Giving Advice ESL Activities, Games and Worksheets

Advice for Aches and Pains

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

In this giving health advice game, students match pictures to health problems. The students then practice giving advice for the health problems shown on the cards. In pairs, students 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. 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. In their pairs, students take turns turning over a picture card and saying that 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'. Afterwards, pairs of students model their dialogues to the rest of the class.
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Should and Shouldn't

ESL Should and Shouldn't Worksheet - Reading and Writing Exercises - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

Here is a should worksheet to help students learn and practice giving advice with should and shouldn't. Students begin by reading sentences about giving advice and answering three questions. The students then match problems with the correct advice. Next, the students circle 'should' or 'shouldn't' in a set of sentences. The students then move on to complete each sentence with 'should' or 'shouldn't' and a verb from the box. In pairs, students then read problems and write some advice in response to each one using 'should' or 'shouldn't'. Finally, the students write down two problems of their own, ending with the question 'What should I do?' The students then read their problems to their partner who gives them advice using should or shouldn't.
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Whats your advice?

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

In this giving advice game, teams have five minutes to write down as many pieces of advice as they can for a given situation, scoring points for each appropriate sentence. In each round, give students a different structure for giving advice to use, e.g. 'You should...' 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 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. 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. 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 giving advice with conditionals game, students play dominoes to practice the zero and first conditional for giving advice. 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. 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 Everyday Advice Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 40 minutes

In this giving advice game, students write advice for modern-day situations and then play a guessing game using the advice. In pairs, 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. Each pair then 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 Should 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'. 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. 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, give each group of four a set of replies to one problem and a corresponding blank card to write a final reply. In their groups, 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

ESL Giving Advice Worksheet - Reading and Writing Exercises - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

Here is a free giving advice worksheet to help students learn how to ask for and give advice on everyday topics. Students start by reviewing language for asking and giving advice. Students then write a list of six 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 six 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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Interactive Version - This free giving advice interactive lesson contains a variety of exercises to help students practice asking for and giving advice on common topics.

 

Careers Advice

ESL 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. In groups, students complete each job card with career advice for someone who would want to do that job in the future. Groups then 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. 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 giving advice speaking 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 stating problems and 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. In pairs, students begin by completing sentences stating problems, e.g. 'I've got...' Each pair then 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. 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 their 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, they keep the three cards and puts down the first half of a new problem. The player with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
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Should, Ought to, Had Better

ESL Giving Advice Worksheet - Reading and Writing Exercises - 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. 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.
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Interactive Version - In this giving advice interactive worksheet, students work through a range of exercises to learn how to use 'should', 'ought to' and 'had better' to give advice.

 

Guess the Problem

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

In this giving advice speaking activity, students play a game where they guess problems from the advice given. 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 state 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 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 activity, students read a short story and then write advice for the people in the story. First, 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. Next, in groups, 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 Stating Problems and Giving Advice Activity - Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 35 minutes

In this stating problems and giving advice activity, students ask for and give advice and then choose the best piece of advice they received, giving reasons for their answer. 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

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

In this giving travel advice activity, students write travel advice for a place they know well and then use the advice in a guessing game. To start, 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. In groups, 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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Interactive Version - In this travel advice breakout room activity, students do an 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 Advice Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

In this giving advice game, students try to give the best advice they can for a variety of problems. Students take it in turns to pick up a card and read out the problem on the card to the group and then ask 'What should I do?' 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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