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December 28, 2007

Lesson Planning – Reported Speech

Hello everyone,

Valentine's Day may be over for 2007 but the subject (as a cultural studies element of ESL teaching) can be used anytime, especially in countries that don't know the holiday or are taking classes in a semester that does NOT include the month of February. Let everyone have a chance!

So, here's a twist on the Valentine’s day theme. This involves the "end" of relationships.
I start the lesson by giving some phrases that people say to end relationships and what they really mean, such as . . .

It’s not you, it’s me - it’s you.

I’m too busy at work to be fully committed to a relationship – I’d rather spend time with my boss than with you.

I need my own space – I would rather spend time alone with my cat and a big tub of ice cream than spend time with you.

I like you as a friend - You are not a very attractive person

I then put up a picture of a famous celebrity couple, Brad and Angelina, Steffi and Andre, Posh and Becks etc and tell the class they have split up. I ask them to predict why they might have split. Then I give out a dialogue between the two for the students to read to find out why they split up.

Then I put up another picture of the male’s friend, maybe Pete Sampras and tell the students that Andre has gone to the pub and is moaning about the situation. After a short prediction task I give out a second dialogue with the conversation. This is the man reporting the conversation between him and his ex.

After this you can get the student to look for how the language has changed from the direct speech to the reported speech and what rules there are. To practice, you can give the students a celebrity couple and ask them to write a dialogue with and then pass the dialogue on to the next group who have to write it in reported speech. This is quite difficult to set up so ensure you have clear instructions and know who is having a conversation with who.

If this is a review lesson, you can elicit both conversations to the board rather than prepare the conversations but this obviously becomes quite teacher centred and might exclude your weaker students.

Has this lesson been of any inspiration for you? If so, please let me know in the comment box below!


Gareth Davies
April 2006 Guest-Writer for ESLemployment

Looking for more articles about lesson planning for the ESL classroom? Click HERE!

About the author of this entry:
Gareth has been involved in the teaching profession for over ten years. He has been a teacher in the UK, Czech Republic and Portugal. He has been running teacher training courses in the Czech Republic for the last four years and also runs courses for OUP. Gareth has the Cambridge RSA DELTA.

Posted by ESL Lesson Plan at December 28, 2007 01:28 AM

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Hi Guest-Writer Gareth,

LOL, I always think of the Seinfeld episode when I hear the "It’s not you, it’s me" bit.

Clever idea for a lesson - I hope this gets some discussion rolling.



Posted by: Lee Hobbs at December 18, 2007 05:27 PM

absolutely love the idea Gareth! using for my next lesson:)


Posted by: May at June 18, 2008 08:15 AM

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