Discussion points

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

Pack contains reading, writing and discussion activities. Learners are required to plan, discuss and write a letter to apply for a job. Reading a job vacancy description and answering questions about the content is required before the letter is written. The pack also includes a role play section.

Level
L2
L1
E3
English
Functional English - writing
Functional English - speaking, listening & communicating
Functional English - reading
General literacy / English
ESOL
General ESOL
Context
Employment skills & Public services

The main resource has four pages. Three of the pages contain a chart and a brief to a group of students to discuss and write some sentences saying what the chart tells them. The twist is that each group of 3 students has a different chart drawn from the same data as the groups next to them. The fourth page has the table from which the charts were drawn.

The charts used are: dual/clustered bar chart comparing types of drink sold on two days. A stacked/composite bar chart and a percentage bar chart of the same data.

Level
L2
L1
Maths
HD1/L2.1
HD1/L1.1
Functional Maths - handling information and data
Context
Retail Hospitality Customer service

Uses the call-and-response song “Knock on Wood” from “Casablanca” to discuss superstitions (touch wood), opposites, emotions, and contracted words.

Two pages, the first of which has the vocabulary and song lyrics printed out for students, the second is the teacher’s lesson plan. Teachers will either need a “Casablanca” DVD or access the song clip from YouTube.

Level
L1
E3
ESOL
General ESOL
Context
Art Film Media Music TV

This is a combination of speaking & listening, note taking & writing, that I have used successfully as an ice breaker with new groups. It involves learners talking to several people and finding out about their food likes & dislikes (plus allergies, religious considerations etc) before planning a menu for a dinner party. The menu must be acceptable to all the guests! Finally each learner produces their menu presented in a conventional style.

Level
E3
English
Functional English - writing
Functional English - speaking, listening & communicating
General literacy / English
Context
Catering Food Nutrition
Art Film Media Music TV

This resource arose from a conversation with a learner who had lost their debit card a number of times in the cash machine because they couldn’t read the screen fast enough.

I used it by discussing each of the screens with learners and then having them work through the reading text and the accompanying exercises. Even better, if you have access to the internet, you can show different images of ATM screens and discuss them.

Level
E3
E2
E1
English
General literacy / English
Functional Skills English
Context
Independent living
Business & Money management

Simplified texts and DARTS activities with follow up writing tasks at E1 and E2.
Based on material from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website http://hmd.org.uk/
Prior to completing the reading and writing tasks the class listened to a podcast of a survivor talking about their experiences.The material from both the listening activity (http://hmd.org.uk/resources/podcasts/i-was-there)

Level
E2
E1
English
General literacy / English
Functional Skills English
Context
History

A list of passport prices (converted into £ January 2012) and a set of associated questions.
Useful in Functional English as a discussion or research prompt, especially just before the summer holiday season.

Level
L1
E3
E2
English
Engage in Discussion
Functional English - speaking, listening & communicating
Context
Leisure Travel Tourism

A collection of resources based around the BBC programme CrimeWatch.
Designed with L1 Functional English students in mind, the lesson can lead in to further discussion about crime, security, safety etc.

Editor’s note
The PPT also acts as a lesson outline which covers the following learning objectives.

Level
L1
L2
English
General literacy / English
Functional Skills English
Context
Employment skills & Public services
Art Film Media Music TV

Based on an hilarious Comics Relief YouTube clip. A great way to get students to look at conversations in speaking and listening or to look at humour, irony and sarcasm.

You can vary the questions or just use them as a discussion prompt. I have found it works well with lower level learners and with higher ones as well. Even students who don’t like the shows or the people will have some comments

Level
L2
L1
E3
English
Functional English - speaking, listening & communicating
Speaking & Listening
Context
Voluntary & Charity
Education

Writing, discussion and research prompts particularly useful for sport students at all levels. Inspired by Carrie Bray’s “Giving beauty/hair advice” resource (see below).

You could cut out scenarios and use them to start a discussion, which could lead into individual or paired research and written responses. I’ve also used them to prompt email and letter writing with templates / frames for lower level learners.

Level
E3
L1
L2
English
Engage in Discussion
Functional English - writing
Writing: text focus (composition)
Functional English - speaking, listening & communicating
Speaking & Listening
Context
Sport
Health, Social care, Early years