Asking For and Giving Opinions - ESL Activities and Worksheets

Really?

ESL Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 35 minutes

In this fun group activity, students play a guessing game where they give true or false opinions about famous people or things. After reviewing how to ask for and give opinions, the students are divided into groups of four. Each group is given a set of cards. Each card contains the name of a famous person or thing. These cards are shuffled and placed face down on the desk. Each group is also given a 'Tell the truth' and 'Tell a lie' card. These cards are placed face down next to the pile. Players take it in turns to pick up a card from the pile and place it face up on the desk for everyone to see. The student on the player's right asks the player for their opinion of the person or thing on the card, e.g. 'What do you think of Lady Gaga?' The player then mixes up the 'Tell the truth' and 'Tell a lie' cards face down and takes one without showing it to anyone. If the player gets the 'Tell the truth' card, he or she gives an honest opinion. If the player receives the 'Tell a lie' card, he or she gives an opinion which isn't true. The other students then ask the player one follow-up question each to help them decide if the player is lying or telling the truth, e.g. 'What's your favourite Lady Gaga song?' The other students then collectively decide if the player is lying or telling the truth and the player reveals the answer. If the students guess correctly, they each win one point. If they guess incorrectly, the player wins two points. The next player then picks up a card from the pile and so on. This process continues until all the cards have been used. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
 

Four Corners

ESL Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 35 minutes

In this entertaining class activity, students practice expressing and defending their opinions. A sign is placed in each corner of the classroom (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree). All the students stand up and the teacher reads a statement to the class, e.g. 'Celebrities earn too much money'. The students then go to the corner that best matches their opinion on the topic, e.g. strongly agree, disagree, etc. The students in the same corner discuss why they chose that opinion and then report their reasons back to the class. After each corner has given reasons for their opinion, the students from the different corners politely refute another corner's opinion. Afterwards, students that want to switch to another corner do so. The process is then repeated with a new statement and so on.
 

How to improve your English

ESL Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 minutes

In this engaging worksheet activity, students ask for and give opinions on ways to improve their English skills. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. Working alone, students rank 15 ways to improve their English (1 is the most useful and 15 is the least useful). When the students have finished, they are divided into pairs. Students read out their ranking to their partner and their partner notes the ranking down in the second column of the worksheet. Next, the students ask for and give their opinions on the different methods. The students also compare the items and discuss the merits and drawbacks of each method. The pairs then come up with a combined ranking. Afterwards, the students work with a new partner and compare their combined rankings, discussing any similarities or differences. Finally, there is a class feedback session. The students join with their original partner and report back to the class on their top 3 methods for improving English. The findings are then discussed with the class.
 

Our Opinions

ESL Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 40 minutes

In this productive worksheet activity, students practice giving, explaining and summarizing opinions. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students begin by reading the questions on the worksheet and writing their answers in the column marked 'Me'. When the students have finished, they are divided into pairs. The students then take it in turns to ask the questions to their partner and note down the answers in the last column of the worksheet. Students also ask their partner to give a reason for each opinion. After that, the pairs join together to make groups of six. In their groups, students discuss the results of the questionnaire and write statements summarizing their findings, e.g. 'Most people think the best way to learn English is to practice it every day'. The groups then present their findings to the class. When all the groups have presented, the findings are discussed as a class and the groups debate any differences of opinion.
 

I think that...

ESL Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 minutes

Here is an enjoyable activity to help students practice language structures for giving opinions. Each pair of students is given a set of cards. On each card is a topic with three possible opinions. Students split the cards in half and create a fourth opinion for each topic. When the students have finished, they combine their cards together, shuffle them and place them face down in a pile on the table. One student begins by taking the top card and laying it on the table for both students to see. The student then gives their opinion about the topic on the card by making a complete sentence from the prompt, e.g. 'I think that watching TV is entertaining'. The other student then gives their opinion. Students also explain the reason for their opinion and ask follow-up questions when possible. Then, the other student turns over a card and so on. This continues until both students have given an opinion for each card. This activity can also be done in small groups and other expressions for giving opinions can be used, e.g. 'In my opinion...'
 

