Use punctuation to help interpret the meaning and purpose of texts
Apostrophes
FE L1.18 Use knowledge of punctuation to aid understanding of texts
FE L1.19 Use a range of punctuation correctly (e.g. full stops, question marks, exclamation marks, commas, possessive apostrophes)
FE L2.20 Punctuate writing correctly using a wide range of punctuation markers e.g. colons, commas, inverted commas, apostrophes, quotation marks
ESOL
ESOL Ws/L1.3a Use punctuation to aid clarity and meaning
ESOL Ws/L2.4a Use a range of punctuation to achieve clarity in simple and complex sentences
ESOL Rs/L1.2a Use punctuation to help understanding
ESOL Rs/L2.2a Use wide range of punctuation to help interpret meaning and purpose

I used this in L2 only and mixed L1-2 classes. I gave the learners the poster to read, along with the learner starter activity sheet to write in their answers. Once everyone had filled in as much as they could (some learners had support workers so answers were discussed as they were written down), the whole class discussed the answers and I shared the answers on a screen. 

Level
Level 1
Level 2
English
FE L1.12 Recognise that language & other textual features can be varied to suit different audiences & purposes
FE L1.14 Understand organisational / structural features use to locate relevant information
FE L1.16 Recognise vocabulary typically associated with specific types and purposes of texts (e.g. formal, informal, instructional, descriptive, explanatory and persuasive)
FE L2.14 Understand how textual features/devices can shape meaning for different audiences/purposes
FE L2.16 Understand organisational features & use to locate relevant information in a range of sources
Context
Social Media

A double lesson Power Point with Level 1 and Level 2 reading and writing questions. The lesson explores the controversy around violent music and the relationship between music and behaviour. You Tube links  add detail and context to the debate in an engaging and thought provoking way. Lesson 1 focuses on the Reading exam with Level 1 and Level 2 questions that can be displayed on the board to reduce printing. Texts A and B explore the two sides of Drill music and its influence on young people.

Level
Level 1
Level 2
English
FS Eng L1.4 Communicate information / ideas / opinions clearly & accurately on range of topics
FS Eng L1.5 Express opinions and arguments and support them with evidence
FE E2.5 Clearly express straightforward information & communicate feelings / opinions
FS Eng L2.6 Express opinions and arguments and support them with relevant and persuasive evidence
FE L1.9 Identify & understand the main points, ideas & details
FE L1.10 Compare information, ideas & opinions in different texts
FE L2.12 Compare information, ideas & opinions in different texts, inc. how they are conveyed
FE L1.11 Identify meanings in texts & distinguish between fact & opinion
FE L1.12 Recognise that language & other textual features can be varied to suit different audiences & purposes
FE L2.13 Identify implicit & inferred meaning in texts
FE L2.14 Understand how textual features/devices can shape meaning for different audiences/purposes
FE L2.18 Follow an argument, identifying different points of view & distinguishing fact from opinion
FE L2.19 Identify different styles of writing & writer’s voice
FE L1.19 Use a range of punctuation correctly (e.g. full stops, question marks, exclamation marks, commas, possessive apostrophes)
FE L2.20 Punctuate writing correctly using a wide range of punctuation markers e.g. colons, commas, inverted commas, apostrophes, quotation marks
FE L1.24 Use format, structure & language appropriate for audience & purpose
FE L2.25 Organise writing for different purposes using appropriate format & structure e.g. standard templates, paragraphs, bullet points, tables
FE L2.27 Use language & register (e.g. persuasive techniques, supporting evidence, specialist words) to suit audience & purpose
Context
Art Film Media Music Radio TV

Updated Apr 19 2024 (corrections made to pages 1&3 of the main PDF and page 2 of "Your Budget")

This resources uses the Spring 2024 budget and makes it accessible for learners on L1 and L2 English courses. The resource gives them the budget break down and some comprehension questions based on L1 and L2 reading exams. 

Learners are then asked to design their own budget and think about why they would give money to certain areas outlined in the budget. 

Level
Level 1
Level 2
English
FS Eng L1.5 Express opinions and arguments and support them with evidence
FS Eng L2.6 Express opinions and arguments and support them with relevant and persuasive evidence
FE L1.13 Use reference materials & appropriate strategies for a range of purposes, inc. to find word meanings
FE READING understanding and locating information
FE L1.18 Use knowledge of punctuation to aid understanding of texts
Maths
FM L1.1 Read, write, order & compare large numbers (up to one million)
FM L2.1 Read, write, order & compare positive & negative numbers of any size
Context
Employment skills & Public services
Business & Money management
News, Politics & Government items

March 23 2024 - please note this is a new upload with different contributor details to the earlier version of this resource. With sincere apologies to the correct contributor Claire. Discussion, reading and writing tasks for Level 1-2 Functional Skills English. Very topical as lots of people have tattoos now. 

Level
Level 1
Level 2
English
FE SL&C Discussion
FE L1.11 Identify meanings in texts & distinguish between fact & opinion
FE L1.12 Recognise that language & other textual features can be varied to suit different audiences & purposes
FE L2.13 Identify implicit & inferred meaning in texts
FE L2.14 Understand how textual features/devices can shape meaning for different audiences/purposes
FE L2.18 Follow an argument, identifying different points of view & distinguishing fact from opinion
FE L2.19 Identify different styles of writing & writer’s voice
FE L1.24 Use format, structure & language appropriate for audience & purpose
FE L2.25 Organise writing for different purposes using appropriate format & structure e.g. standard templates, paragraphs, bullet points, tables
FE L2.27 Use language & register (e.g. persuasive techniques, supporting evidence, specialist words) to suit audience & purpose
FE L1.23 Write text of appropriate level of detail & length to meet needs of purpose & audience
FE L2.24 Write text of appropriate level of detail & length to meet needs of purpose & audience
Context
Mental health, awareness & psychology

Topic: Fitness and giving opinions on a Joe Wicks fitness app after watching a video clip.

