Giving Advice ESL Activities, Games and Worksheets

Advice for Aches and Pains

ESL Giving Health Advice Game - Matching, Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

In this free giving health advice activity, students play a pelmanism game where they match pictures to health problems. The students then practice giving advice for the health problems shown on the cards. Give each pair of students a set of picture cards and a set of health problem cards. The students shuffle the sets of cards separately and spread them out face down on the table in two sets. Students then take it in turns to turn over one picture card and one health problem card. If the cards match, the student keeps the cards and has another turn. If the cards don't match, the student turns them back over, keeping them in the same place. The game continues until all the cards have been matched. The student with the most pairs of cards at the end of the game wins. Next, write some structures for giving advice on the board and review them with the class. The pairs then shuffle their picture cards and place them face down in a pile. The students take it in turns to turn over a picture card and say they have the health problem shown in the picture, e.g. 'I've got a cold'. The other student then uses the language on the board to give advice to their partner, e.g. 'You should take some medicine and go to bed'. Students continue like this until all the picture cards have been used. Afterwards, pairs of students model their dialogues to the rest of the class.
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Giving Advice Game

ESL Giving Advice Game - Reading and Writing Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

In this fun giving advice teaching activity, students play a game where they have five minutes to write down as many pieces of advice as they can for a given situation. Give students a language structure for giving advice, e.g. 'You should...' Divide the students into teams of three. Write a situation on the board, e.g. 'I just had a car accident'. Teams then have five minutes to write down as many pieces of advice as they can for the situation using the structure, e.g. 'You should call the police'. When the five-minute time limit has been reached, the teams swap papers for marking. Teams score one point for each appropriate piece of advice. Play further rounds using a different situation and structure for giving advice each time. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Should and Shouldn't Board Game

ESL Should and Shouldn't Board Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

In this fun giving advice board game, students read problems and give advice with should and shouldn't. Give each groups of three or four a copy of the game board, a dice and counters. The players take it in turns to roll the dice and move their counter along the board. When a player lands on a square, they read the problem and give a piece of advice, saying one thing the person should do and one thing they shouldn't do. For example, if the square read 'I'm always late for class', the player might say 'You should leave home earlier. You shouldn't forget what time you need to leave'. The other students listen to the advice and judge the player's response. If it's grammatically correct and appropriate, the player stays on the square. If not, the player must go back to their previous square. The next player then rolls the dice and so on. If a player lands on a square that another student has previously landed on, they must give different advice from before. The first player to reach the finish wins the game. If you have a weak class, you can have the students play by giving one piece of advice with should or shouldn't. The game can also be played with other phrases for giving advice.
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Advice Dominoes

ESL Giving Advice Game - Reading and Matching Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 20 minutes

In this engaging giving advice activity, students play a game of dominoes to practice the zero and first conditional for giving advice. Give each group of three a set of dominoes. The students shuffle the dominoes and deal out four each, leaving the rest in a pile face down. The top domino from the pile is then placed face up on the table. The first player puts down one of their dominoes on either side of the domino on the table, making sure that the 'main' and 'if' clause go together to make a zero or first conditional sentence for giving advice. If a player cannot put down one of their dominoes, they take one from the top of the pile and put it down if they can. The other players then take it in turns to match their dominoes in the same way by putting them down at either end of the domino chain and making a suitable conditional sentence for giving advice. The first player to get rid of all their dominoes wins the game.
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Advice for the Modern World

ESL Giving Advice Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 40 minutes

In this giving advice worksheet activity, students play a game where they give advice for modern-day situations. This activity helps to teach students how to give advice using four different structures. After practicing the four structures for giving advice and discussing the concept of etiquette, divide the students into pairs. Working together, the students write four pieces of advice for the modern-day situations on the worksheet using a different structure for giving advice each time. The situations cover things like using a mobile phone, using social networks, etc. When the students have finished, each pair joins with another pair. One pair chooses a modern-day situation at random and reads one of their pieces of advice to the other pair. The other pair then guesses which situation the advice is for. If the pair guesses correctly, they score four points. If they guess incorrectly, the pair reads a second piece of advice for three points and so on. When a pair guesses a situation successfully or all four pieces of advice have been read out, the pairs swap roles. This process continues until both pairs have given advice for all the situations on their worksheet. The pairs then play a second round where they take it in turns to read out all four pieces of advice for each modern-day situation. If a pair has a piece of advice that is different from the other pair, they score a point. The pair with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Advice Needed

