Pet Hates

Posted on March 15, 2011

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Pet hates and grumpy old Vokis

This lesson contains a roleplay, a short video and a conversation activity on things which tend to get on our nerves / drive us up the wall. As a follow-up homework activity, it suggests using Voki (see example below) to create an on-line speaking avatar of someone moaning about their pet hate.

Step One : Roleplay

  • Do a bit of open-class chatting about the good and bad things of keeping dogs as pets. Make sure the problem of dog excrement in the street is mentioned.
  • Put your students into pairs and get them to do the roleplay below. Give them a couple of minutes to think about what they are going to say and to ask you for vocabulary before they do the activity.


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  • Optional activity : Ask your students to write the dialogue that they have just enacted.

Step Two : Video Clip

  • Show your students the video below and ask them for their reactions.
  • Optional activity : Get your students to add English subtitles to the Polish video using Overstream.

Step Three : Conversation

  • Ask your students to discuss the following questions in pairs or groups.

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Step Four : Create a Grumpy Old Voki

  • Show your students the Grumpy Old Voki below (or one you’ve created) and ask them to create their own for homework (www.voki.com). They could choose one of the topics from the conversation questions in Step Three or use their own ideas. Note : If your students don’t want to record themselves, they can use Voki‘s text-to-speech function.
  • Embed your students’ Vokis in a class blog/wiki and organise a vote on which is the grumpiest.
  • Possible language focus : What really gets on my nerves is … / What drives me up the wall is … / What I can’t stand is … / What really annoys me is … etc
  • If either you or your students need help on how to use Voki, consult Russell Stannard‘s (@russell1955) excellent step-by-step tutorial.

Hope you enjoy this activity

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