It’s February and you know what that means – Valentine’s Day-themed classes. Keep them light and fun while making sure that your Cambridge exam candidates are not forgotten. Download this no-prep lesson idea and practise talking about romance, love and the meaning of Valentine’s Day, all while following the PET speaking script.
Who doesn’t love love? If you teach young learners, then I can guarantee you that they aren’t big fans of talking about their crushes. However, teenagers and adults certainly do love talking about relationships and romance. If you don’t want to waste any time and engage your students in conversation, all while revising love-related vocabulary, head to the end of the post and get yourself a copy of the PET examiner’s notes and a presentation which can be used online and also face-to-face in case you want to save some paper.
Start the class with a short vocabulary revision, which is going to help the students in the rest of the exam. Read out eight definitions supported by a visual aid and guess the love-related words. Some of them include Cupid, love and date. Encourage students to take notes, so they can remember and use them in the next parts. Proceed with Speaking Part 1, in which students get to talk about their personal experiences related to Valentine’s Day and love. Of course, since the class is designed for teenagers and young adults, it’s good to give them some space and ensure that the questions are not too personal and intrusive. You can ask them how people normally celebrate that day in their countries and if they know anyone who got engaged or married on this romantic day.
As I mentioned before, some of the questions may be about their past experiences, for example, Are you a romantic person? or Have you ever received/given a present on Valentine’s Day? I would typically start this part with a little warning that students don’t need to feel pressured to answer any of the questions that make them feel uncomfortable. I would even provide them with short phrases they can use in case they want to skip some of them, such as I would rather not answer that. It’s all about having fun and not pressuring anyone into talking about things they aren’t comfortable mentioning in front of their teacher and peers.
Once you finish this part, it’s time to continue with Speaking Part 2 and picture descriptions. I prepared four pictures to give some variety and ensure that students don’t repeat each other’s answers. The pictures include, a couple having a surprise dinner, which gives plenty of opportunities to talk about the room and the food and also speculate about their feelings and type of relationship. The next picture deals with a proposal. Since students had a chance to revise some engagement vocabulary in the first part, this should be a piece of cake. The third photo shows a man surprising a woman with a Valentine’s Day gift, which allows talking about the possible feelings one may have when receiving flowers and their preferences regarding other presents. The last picture option is possibly my favourite, but also the most challenging one. In this photo, we can see a couple celebrating Valentine’s Day via video call.
In Speaking Part 3, students work in pairs. There are two possible scenarios to talk about to ensure some variety and spark creativity amongst the students. The first scenario deals with choosing the best gift for a partner. The options include some typical ones like flowers and chocolates, but also a bit more original ideas, for example, books, jewellery or plane tickets. The second scenario talks about the perfect place for a date. Students think about the advantages and disadvantages of having a Valentine’s Day date in the cinema, restaurant, museum, mall or beach. Put 2 minutes on the clock and give them enough space to discuss!
Finally, proceed with Speaking Part 4, opinion-based questions. Since the questions are impersonal, I don’t think anyone should feel uncomfortable discussing their ideas. Remind them that there are no wrong answers. All they need to do is talk about and explain their thoughts. There are eight questions and some of them include Do you think Valentine’s Day make single people feel lonely? and Is Valentine’s Day only about romantic love, or should we also celebrate family and friends on that day?
As always, have fun with this class! Even though it looks like an exam preparation lesson, the most important objective is gaining fluency, listening to each other and sharing their thoughts with the rest of the group. Click the links below to get the examiner’s notes and the presentation. Happy Valentine’s Day!