Uses NCFE spec for task 1 in listening and speaking exam. Teacher created content following NCFE guidance documents. I hope it is accurate and welcome feedback in case this does not represent the criteria. 

Created for a student who needs a lot of support around speaking and listening. Can be adapted to much freer discussion with more cognitively able students. 

Editor's note

Level
Entry Level 3
English
FE E3.3 Communicate information & opinions clearly on a range of topics
FE E3.4 Respond appropriately to questions on a range of straightforward topics
FE E3.2 Make requests & ask concise questions using appropriate language in different contexts
FE E3.1 Identify & extract relevant information & detail in straightforward explanations
FE E3.5 Follow & understand the main points of discussions
FE E3.6 Make relevant contributions to group discussions about straightforward topics
ESOL
ESOL Listen and respond (Lr)
Context
Sport and fitness

Read adapted texts about the felling of the Sycamore Gap tree.  Tasks cover vocabulary and dictionary work, informal language, idioms and language work.

Editor's notes

Two page text from two BBC News articles that has been cleverly  adapted to focus on recognising and understanding typical features of informal text such as slang, contractions, idioms and hyperbole. Further questions cover general comprehension and inference.

There's also a question that can be used as a discussion prompt or a short writing task.

 

Level
Level 1
Level 2
English
FS Eng L1.5 Express opinions and arguments and support them with evidence
FS Eng L2.6 Express opinions and arguments and support them with relevant and persuasive evidence
FE L1.9 Identify & understand the main points, ideas & details
FE L1.12 Recognise that language & other textual features can be varied to suit different audiences & purposes
FE L1.13 Use reference materials & appropriate strategies for a range of purposes, inc. to find word meanings
FE L1.16 Recognise vocabulary typically associated with specific types and purposes of texts (e.g. formal, informal, instructional, descriptive, explanatory and persuasive)
FE L2.11 Identify when main points are sufficient & when specific details are important
FE L2.13 Identify implicit & inferred meaning in texts
FE L2.17 Analyse texts, of different levels of complexity, recognising their use of vocabulary and identifying levels of formality and bias
FE L1.22 Communicate information, ideas & opinions clearly, coherently & accurately
FE L1.24 Use format, structure & language appropriate for audience & purpose
FE L2.23 Communicate information, ideas and opinions clearly, coherently and effectively
FE L2.27 Use language & register (e.g. persuasive techniques, supporting evidence, specialist words) to suit audience & purpose
Context
News, Politics & Government items
Science, Nature & Weather

Read a text about people being awarded Honours.

Answer exam style questions.

Editor's notes

Lovely new year resource that focuses on three everyday people that have given outstanding service to charities and their communities. 2 page text adapted from a Guardian article. The 20 reading questions cover general comprehension, language  and organisational devices, punctuation, vocabulary-dictionary work and more!

There's also a final question that could be used as a discussion prompt or a short writing task.

Level
Level 1
Level 2
English
FE L1.9 Identify & understand the main points, ideas & details
FE L2.11 Identify when main points are sufficient & when specific details are important
FE L1.14 Understand organisational / structural features use to locate relevant information
FE L2.16 Understand organisational features & use to locate relevant information in a range of sources
FE L1.13 Use reference materials & appropriate strategies for a range of purposes, inc. to find word meanings
FE L1.18 Use knowledge of punctuation to aid understanding of texts
FE L1.15 Infer from images meanings not explicit in the accompanying text
FE L1.11 Identify meanings in texts & distinguish between fact & opinion
FE L1.12 Recognise that language & other textual features can be varied to suit different audiences & purposes
FE L2.14 Understand how textual features/devices can shape meaning for different audiences/purposes
FE L2.19 Identify different styles of writing & writer’s voice
Context
News, Politics & Government items

A quick but very useful match-up activity that makes a good starter activity for financial literacy or employment skills courses - and it's bound to prompt discussion.

Editor's note

Written for an Australian audience but I have added a UK version on page 2.  Learners can draw lines to match the items or, for a reusable resource, the page could be laminated and/or cut into 12 cards. 

 

 

Level
Level 1
Level 2
Maths
Functional Maths
General numeracy / maths
Popular topics
General
Generic resources for literacy, numeracy and beyond
Context
Employment skills & Public services
Business & Money management

A topical resource based on a news story. Reading comprehension at approx. L1 plus a writing task with planning and email response sheet.

Embedded maths through reading the table. This resource also offers opportunities as a discussion starter.

Similar to the resource found here https://www.skillsworkshop.org/resources/shocking_sugar_levels_in_high_street_hot_drinks but based on a more recent news story. 

Editor's note

Level
Level 1
English
FE L1.9 Identify & understand the main points, ideas & details
FE L1.12 Recognise that language & other textual features can be varied to suit different audiences & purposes
FE L1.13 Use reference materials & appropriate strategies for a range of purposes, inc. to find word meanings
FE L1.18 Use knowledge of punctuation to aid understanding of texts
FE L1.14 Understand organisational / structural features use to locate relevant information
FE L1.24 Use format, structure & language appropriate for audience & purpose
FE L1.25 Write consistently & accurately in complex sentences, using paragraphs where appropriate
Maths
FM E3.21 Extract information from lists, tables, diagrams, charts; create frequency tables
Context
News, Politics & Government items
Catering Food Nutrition
Sport and fitness