Problem solving speaking activity: part 2

I have compiled a list of 15 problems to which students need to brainstorm solutions. This list is a result of classes I have taught to teenage and adult students. It is a perfect fit for conversation classes. The topics include family life, relationships, neighbours, and shopping.

The Task

Students work in pairs or small groups trying to find solutions to 15 different problems. It is a good opportunity to practice the second conditional (I would…, If I were in this situation…), modal verbs    (should, might, mustn’t etc.) and negotiating (agreeing/disagreeing/expressing your opinion/asking about your partner’s opinion).

To practice agreeing and disagreeing please see

Problem Solving,

School Problems

Moral Dilemmas,

Workplace Dilemmas


Parental Decisions

Personal Experience

I have used this activity both with adult and teenage students, levels intermediate-advanced. It works well as a warm-up (giving the students just one problem) to a regular class, and may also be used during conversation classes (takes around 20 mins.) Make sure to allow some time for the groups to present and compare their ideas at the end of class.


More problem solving


  1. Thank you so much, dear! I find your activities very hands-on and useful.

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