I think that one of the best lessons in the Intermediate level is the lesson on “Making Requests”. The students really cannot get too much practice at doing this. The number and variety of such requests is limitless and makes for a great lesson. The example list using “verb + topic” is very useful and never fails to get a laugh when the student gets to the one about “shaving his or her head” . However, I sometimes have used my own ability to make complicated requests in Japanese as a way to get the student to think how to make the same requests in English. Basically they just translate what I have said in Japanese, but this helps them immensely to get moving and really work on making requests. Then they can start thinking of the requests themselves and making them without my help.
Do not forget to include requests using “tell me”, “take” and “bring”. These are so important to learn and the language concept in Japanese and all asian languages for “take/go” and “bring/come” is completely different from English and European languages when the request or discussion is held at a distance such as on the phone or via email. It is also important to have them do a little homework by making a list of requests for each variation and also to offer assistance by the three variations given in the Smith’s School of English’s curriculum. This is truly one of the most valuable lessons we can give our students. So have fun with that and your students will really appreciate it.
Al, SSE Okamoto