Giving Advice Lesson Plan (Advanced ESL)

Download the Giving Advice Lesson Plan (ESL) here: Giving-Advice-ESL-Advanced-09032013.doc

Giving Advice Lesson Plan (ESL): Advanced

A lesson on giving advice

Giving Advice Lesson Plan (ESL): Warm-Up Activity

  1. In two minutes, write down two (or more) problems each of the following groups of people might have: students, workers, and the elderly.
  2. When finished, role-play the problems with a partner. For example, “I’m a student and I have a problem: I’m failing all my courses.” The other student should give advice. When giving advice, try to use each of the below structures:
How about…
I suggest…
Why don’t…
If I were you…
My advice would be…
Have you thought about…
I highly recommend…

Reading: Questions from Advice Columns

(!! Teachers: pre-read this section to ensure it’s appropriate for your class.)

Background: Newspapers and magazines often carry an advice column, which contains questions submitted by readers and responses written by an ‘expert’ columnist. Take turns reading the below questions to your classmates or teacher. Role-play the situation, ask follow-up questions, and try to get and give sound advice.
1)     Dear Abby, I’m 28 and my boyfriend of five years is 29. I’m ready to get married and he’s flat-out not, but wants us to stay together. Our maturity levels vary greatly. I’m getting my Ph.D. while working full time. He has a job, but can’t save or manage money and he just wants to stay out and party. He’s very affectionate and constantly tells me he loves me, but regarding getting married, he always says things like, “It’ll be our turn one day,” or says he’ll propose by the end of X month, but never does. In general, he can’t articulate himself in an argument and often refuses to discuss unpleasant topics (money, bills, or emotional issues). Everyone around us is getting married, and in our society, there are articles and websites that say a man’s proposal is the ultimate way of showing his devotion and love. I try to remember that my value comes from within, but I need to know that the man I love wants me that much, and forever. –Waiting
2)     Dear Ely, I’m getting old, and I hate it. My skin is wrinkling, my face is sagging, my hair is turning gray, my teeth are turning yellow, and my boobs are drooping. I’m starting to look like an old lady, but I’m only 55. I feel like I should still be in the prime of my life. I’m not ready to be elderly. I refuse to fade into decrepitude. I want to be youthful and attractive forever. Help me look younger! Help me find the fountain of youth! -Old Before My Time
3)     Dear Ely, I’m single and sick of it. I don’t want to be alone anymore. I’m thinking of joining an online dating site, but I’m not sure if I should. It’s embarrassing to admit that I can’t meet anyone on my own, and if I met a boyfriend online I’m afraid that people would think I’m a pathetic loser. I’m also afraid that a guy I meet online might turn out to be a freak or a creep or a pervert – the Internet is teeming with predators. But the biggest reason I’m hesitant to dive into online dating is that I’m a big believer in fate. I always thought that one day I would look across a crowded room and see the man of my dreams staring back at me with a love-struck look on his face. I guess it might be time to give up on destiny and let some computer program match me with someone. What should I do? – Mindy
4)     Dear Caroline, how do I know if my pre-wedding jitters are normal or a sign I should call things off?
5)     Dear Ely, my teenage son is such an idiot. A few months ago he started dating this dark-spirited death girl, and she has him convinced that he’s a vampire. Now he’s dyed his hair black, and he dresses in black shirts, tight black pants, and black boots. He hides in his dark room all day, to the point that he’s becoming pale and sickly. He built himself a coffin to sleep in. He wears fake fangs, and he wants me to pay for oral surgery so he can have “real fangs” implanted. Creepiest of all, he wears a small glass vial of his girlfriend’s blood around his neck. In just a few months, my son has turned from a sweet young man into a grotesque freak of nature. What can I do to save him from his stupidity? -Vampire Mom
6)     Dear Coco, I don’t have any friends at school. How can I be cool? – Little Timmy
7)     Dear Abby, I have a man I can’t trust. He cheats so much, I’m not even sure the baby I’m carrying is his. – Sue

Giving Advice Lesson Plan (ESL): Vocabulary Matching

Match the words with their meaning as used in the news lesson.
sound (adj)
flat-out (adv)
articulate (verb)
devotion (noun)
droop (verb)
decrepit (adj)
creep (noun)
teem (verb)
jitter (noun)
vial (noun)
grotesque (adj)
  • sound – based on good sense and judgement
  • flat-out – without hesitation or reservation, unequivocally
  • articulate – express an idea or feeling fluently and coherently
  • devotion – love loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause
  • droop – bend or hang downward limply
  • decrepit – elderly and weak
  • creep – a detestable person
  • teem – be full or or swarming with sth
  • jitters – feelings of extreme nervousness
  • vial – a small container, usually made of glass, for liquid medicine
  • grotesque – repulsively ugly

Giving Advice Lesson Plan (ESL): Connect the below idea(s) to make a sentence.

government / uprising
sound / judgement
grotesque / flat-out
articulate / feelings
devotion / wife
decrepit / droop
creep / Internet
jitters / call (sth) off
teem / grotesque
freak of nature / vial

Giving Advice Lesson Plan (ESL): Discussion Questions

1)     Are you in need of any advice?
2)     Who do you go to when you need advice? What do you think of therapists?
3)     What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
4)     What important advice you want to pass on to your children?
5)     Most advice columns seem to be written by women. Why do you think that is?

Why men shouldn't write advice columns

(original source unknown)

Giving Advice Lesson Plan (ESL) copyright Matthew Barton of

Was this helpful? Donate to our web hosting bill to show your support!

9 comments on “Giving Advice Lesson Plan (Advanced ESL)

  1. Katherine Torres (Posted on 7-9-2013 at 19:13) Reply

    Its very funny, because the expert understood other think and her advice wasn’t correct for Sheila. I have fun when read this article.

  2. João Adriano Freitas (Posted on 9-29-2013 at 16:52) Reply

    The best part of the lesson is “Why men shouldn’t write advice columns”.

  3. emily (Posted on 11-5-2013 at 20:33) Reply

    well if you like a person you should tell them how you fell because sometime they have sense but because they like you it is hard for them to show it or maybe some time you should ask them out

  4. Neil (Posted on 4-19-2014 at 10:51) Reply

    I love your site as I have used your material successfully with students. It has also encouraged me to create my own lessons from the news etc.

    One observation is that in your GIVING ADVICE advanced lesson it mentions that there are questions submitted by readers and answers from expert columnists. There is no advice from columnists on the page.

    Sorry for this, I`m not complaining, but just letting you know.



    1. mb Post author (Posted on 4-19-2014 at 11:38) Reply

      Thanks Neil. I've clarified the wording a bit in the lesson plan. If you create any lessons that you think would be useful for the site, please let me know! – MB

  5. Pak Wright (Posted on 10-9-2014 at 18:31) Reply

    I actually used this as a kickstart of ideas for teaching advice writing in Indonesian. Great suggestions – but the article is the best part as well!

  6. Nicole (Posted on 4-6-2015 at 21:41) Reply

    hilarious article just wondering if any of them will get it

  7. Robbert (Posted on 12-3-2017 at 10:21) Reply

    Funny as hell but I can’t do this with my Russian students. They would be shocked by the sexual content.

  8. Zelalem (Posted on 11-14-2019 at 03:27) Reply

    Zelalem Wow !it is very interesting to have such wonderful page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.