Developing a Nation

This is a group-work speaking activity for intermediate level and above, where students are asked to make choices about the future economic development of a fictional developing country.

David Done


Download copies of the worksheet to give as handouts to the students.


  • Write ‘Developing Country' on the board and ask students to give you an example. Ask students to list some of the characteristics of a typical developing country. Write ‘Foreign Aid' on the board and ask students to tell you what the phrase means. Ask their opinion - Do they think foreign aid is a good idea? Does it work? 
  • If you think it necessary, you might like to teach your students a few useful phrases to use during the exercise: ‘I think we should...' ‘In my opinion...' ‘The most important thing...' ‘I disagree, because...'
    Tip: It might also be a good idea to remind students about the need to remain polite during group discussions and to respect the right of other people to have opinions that might differ from their own.
  • Divide the students into groups of four or five and distribute copies of the worksheet.
  • Working together, students now have time (30 - 40 mins) to choose which projects they want to invest in. They must also choose a government spokesperson who will present their choices to the teacher and the rest of the class and give reasons why some projects were favoured over others.
  • Stress that it's important for the group to try to reach a consensus.

Tip: Tell them that if they aren't able to reach a consensus after forty minutes, the offer of aid could be withdrawn! Encourage them to work together to try to elicit the views and opinions of everyone in the group.

  • At the end of the task ask the spokesperson to present "the government's" choices.

Tip: Keep reminding them how much time they have. Push them to try to reach a consensus by the end of the available time.

Language Level


Submitted by mceupc on Fri, 01/09/2009 - 20:37


Dear Administrator,

We have found this suggested Activity quite interesting and topically relevant given the economic hardships of the present time.

Moreover, it helps learners to be aware of other people's differences, views, living conditions and of how important it is "to put themselves on other people's shoes". The importance of trying to reach a consensus on discussing their views is very important because they must get used to doing so as individuals in society.

Also by improving cooperation learners are more likely to feel useful and get a more fruitful outcome. This way they are being prepared to play more responsible roles in their communities, we hope.

Best regards,


Submitted by Yahyo on Wed, 01/28/2009 - 13:07


Dear Admin,

I used it in my conversational class. It was something astonishing. Our class usually lasts for 1.5 hour, but two divided teams asked me to continue! They were very ambitious, but, finally my both sides agreed in one conclusion. After this decision, I believe that our Elysia will develop increasingly. Thank you very much.

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