The Cycling Holiday

ESL Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 minutes

In this rewarding worksheet activity, students give opinions, prioritize, and agree on a list of items to pack for a cycling holiday. The students are divided into pairs and each pair is given a copy of the worksheet. In their pairs, students give their opinions on the things they should pack for their cycling holiday. The students then prioritize the items and come up with a list of things to take with them on their holiday. The combined items should be no more than six kilograms in weight. Afterwards, pairs present their list of items to the class. The other students listen and say whether they agree or disagree with the items chosen, pointing out any problems they see with the list. The presenting pair can then justify their opinions if need be. When all the pairs have presented, the class agrees on and comes up with a list together.
 

What's your opinion?

ESL Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 minutes

In this useful worksheet activity, students ask for and give opinions on school subjects. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students begin by completing each question on the worksheet with a different school subject. Students can use the school subjects from the box on the worksheet or their own ideas. When the students have finished, they are divided into pairs. Students then ask their partner the questions on the worksheet and write sentences about their partner's opinions, e.g. 'Terry doesn't think that science is difficult. He scored 95% on his last test'. When the pairs have finished, they check each other's sentences for errors. Finally, students present their partner's opinions to the class and feedback is given.
 

Controversial Statements

ESL Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 40 minutes

In this challenging worksheet activity, students give and justify opinions by arguing for or against a set of controversial statements. The statements from the worksheet are written on the board and the students decide if they want to argue for or against, half the students should argue for and half against. Each student is then given a corresponding 'for' or 'against' worksheet. Working alone, students read the statements on the worksheet and write down two reasons why someone might agree or disagree with each one. The students are then divided into groups of four, comprising of two 'for' students and two 'against' students. The students discuss the controversial statements, giving and justifying their opinions, and arguing for or against each statement. When everyone has finished, each group tells the class who gave the most convincing arguments and why. As an extension, students discuss their real opinions on the controversial statements in their groups.
 

Explain Yourself

ESL Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 35 minutes

In this group discussion activity, students practice giving opinions and asking embedded questions to gain more information. The students begin by naming ten controversial issues. These issues are written on the board, e.g. immigration, plastic surgery, cloning, animal testing, abortion, etc. The students are then divided into groups of four and each student is given a set of numbered opinion cards. The first student chooses a numbered card and a controversial issue from the board, e.g. card number 3 and cloning. Each student completes that numbered card with their opinion on the topic. The students then put their cards face down on the table and the four cards are mixed together. The first student picks up a card and reads out the opinion. The student then guesses who the card belongs to. After the writer of the card has been correctly identified or the first student reads out his or her own card, the group members use embedded questions to ask the writer to explain a little more about their opinion and feeling on the issue. If the students have opposing views, they have a brief debate on the issue. Afterwards, the second student chooses a numbered card and controversial issue and so on. When the students have finished, there is a class feedback session to find out which topics caused the most debate and who gave the most convincing arguments.
 

It's Debatable

ESL Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 40 minutes

In this lively teaching activity, students participate in a debate to help them practice expressions for giving opinions and disagreeing. The class is divided into an even number of groups and a list of 'for' and 'against' topics is written on the board. The groups choose which topic they would like to debate. Two groups must choose the same topic, one arguing for and one arguing against. Each student is then given a copy of the worksheet. In their groups, students write their debate topic at the top of the worksheet and prepare their 'for' or 'against' argument. When everyone is ready, two groups come to the front of the class and debate their topic with each group member contributing to the debate. After each group has presented their argument, the two groups respond to each other by disagreeing and giving a counter-argument. Afterwards, the class votes for the winner of the debate. Then, two new groups come to the front of the class and begin the next debate and so on.
 

My Opinion

ESL Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 50 minutes

In this intriguing discussion activity, students give opinions on controversial statements and then try to persuade students with differing opinions to change their minds. The students are divided into groups of three. Each group is given a set of controversial statements and each student is given a set of opinion cards. The opinion cards show how much a student agrees or disagrees with a statement, e.g. strongly agree, undecided, disagree, etc. The students shuffle the statements and place them face down in a pile on the table. The first student takes the top statement from the pile and reads it aloud to the group. Each student then chooses an opinion card to show how much they agree or disagree with the statement and places it in front of them. The first student then gives their opinion and the other students respond with their opinion in turn. The students then try to persuade the group members with differing opinions to change their minds. If anyone changes their mind during the discussion, they show this by changing the opinion card in front of them. After the topic has been discussed, the second student reads out the next statement and so on. Afterwards, there is a class feedback session to find out which statements caused the greatest argument and to see who was the most persuasive.
 
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