How to Teach 'Seeking and Giving Advice' in Form Four

Welcome to UNIT 11. 4.

PREVIOUSLY:  In Unit 11.3; we discussed about ways of studying and teaching the sub topic “Writing descriptive compositions/essays” in Form Three.

In This Unit 11.4; we will discuss how to study and teach the sub topic “Seeking and giving advice” in Form Four.

(Also: For Literature in English Subject, Check out my Literature in English Blog. Also check out My Diary for Diary Writing Inspiration and More! )

Sub topic: Seeking and giving advice
Periods per sub topic: 14
Class: Form Four.

This sub topic intends to deal with how people ask/seek and give advice in English language.
We are faced by various problems, conflicts, misunderstanding, confusions and dilemmas every day in our life. These things provide us with the chance to find or ask for advice for our problems and others are in the position to give us advice on our problems. We can also advise others when they are in trouble with something.

By the end of the allocated 14 periods, the student should be able to give advice using appropriate language.

  1. Step One: Brainstorming the sub topic with students.
A teacher introduces the students to the sub topic by brainstorming with them on various aspects which are going to be covered. Ask students if they have ever been given an advice and on which issue. Also ask them if they have an experiencing of giving someone an advice. Record their responses on the board.

  1. Step Two: Introducing a Dialogue text on Giving Advice.
 A teacher writes a text on seeking and giving advice on the blackboard or supplies it to students if it is available in handouts. The text should at least be in dialogue format.


My Headache
LILIAN: Good morning, Batuli.
BATULI: Good morning, Lilian. Why are you touching your head?
LILIAN: I'm suffering from a terrible headache.
BATULI: I'm so sorry my friend.
LILIAN: Thanks. What do you think I should do?
BATULI: Why don't you drink more water? Water is good for the headache.
LILIAN: I've been drinking so much water but it is still aching very much!
BATULI: What about Panadol? Have you taken them?
LILIAN: No. But I take them and they are still not helpful. It's really confusing me. What's your advice on this?
BATULI: You should have a rest. Don't you think so?
LILIAN: Yes, I think so. But do you think I should seek more advanced medications on this?
BATULI: Yes, of course. I would go and see a doctor if I were you.
LILIAN: Thank you for your advice, Batuli.
BATULI: You are welcome!

NOTE: The italicized words are expressions used when seeking or giving advice.

  1. Step Three: Reading the dialogue aloud and answering Comprehension questions.
After giving out this model text, the teacher and students to read aloud a dialogue. The dialogues should be on seeking and giving advice like the model presented by the teacher. After reading the dialogue aloud, the teacher can provide some comprehension questions to students to test their understanding of the structures and patterns used as well as checking their understanding of the content of the text itself.

Sample Comprehension Questions:
From the model text above, the following can be some comprehension questions from it:

What is Lilian suffering from?..........................................
What is Batuli’s first advice to Lilian? ………………….
What is Batuli’s second advice to Lilian?..........................
Is Lilian happy with her problem? Why?..........................
What is Batuli’s last advice to Lilian?...............................

  1. Step Four: Seeking and Giving Advice Practice in Pairs.
The teacher to provide students situations for which they should be in pairs and develop a dialogue on seeking and giving advice.

Ask students to form pairs. One of the students in the pairs, probably Student A, should state his/her basic problem and ask for advice from another student. The following are some of the basic problems:
I have stomach ache, what should I do?
My father is very cruel, what should I do?
I need money, what should I do?

The other student, Student B, who is giving advice should start as follows:
You should…………
You must …………..
You have to ………..
You can …………….
If I were you, I could…….

  1. Step Five: Participating in role playing the dialogues.
In this step, students have to take turns to role play their dialogues. This is done as follows:
Take a student and let him explain his problem. Put him in the centre and allow others to give him advice by using the patterns you have taught them. You can form groups and let them compete. In this case, students will be role playing as seekers of advice and as advisers.

The student at the centre can have the problem like this: ‘I failed my last exams, what should I do?’, then the other students surrounding him/her can each of them provide his/her advice to him/her. This is also a good speaking and listening task to students.

  1. Step Six: Reading texts on seeking and giving advice.
For reinforcement, the teacher to instruct students to read on their own identified texts on a variety of issues including Suffering from a disease, how to take care of HIV/AIDS patients, drought, soil erosion, and other issues. These texts to be read by students should be carefully selected by the teacher so that they contain a problem or problems. The problem identified will be used by students when they discuss how to give advice about the problem they have found in the text or texts. A teacher should arrange students in the manageable divisions that suit him or her. Even the extracts from the literary works can be used to read and solve the various problems of the characters in the particular work of art.

Ask students to mention some reasons for asking an advice, that's, why people ask for an advice.
Ask them where else or on which situations they can ask for an advice in the society.
Emphasize to the students that giving and seeking advice are common behavior in our societies.

To give students group assignments where they can write their own texts on giving and seeking advice according to the topic/issues or situations they have chosen. After, writing the assignments, they can present it in the class by roleplaying the dialogue text as a group. The other students to listen them very carefully and observe them.

The sub topic is about a common experience in our societies. At the conclusion of this topic, a teacher can summarize main points of the topic like importance of seeking advice for our problems and the need to give advice to those who ask us to do so. Because these are common experiences, it therefore a good idea to understand the skills of giving advice in our communities.
Some auxiliaries used in seeking and giving advice have varying degree of importance. For example,
Can, could, and may means something is possible with 50%
Should and ought to means something should be implemented by 80%
Must and have to means something should be taken seriously by 100%



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