From New Internationalist Easier English Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search


You can get learners to simply read the simplified arguments and write what they think afterwards.

Or try this PMI lesson:

PMI (a thinking tool developed by Eduard de Bono) + tweets:

For: age 16+ intermediate students (private / state school or university) – 60 minutes

Language focus: develop critical thinking skills, debating skills and seeing the opposite side of arguments

Global citizenship focus: understanding and engaging with two sides of complex arguments relating to vegan/vegetarian diets and GM crops and sustainability


1/ Warmer: choose one of these statements to write on the board (or, of course, any statement related to any of the other arguments):

• ‘No-one should eat dairy products or meat’

• ‘It’s a good idea to have GM crops’

2/ Preparation: assure students that it’s good for critical thinking skills to develop points of view that they don’t necessarily agree with, and that they can tell everyone their real opinion at the end. Divide students into 3 groups to prepare as many points (at least 4) as possible in 10 minutes:

• P: Plus (prepare reasons to agree with the statement)

• M: Minus (prepare reasons to disagree with the statement)

• I: Interesting (prepare points of interest to the discussion that don’t necessarily support or disagree with the statement)

If groups need ideas before this, hand out copies of the arguments and/or encourage learners to do internet research.

3/ Check: Make sure all students in all groups know their groups’ points – tell them they will be on their own soon – give them 2 more minutes to prepare.


4/ PMI discussion 1: Re-group the students so there is at least one from each of the P, M and I groups in each new group. They now have 10 minutes to argue, using the points they have prepared.

5/ PMI discussion 2: Now repeat the whole process with the other statement in (1).

6/ Own opinions: Tell the class the righthand wall of the room represents agree totally, the lefthand wall represents disagree totally, and they can stand at any place between the two. Get everyone to stand up and move to a place that represents their views. Do this first for one statement they have debated, then for the other.

7/ Writing tweets: get students to sit down with another 2 or 3 who broadly agree with them and write a few tweets (max 140 characters) to summarise the outcome of their arguments.