Giving Advice

Students practise giving advice using should/shouldn’t.

What You Need

1 x DimmiDeck or selection of photographs showing people with different problems. You can now purchase a standard DimmiDeck here.

If you are using the DimmiDeck, choose The Artist,  The Secretary, The Teacher ♀, The Waitress, The Electrician and The Postwoman as your examples.

Pre prepare the following sentences on separate strips of paper for the Practice phase.

  • This person is worried about hygiene at work
  • This person is bored of their job
  • This person uses a lot of energy at work and is always too tired to socialise afterwards
  • This person didn’t get enough training and often has accidents
  • This person is tired of working with children

Print off the following situation cards for the Produce phase.

  • I found a wallet full of money on the street. What should I do?
  • I think my girlfriend/boyfriend is cheating on me. What should I do?
  • I haven’t done my English homework and it’s due today. What should I do?
  • I accidentally scratched my dad’s Mercedes. What should I do?
  • I can’t stand my new colleague at work! What should I do?
  • I really want to stop smoking but it’s too difficult. What should I do?

Suggested Lesson Plan

This lesson follows a simple PPP format, Present, Practise, Produce.


  1. Show The Artist to the students. Elicit her job, and what she does (artist, paint).
  2. Write the phrase ‘She doesn’t know what to paint and does not feel inspired’ on the board. Clarify the meaning.
  3. Try to elicit ‘should/shouldn’t’ with a question. ‘How can she find inspiration? How can she find a subject to paint? What advice would you give her?’
  4. Ideal answers could be ‘she should go to an art gallery for inspiration’ or ‘she should try a new style of painting’. I think she shouldn’t work so hard and she should take a break to rest her mind’. Encourage answers along these lines, and guide the students to use the target language.
  5. Clarify the MPF of ‘should/shouldn’t’ once it has been elicited or presented.


  1. Give the students the five sentences and the five remaining cards.
  2. Ask students to match the sentences to the person in the cards (waitress, secretary, postwoman, electrician, teacher)
  3. Once the students have matched the pictures, clarify the answers and give feedback as necessary.
  4. Next, ask the students in pairs to each give a piece of advice to each person using ‘should/shouldn’t.
  5. Provide language feedback as necessary


  1. Now that the students have practised using ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t for giving advice, they need an opportunity to produce it more freely. Print off the sentences for the Production phase.
  2. Give each student a sentence at random.
  3. Make sure the students understand their sentences (they can check in pairs or with you)
  4. In pairs or as a mingle activity have the students present their problems to their partners. Their partner must then respond with some relevant advice.
  5. Teacher monitors and gives feedback at the end.

This is a nice example of DimmiDeck being used to introduce language, and how it can form the basis of an entire communicative lesson. Enjoy!

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