An orignal activity to get students practicing giving advice

Age: Adults

Level: Pre-intermediate - advanced

Time: 20 minutes

Objectives: To practice giving advice

Key skills: Writing, reading

Materials: board, board pens, sound effects, slips of paper, pens


1 Ask students how they get advice when they have a problem and write some of their ideas up on the board.

2 Give out the slips of paper. Ask each student to write down three problems they have in the form of questions, for example:

1. How can I save some money?

2. How can I get along better with my roommate?

3. How can I lose weight?

3 Give the students some time to write, making sure they write their names on the slips of paper. Then collect in the papers.

4 Tell students you are going to introduce them to a new way of finding solutions to their problems. You are going to play a sound effect, and they are going to think of a solution to another student’s problem using that sound. For example: the sound of a dog barking for the question How can I make new friends? might inspire one student to write, Go to a dog show and ask lots of questions while another student might suggest Get a pet dog and take him for a walk in the park to meet new people.

5 Pass out the slips, and check that everyone has someone else’s paper. Then play a sound effect, repeat it and give students time to write an answer. Repeat the procedure two more times with two different sound effects.

6 When finished, let students return their papers to their original authors. Ask a few students to share the advice they have received with the class.

Notes: You may wish to demonstrate this technique first so the students know what they are doing. It is also more interesting to choose the sound effects randomly.

Variation: Students can write out questions they want to ask a fortune teller.

  • Sound effects can be downloaded from