Active English Training

Pet Peeves

Language is first and foremost a means of communicating and connecting with other people and so teaching a language should also include how we communicate.

While googling for communication exercises. I found this excellent list of exercises and games by psychologist Chatherine Moore, who is with Link to the list:…/

One exercise called Pet Peeves specifically caught my attention and I knew it would be perfect for my adult Business English classes. I googled a list of common everyday pet peeves (e.g., asked my students to pick one pet peeve to rant about each, gave them a few minutes to prepare their rant, asked them to nominate another student in the group to ‚decode‘ the rant by re-wording it into more positive statements following the sentence stems suggested by Catherine Moore:
“You value…”
“You care about…”
“You believe that…matters a lot”

While doing the exercise the first time, I realized ‚thinking the opposite‘ of what is being said helps. So if someone rants ‚I hate it when I cannot use the sink because it’s blocked with dirty and crusty dishes‘ the opposite would be ‚You care about a clear sink that can be used when needed.‘ So I gave my students the tip to consider what’s the opposite of what’s being said, e.g. dirty dishes-clean dishes, mouldy dishes – germ-free dishes, bad smells – fresh air, etc.

Now, of course you can make this a Christmas exercise by googling a Christmas pet peeves list. I found one here:…/

Give it a try! I think these type of exercises are very important. Doing it myself I still keep reflecting in my every-day life how I can word things in a more positive way.