ESL Giving Advice Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this free 'should' for advice activity, students play a game where they practice giving advice with the modal verb 'should'. Give each group of four a set of cards, which they shuffle and place face down in a pile on the desk. Students take it in turns to pick up a card, read out the situation on the card and ask for advice. The other students then each give a different piece of advice for the situation using the modal verb 'should'. The student with the card listens and awards the card to the person who gives the best advice. The next student then picks up a card and so on. This continues until there are no more cards left. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins. Afterwards, there is a class feedback session to find out the best advice given for each situation.
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Agony Aunt

ESL Giving Advice Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this intriguing giving advice activity, students take on the role of an agony aunt called Abby. Give each student a card. Each card contains a short letter to Abby asking for advice about a particular problem. Working alone, the students write a reply, giving advice for the problem on their card. When the students have finished, collect in the cards. Next, divide the students into four groups and give each group a set of replies to one problem and a corresponding blank card to write a final reply. Working with the people in their group, the students read and discuss all the advice given for their problem. The group then chooses the best advice and writes a final response on the blank card. Afterwards, the groups take it in turns to read their problem and advice to the class. After each group has spoken, the other students say whether they agree with the advice or not.
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Asking For and Giving Advice Lesson

ESL Giving Advice Lesson - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 50 minutes

Here is a free giving advice lesson to help students learn how to ask for and give advice on everyday topics. Give each student a copy of the lesson. Students begin by reviewing language for asking and giving advice. Students then write a list of ten things that they would ask advice for, e.g. a low GPA, a broken heart, etc. Next, students write mini-dialogues, asking for and giving advice on their ten topics. After that, the students role-play the mini-dialogues with a partner. The students then pretend they run an online advice column. Students read three emails asking for advice and write replies, giving the best advice they can. Finally, the students read out their replies and the other students say whether they agree with the advice or not.
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Asking For and Giving Advice Interactive Lesson

ESL Giving Advice Interactive Lesson - Reading and Writing Exercises - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 50 minutes

Here is a free interactive PDF version of the above lesson for people teaching English online. The interactive lesson contains a variety of online exercises to help students learn how to ask for and give advice on common topics.
 

Careers Advice

ESL Giving Careers Advice Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 40 minutes

In this giving advice activity, students give careers advice for different jobs. Give each group of four to six a set of job cards. In their groups, the students complete each job card with career advice for someone who would want to do that job in the future. When everyone has finished, groups take it in turns to read out the advice on one of their job cards, without saying what the job is. The other groups listen and try to guess which job they are giving career advice for. The first group to guess correctly scores a point. This continues until all the cards have been read out. The group with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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I've got a Problem

ESL Stating Problems and Giving Advice Activity - Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

This fun giving advice activity helps to teach students how to state problems and give advice with should, ought to and had better. Divide the students into two groups, Problem People and Advice Givers. The problem people think of a minor problem they have and are willing to talk about, e.g. 'I'm always late to class'. Each problem person then pairs up with an advice giver. The problem person explains their problem and the advice giver gives a piece of advice using one of the three phrases, e.g. 'You ought to organize your time better'. The problem person then moves on to ask advice from another advice giver. This continues until the problem person has received five pieces of advice. Then, the students swap roles and repeat the activity. After the activity has been completed, students state their problem and report to the class on the best and worst piece of advice they received using the target language.
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Problems and Advice

ESL Problems and Advice Game - Reading, Writing and Matching Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

In this giving advice activity, students complete cards with problems and advice. Students then use the cards to play a game where they match the problems and advice together. Give each pair of students a copy of the worksheet. The students begin by completing sentences stating problems, e.g. 'I've got...' When the students have completed the worksheet with problems, each pair joins with another pair and exchanges worksheets. The pairs read the problems on their new worksheet and write advice for each one. The pairs then cut the worksheet into problem cards (2 parts) and advice cards. Each student takes four problem cards and two advice cards. The rest of the cards are placed in two piles. One student begins by putting down a card showing the first half of a problem. The next student must complete the problem using one of his or her cards. The following student must then put down a card showing a matching piece of advice for the problem. If the student manages to do this, he or she keeps the three cards and puts down the first half of a new problem. If a student cannot put down a suitable card at any time, the student picks one up from the appropriate pile and it's the next student's turn to put down a card. The player with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
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Should, Ought to, Had Better Worksheet

