As you know, I love giving my students a chance to learn something interesting about the world around them using English as an instrument. After all, they are learning the language because, for them, it has some instrumental value. Advertising is a win-win topic since we’re surrounded by literally thousands of ads. However, instead of talking about such worn-out topics as how advertisement influences our lives or the types of advertisement, why not talking about something far more useful, in particular how it makes us buy? Forewarned is forearmed, so off we go 🙂
The lesson is based on this infographic article. I’ve cut some parts out, so for the lesson, you’ll need this version. You’ll also need this worksheet and these slides.
Duration: 80-90 mins
1) *SLIDE 1* Students discuss the questions in pairs. Feedback: for small groups, let each student share their answers and encourage comments; for large groups, divide students into smaller groups and let them share their answers with each other.
2) Divide students into groups of 3-4 (rearranged pairs for small groups) and ask them to brainstorm any kind of techniques that are used in advertisement and are aimed at attracting potential customers. Whole-class feedback (board students’ answers).
3) *SLIDE 2* Give students some time to read through the introductory text. Drag their attention to the four factors. Tell them that now they’ll look at these in more detail.
1) Distribute the texts. There are four texts, two shorter and two longer ones. If you have more students than texts, give longer texts so several students. Students have to read their texts and try to understand the techniques described in them. Monitor and help with any unfamiliar words.
2) Group students so that in each group there were students who read different texts (it’s okay if you have a group of 3; they then can skip some questions). Distribute the reading questions (different sets for groups A and B). Students answer the questions together.. You can add an extra focus on negotiation of meaning by instructing listeners to ask for clarification and/or repetition when needed.
3) Whole-class feedback: the goal is for each learner to get to know about all techniques.
[OPTIONAL] 4) *SLIDE 3* Students discuss the question (Are there any other motivating techniques the advertising uses to make people buy more?) in pairs. For feedback, show *SLIDE 4*.
II. TASK *SLIDE 5*
1) Students choose their favourite ad (they can google it and find a poster or a video on YouTube) and analyse it in terms of advertising strategies. How does it attract potential buyers?
2) Divide students into groups of three (pairs for small groups). Students present their ads to each other and say why they are appealing and attractive.
3) Whole-class feedback (of your choice).
4) Q&A or whatever you do at the end of your classes.
How many of these techniques did you know about? Feel free to leave a comment.
Let me know if you decide to try this lesson plan out, and I’d be grateful if you could share how it went!