Notes on "Expressing Personal Opinions" in Form One

Notes on "Expressing Personal Opinions" in Form One

Welcome to UNIT 16.0

PREVIOUSLY: In Unit 15.0, we discussed about the various ways of teaching the sub topics; "Describing character" in Form One Part 1, "Describing character" in Form One Part 2 ; "Talking about marriages" in Form Two; "Writing business transaction letters"  in Form Three; and “Writing argumentative compositions/essays”  in Form Four.         

IN THIS UNIT 16.0, we will cover the sub topics; "Expressing personal opinions" in Form One; "Expressing state of health" in Form One; "Talking about funerals" in Form Two; and "Creative writing" in Form Four.

IN THIS UNIT 16.1, we will start covering the sub topic "Expressing personal opinions" in Form One.

Sub Topic: Expressing personal opinions
Periods per sub topic: 8
Class: Form One

Opinion is an idea, belief or judgement about something or somebody.
Everyone has an opinion on something. The necessary skill for any person is to understand how to present the opinion in appropriate ways.

In this sub topic/lesson, the student should be able to express his/her opinions. The student should be able to present or express his/her opinions in more persuasive ways than others.

This stage is about the preparation of the teacher before undertaking the lessons of the particular sub topic. These are all activities, procedures, materials, teaching aids, and games prepared by the teacher for teaching a sub topic:

  1. Putting heads together: Introducing the topic/lesson properly. Organising how students will be able to get to know what is the topic/lesson about. It is where teacher makes sure that students are going to be in his/her train. It includes brainstorming and familiarisation of the topic/lesson with the students.
This makes students stay together with the teacher. It is at this stage students can understand what is going to be discussed in the particular topic.

In this sub topic/lesson; a teacher will introduce the lesson to the students by discussing why and how people give their opinions.

The reason why people express their opinions is the desire to give what they have in mind or the need to defend their opinions or themselves in front of others. The teacher will guide students to the various reasons why people express their opinions on various matters.

There are various ways of expressing opinions. The teacher will guide students to the discussion of various ways of presenting or expressing opinions.

  1. Preparation of Materials. A teacher has to decide on the teaching/learning materials he/she is going to use.

In this sub topic/lesson, the teacher here has the task of preparing a relevant written text on various contemporary issues such as prostitution, child labour, early pregnancies, and road safety among others.

  1. Target Practice. Show them/Guide them to the practice of the functions of the sub topic. A teacher has to show or guide students to the target practice of the grammatical functions of the sub topic.

In this sub topic/lesson, the teacher practically helps students to demonstrate the target skills on how to apply correct expressions when presenting opinions and the common topics in which most people give out their opinions. Some of these expressions are:
What is your opinion on school rules or corporal punishment?
What is your opinion about family life education?
In my opinion, school rules are wastage of time.
What do you suggest?
Do you support his/her idea?
I'm of the opinion that.....

  1. Context-Based Practice. A teacher leads students to the discussion on how the target grammatical functions practised earlier can be applied or integrated into the contexts and situations. The students are guided by the teacher to apply the learnt skills in relevant contexts and situations like school and library.

In this sub topic/lesson, when it comes to the giving out of opinions, everyone can participate. Opinions can be experienced in any context. The common contexts for expressing opinions are at home, school, street, classroom, town/city, and playground. In these settings, there are always arguments that prompt people to challenge each other by expressing their concerns and opinions on the matters on the table.

  1. Vocabulary Building Practice. At this time, teacher discusses with the students on the vocabularies and phrases to apply in the already mentioned contexts and situations.

In this sub topic/lesson, the teacher will guide students to discuss the most commonly applied vocabularies when giving opinions which are: argue, debate, suggest, propose, oppose, opinions, advice, support, against, idea, team, defend, rules, HIV/AIDS, corporal punishment, school routine, transport, view, disagree.

Guide the students to the full sub topic/lesson procedures, activities and games for better understanding of the sub topic by following these activities:

Activity One: Brainstorming the sub topic/lesson through oral questions with answers, pair works, and group discussions of all important concepts to get students on track.

In this activity, the teacher will guide students to brainstorm about the sub topic/lesson and basic terms opinion and feeling. An opinion is an idea, belief, or judgement of something or about somebody. Feeling is a state, belief or impression in which someone places his/her confidence.

Also, in this activity, teacher will have to ask students why they decide to express their opinions and what they do when they want to express their opinions in front of others.

Activity Two: Teacher's application of his/models or examples so as to bring the topic/lesson and the students into the real or common sense of the topic/lesson.

In this activity, the teacher will provide students with the prepared texts for them to read. These texts should be based on the common topics such as early marriages, child labour or road safety.

Teacher's Model
The Causes of Road Accidents
ASHA: Hello, Juma.
JUMA: Hello, Asha. How are you?
ASHA: I'm fine. I have a question for you, Juma. Are you ready?
JUMA: Yes, I am.
ASHA: What do you think about road accidents?
JUMA: I think road accidents are many these days. Every time, ambulances are busy carrying injured people and sometimes dead ones.
ASHA: What are the causes of these accidents?
JUMA: In my opinion, the causes of these accidents are many, but one of them is carelessness of the drivers and car owners.
ASHA: Why do you say car owners and drivers are the main causatives for road accidents?
JUMA: I believe that the car owners are responsible because they should make sure their cars are well maintained and operative.
ASHA: And what about drivers? Why should be blamed?
JUMA: Yes, of course. Drivers are also responsible because they are the ones who take care of the vehicles and they are the ones who should strictly observe road signs!
ASHA: I am sorry I disagree with you in one thing. I feel that pedestrians, cart pushers, and pastoralists are also responsible because they sometimes cause accidents when they misuse the roads.
JUMA: It is true. But they are not core causatives to the large extent.
ASHA: It might be that, but accident is always bad. The important thing is for everyone to play part in making sure everyone is safe.
JUMA: You are absolutely right!