ESL Giving Advice Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

Here is a giving advice worksheet to help students learn and practice how to give advice using should, ought to, and had better. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students start by finding and correcting mistakes in pieces of advice. Next, students unscramble words to make advice and then match the advice with problems. Finally, students read each problem. The students then choose a suitable piece of advice for the problem from a box and write a sentence with it using should, ought to, or had better. When the students have finished, go through the advice they gave for each problem and offer feedback.
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Should, Ought to, Had Better Interactive Worksheet

ESL Giving Advice Interactive Worksheet - Reading, Matching and Writing Exercises - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

This is an interactive PDF version of the above worksheet for English teachers working online. In the interactive worksheet, students complete a range of online exercises to learn how to give advice using should, ought to, and had better.
 

Guess the Problem

ESL Giving Advice Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this giving advice teaching activity, students play a game where they guess problems from the advice given. Give each group of four a set of problem cards, which they shuffle and place face down in a pile on the desk. Students take it in turns to pick up a card and read the problem on the card. The student then starts giving advice for the problem on the card. The other students listen and try to guess what the problem is. The first student to guess the problem wins and keeps the card. If no one manages to guess the problem after lots of advice has been given, the student giving the advice keeps the card. The next student then picks up a card and so on. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
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Jon's Story

ESL Giving Advice Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

In this rewarding giving advice worksheet activity, students read a short story and then write advice for the people in the story. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. The students read the short story on the worksheet together as a class. The students then write two pieces of advice for each person in the story using should, shouldn't, ought to or had better. When the students have finished writing, divide them into groups of four. The students take it in turns to read their advice to the group. The group members discuss the advice and try to come up with one piece of sound advice for each person. Afterwards, the groups report back to the class on the advice they came up with.
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The Best Advice

ESL Asking for and Giving Advice Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 35 minutes

Here is a giving advice class activity to help teach students how to ask for and give advice. Give each student a problem card and an advice card. In pairs, the students have two minutes to ask their partner for advice about the problem on their card and write down the advice they receive. When the two minutes are up, students pair up with a new partner and repeat the process until they have spoken to eight people. When the students have finished, they choose the best piece of advice and write on their card why they think it's the best. Afterwards, the students tell the class about their problem and the best advice they received.
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Travel Advice - Printable Version

ESL Giving Travel Advice Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this rewarding giving advice worksheet activity, students write travel advice for a place they know well and then use the advice in a guessing game. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. The students think of a country, city or place they know well. The students write the name of the place in the space provided and then complete sentences with travel advice for first-time visitors. Students can give advice on things like climate, public transport, customs, taxis, crime, shopping, food and drink, etc. When the students have finished writing, divide them into groups of four or five. Students then take it in turns to read their travel advice to the group, without saying the name of the place. The other students in the group listen and guess which country, city or place the student is giving advice for. Afterwards, the groups choose one student from their group to read their travel advice to the class for them to guess.
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Travel Advice Interactive Worksheet

ESL Giving Travel Advice Interactive Worksheet - Reading, Writing and Listening Exercise - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

Here is an interactive PDF version of the above activity for English teachers who are working online. In the interactive activity, students do an online exercise where they write travel advice for somewhere they know well and then use the advice in a guessing game.
 

What should I do?

ESL Giving Advice Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

In this captivating giving advice activity, students play a game where they try to give the best advice for a variety of problems. Give each group of four a set of cards, which they shuffle and place face down in a pile on the desk. Students take it in turns to pick up a card and read out the problem on the card to the group. The other students listen and then each give some advice in turn. The student with the card listens and awards the card to the person who he or she thinks has given the best advice. The next student then picks up a card and so on. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins. When everyone has finished, students report back to the class on the best or worst piece of advice they received for each problem.
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