Christopher Sanders Christopher Sanders

Modals of Deducation
Intermediate level


In this lesson, students will learn about modals of deduction through elicitation and presentation of authentic conversation and theme-based content, followed by controlled production and open production. In the following lesson, their understanding will be assessed and guidance offered.


Abc Sounds
Abc Life Intermediate coursebook

Main Aims

  • To provide exposure to and practice with modals of deduction through elicitation and authentic materials, controlled practice, and open production. After the lesson, the students should be able to recognize modals of deduction, demonstrate basic understanding of their function, and use them in limited capacity.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide an opportunity for Ss to practice listening for deduction. After the lesson, Ss should be better able to make deductions about content of listening passages and use appropriate function language (modals) with minor errors.
  • Ss should, by the end of the lesson, be better able to scan a text for specific information, and to recognize function language (modals) when they encounter them in text.


Warmer/Lead-in (7-12 minutes) • To set lesson context, engage students, and elicit target language

Ss will listen to a variety of different sounds (via YouTube) and try to guess what they might be. Pairs will briefly discuss each sound and tell each other what they think it could be, then report to T. When targeted language is used, T will write the sentence on the whiteboard.

Exposure (8-10 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through a text

In the previous lesson block, Ss listened to and discussed 3 audio clips from the Life coursebook, representing adapted, authentic material from National Geographic. The audio included a number of examples of the target function language. Ss will, in pairs, scan the transcripts of the audio, looking for the targeted language. Once identified, T will ask the students to attempt to explain the language's usage rules and patterns. If needed, T will offer clarification.

Controlled Practice (8-10 minutes) • To concept check and prepare students for more meaningful practice

Ss will watch a short clip on the British Council's Learn English website. Then, they will complete matching, gap-fill, and sentence writing exercises on a worksheet. In pairs, they will compare their answers, then check against an answer key.

Semi-Controlled Practice (10-13 minutes) • To concept check further and prepare students for free practice

Working in pairs, Ss will look at pictures of interesting or iconic scenes and make guesses about who is being depicted, what might be happening, and why, using the target function language. T will spot check as needed while monitoring Ss' discussions.

Free Practice (12-15 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the target language

(This will be in the next lesson block.) Ss will be divided into groups of 3-5 and allowed to select ~5 dice from the collection of Rory's Story Cubes. Ss will roll the dice and then, taking turns, add 1-2 sentences to a story, article, or dialog utilizing the target language. These sentences will be written on colored paper. Once complete, the students will present their work to T for suggestions and clarification. The group will redraft as necessary and then attach their material to the classroom wall. (Time permitting, they will also give a short reading of it to the class.)

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