The aim of this speaking activity is for students to discuss what they would do facing different moral dilemmas. It promotes student creativity, teamwork, and allows for revising/consolidating using second conditional and language of speculation. Suitable for levels intermediate – advanced, adults and older teenagers.
Students work in pairs or small groups discussing each moral dilemma from the list. You might distribute the handouts, or project the worksheet on the whiteboard. It is a good idea to hold a whole-class discussion at the end of the activity to compare different choices and solutions your students have come up with. You might also try to rank the problems in order of difficulty.
This activity is a good opportunity to practice second conditional, modal verbs for speculation (may, could, must, can’t), cohesive devices (moreover, although, however), and different ways of agreeing and disagreeing. The latter might be particularly useful for students preparing for their FCE and CAE exams. For more discussion activities see Parental Decisions or Big Life Decisions.
I prepared this activity together with my teenage FCE students who were tasked with brainstorming/researching problems that could fall into the category of “moral dilemmas”. This class worked great in terms of engaging the students and getting them to talk. What turned out to be a challenge was stopping students from resorting to L1 in order to get their point across (which often happens when the discussion gets heated). I was glad to see my students using target language (agree/disagree) with confidence and we ended up with some great examples of good language on the board (“I don’t think I could ever do it”, “If I were in this situation, it would not be an easy choice”, “Although it seems like an obvious decision, it is not”, “I have no idea what I would do”).