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Speaking: ads that should be banned

This task (created for 5VWO) intends to combine improving speaking skills with learning about persuasive language use and the (linguistic and visual) techniques used in advertisements, and creating awareness about how the public can be influenced by ads in various ways. In other words, it is designed to combine English language learning with learning about the power of language.

We are going to research advertisements, either in print or on TV. Students will be reading articles about the language of advertising, the techniques and tricks that are used to influence other people. In addition, they will study examples of advertising and their appeal to ethos, logos and pathos. We will focus on controversial ads in particular. In addition, students will learn how to make a case against a controversial advertisement campaign, and how to convince a board to have the ad in question banned. In order to achieve this, we will combine persuasive language with speaking strategies and presentation skills.

As a final task, students are asked to find a controversial ad that he/she thinks should be banned. They are allowed to take on the role of someone else, e.g. the role of a concerned mother or the role of a minority group. They then take their case to a hearing at the Advertising Standards Authority and persuade “judges” that the ad should be banned in the media.


  • You are able to give a detailed description of an advertisement, in terms of what you see and who you think the intended audience is.
  • You are able to analyse an ad in terms of the persuasion techniques that are used (logos, pathos and ethos)
  • You are able to use varied B2/C1 vocabulary to discuss the controversy and the friction in the ad.
  • You are able to talk about it fluently and naturally (not scripted).

Inhoud: A document which contains the task sheet with a general description of the aims, content and final task, a short description per lesson, including lesson aims, the handouts used in class and the Powerpoint presentations used.

Beschrijving per les:

Les 1: Introduction to task -linking it to ERK; A first look at ads and their intentions;  Persuasion techniques (appeal to Logos, Ethos and Pathos)

Les 2: TedTalk – objectifying women in ads; homework: Reading and summarizing orally: article campaign Suit Supply

Les 3: Pronunciation difficulties and Talking strategies; Article on 10 most complained about commercials; Organizing your case (SEXI argument – how to present your case convincingly); homework: Study vocab list;

Finish questions on article ‘top 10 most…’

Les 4: Vocab quiz; Finetuning (content) criteria for presentation; Work on final task à finding suitable ad to use for exam

Les 5: GENERALE for speaking exam – in teams of three

Les 6/7: speaking exams

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Lesmateriaal contact
Tryntje Pasma & Annelet Lykles
5x80 minuten + lessen voor spreekexamens in groepjes