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 PositivePsychology.com. Link to the list: https://positivepsychology.com/communication-exercises-for…/
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. https://www.vibe.com/2014/03/top-20-most-common-pet-peeves), 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 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: https://twentytwowords.com/people-are-sharing-the-most-ann…/
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.