Lawyer Talking

Lawyer Talking is a simple activity which allows students to practice making questions and then using the third person. With a small adaptation it can also be used to practice reported speech.

In Class Preparation

Get the class into pairs and have them write up 3 or 4 questions on slips of paper. These must be questions that can be asked about other members of the class:

  • How old are you?
  • What’s your favorite football team?

These are simple questions, but encourage the class to come up with unusual and interesting questions as well:

  • If you could kiss anyone, who would it be?
  • Have you ever cheated on a test?

And so on. During this phrase of the activity monitor the questions being asked and make sure that nothing too problematic or personal is asked!

Running the Activity

Next have the class sit in pairs. Explain that they are in a court of law and the person next to them is their lawyer and ONLY the lawyer can answer the question on behalf of their client.

Pick out a question and choose a student at random.

John, have you ever eaten sushi?

Ask John the question, but the person sitting next to John (i.e. their “lawyer”) has to answer for them. John whispers the answer to their lawyer and the lawyer tells the class:

No, he hasn’t.

The idea here is that the students get practice in using the 3rd person.

Reported Speech

For more advanced classes, this same activity can also be used for practicing reported speech.

John, have you ever eaten sushi?

And the lawyer replies:

He says he has never eaten sushi.

Useful Links

Indirect/Reported Speech‏‎ in English – a look at its formation and usage.

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Posted in Lesson Plans & Activities.

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