This is an integrated speaking lesson for higher level adults that involves them taking different roles depending the colour of their hat.

Author: 
Katherine Bilsborough

Introduction

In the 1980s Edward de Bono came up with his Six Thinking Hats idea, in which businessmen use a parallel thinking process which helps them become “more productive, focused, and mindfully involved”.

A similar process can be used effectively in the English classroom to get learners more involved in discussions. By wearing a coloured hat, learners are given help, guidance and more support when they are taking part in discussions. They are also free of the burden of having to share their own opinions, which can be useful if they have very little to say, or feel shy about giving their views. This is especially true with older teenagers, young adults and groups who have not been together for very long. The Four Thinking Hats activity in this lesson borrows the idea from de Bono and offers teachers a creative alternative to the usual speaking-focused lesson. It is especially effective with Business English classes where learners are able to use real-life ‘problems’ as the basis of a discussion.

Topic

Any current or relevant discussion topic. Teachers can use their own discussion topics or encourage their learners to suggest them.

Level

B2+ (but could be adapted for lower levels)

Time

40-50 minutes

Aims

  • To encourage learners to use English in a creative way.
  • To develop learners’ speaking skills.
  • To role-play a character type while having a discussion.
     

Materials

  • Teachers' notes
  • Thinking hat role cards

You can download these below.

Downloads

Comments

Fantastic idea. I have applied during my teacher training class and found excellent to think differently and understand the concepts

Thank you, I will use it in my speaking class!!!

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