This speaking activity presents students with four workplace dilemmas in which they need to make a decision. It is a perfect fit for adult students, levels intermediate and above. It might be used during conversation classes as well as to complement lessons about workplace or career.
Students work in pairs or small groups discussing each workplace 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.
This activity has been really popular with my adult students, familiar with all sorts of problems that one encounters at their workplace. They usually enjoy exchanging their own stories and finding solutions to various problems. This has also been a great opportunity for some interesting vocabulary (that we might not necessarily find in a coursebook) to come up: deadline, chain of command, harassment, lawsuit, nepotism, comfort zone, vulnerable, fling, just to name a few.