Activity Three: Students' Participation. Showing students how models like that of a teacher can be applied by them. Here students need to be guided on how to use given expressions, structures, vocabulary, and phrases or similar ones.

In this activity, the teacher guides students to choose the topic they would like to express their personal opinions. For instance, the students may agree upon the topic "Co-education schools are better than single-sex schools". After choosing the topic of their preference, the teacher guides them to give their personal opinions on that chosen subject in the form of class discussion. The teacher creates cards. These cards are either written 'YES' or 'NO'. The teacher asks students to form groups and each group should pick one card and come out with their opinions about the side of the topic they have taken.

Activity Four: Debate Time. Taking/leading students to the real situations or contexts where they can apply what they have mastered. Here speaking, reading or writing activities are involved.

In this activity, the teacher will now introduce students to debates.
Debate is a place or event where people express their personal opinions on a particular topic. Participants in debates can argue for or against the opinions.

(Click for Debate Time Expressions to check more debate expressions)

In conducting debates, the following five aspects are observed:
A. Asking for an opinion
What do you think about corporal punishment?
What is your opinion on boarding school?
What is your view on school rules?

B. Expressing an opinion
I think that corporal punishment is important
I think that boarding school is better
I believe that school rules are necessary
I feel that early pregnancies are bad in the society
My opinion is that corporal punishment is good
My view is that all school rules should be observed

C. Supporting an opinion
I argue for the opinion that school rules are necessary
I support the opinion that corporal punishment should be abolished
I am of the opinion that all schools should have dormitories
I agree with the motion
I agree with the argument
I support the view that students should all be sent to dormitories.

D. Opposing an opinion
I oppose the motion
I oppose the opinion that school rules should be abolished
I am against the motion
I am against the argument
I disagree with the motion
I disagree with the opinion that corporal punishment should be abolished
I do not support the view that school rules are necessary

E. Expressing a doubt in opinion
It is possible that truancy is bad, but ......
There is a possibility that corporal punishment is bad, however...
It might be that, but...
It is possible, but....
Maybe school rules are necessary
Perhaps students should all be sent to dormitories

When we are arguing or debating on something, we have to support, oppose, or express a doubt on opinion. We do this by giving evidences. We give information and points that prove our views.

After, guiding Form One Students to the meaning of debate, management of debates, and procedures of conducting debates, the students have to debate on a chosen topic/subject.

The teacher prepares the Class Level Debate. For example, the motion can be "Corporal punishment should be abolished in schools". This debate should be announced some days before the debate day so that students can have enough time to prepare themselves.

Additional Activity: As a teacher, what other activity can be applied in this sub topic/lesson? You can always drop your alternative activity or activities to this article so as to improve teaching and learning of ‘O’ Level English Blog!

Expressing personal opinions
In expressing opinions in discussions or debates, we apply various Transitions: Conjunctions, and expressions. For more on these commonly used expressions, check the previous article on HOW TO CONDUCT DEBATES

Opinions are important in any society. The teacher can ask students to think on how opinions are crucial in development of any society. The teacher also asks students to tell the real contexts in which they express their personal opinions or in which they find people arguing for or against various opinions.

A teacher should design an evaluation for students by using appropriate assessment tools like oral questions or assignments so that to see if the student is able to clearly express his/her opinions on familiar issues.

Assessment #01: Group work.
Ask students to be in two groups in their own class. Also ask them to brainstorm on the motion they like to debate on. After presenting the motion, allow them to debate on it. This is class debate.

Assessment #02: Pair works.
In pairs, allow students to decide on which motion they might like to give their opinions. The two students can present their opinions before the class. Each of them (in the pair) should argue for and another student should argue against the motion.

Assessment #03: Individual work.
Ask students to individually write the opinions of a particular motion. For example, a teacher can give students this motion: “Women should be own land”. Ask students to argue for or against this motion.

Note: You can give students more individual works, pair works, and group works to facilitate their interaction and understanding of the sub topic or lesson. As English language teacher you have to give students more works to do. Because language is meant to be largely spoken and written, the teacher should rely on written exercises and notes. Instead students have to learn English language by vigorously exercising individually, in pairs, and in groups.

One of the important rights of a person is the freedom of expression. This right gives a person a chance to express his or her opinion on a certain issue provided that he/she does not violate the laws or insults others.

NOTE: These stages explained above are not necessarily covered in a single lesson of single or double period. Remember that this is the guide for teaching the whole sub topic which has periods ranging from 6 to 20. So, the teacher's task is to divide these stages according to the total number of periods for a particular sub topic.


Title: “Form One English Language Notes with Grammar, Exercises and Key Answers”
Edition: 1st (2022)
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Pages: 242
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This article is about how to study and teach Expressing Personal Opinions in Form One. As a student or teacher, what is your opinion on how to study and teach this sub topic/lesson?
Your opinion is worth and I believe that it can make these materials better for our own consumption.

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Check out how to Study & Teach other Form One Sub Topics in this Blog!
And many more from ‘O’ Level English Blog!

Also check out how to Study & Teach the following Form Two Sub Topics in this Blog!
And many more from ‘O’ Level English Blog!

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Emmanuel Kachele

Emmanuel Kachele is a founder and Blogger of KACHELE ONLINE Blog, an educational blog where 'O' Level English - 'OLE', 'A' Level English (ALE) and other related teaching and life skills are shared extensively. This is an online center for all Tanzanian Secondary School English Language students and teachers (Forms I-VI) and all interested English Language learners and teachers worldwide.

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