Using different future forms to talk about personal relationships and social events
Intermediate, Level B1 level
For students to practise using three different future forms through a series of listening and reading exercises, pair and group discussion, and student to teacher feedback.
For students to practise their listening skills by identifying appropriate future forms in the context of everyday conversations about personal relationships and social events.
Procedure (35-44 minutes)
I will set the context of the lesson by telling the students a story. I will pretend to be extremely anxious, talking to the students in a dramatic and panicked manner: 'My mother in law is coming tomorrow. Ohhh... I don't know what to do! Have I shown you a picture of my mother in law? Shall I show you a picture?! (show picture of 'mother in law') She's a monster!!! She's going to stay at least a month! She's going to drive me crazy! I'm going to loose my mind! I need to get out of it. How can I get out of it? I'll call her and cancel! What can I tell her?' At this point I will take suggestions from students... 'I'll tell her there's no hot water at the house/the ceiling has fallen in/we have rats!' etc. The warmer/lead in introduces (subtly!) three future forms in the context of a story surrounding personal relationships and social events. I will bring attention to the three future forms in the next stage.
I will elicit the target language from the students using a series of CCQs. The student's answers will also demonstrate their comprehension of the opening story (listening skills). CCQs: T-S: Why am I anxious? S-T: Because your mother in law is coming tomorrow. (On the WB I will write the sentence: My mother in law is coming tomorrow.) T-S: Am I looking forward to my mother in law coming? S-T: No! T-S: Why? S-T: Because she's a monster! (pointing to picture of 'mother in law') T-S: How long does she plan on staying? S-T: One month. T-S: And what do I think will happen to me if she stays one month? What do I intend to do? S-T: You'll go crazy! (On the WB I will write the sentence: She's going to drive me crazy!) T-S: What do I decide to do? What is my solution? S-T: You will call her and cancel. (On the WB I will write the sentence: I'll call her and cancel!) T-S: When did I decide to cancel? S-T: Just now. T-S: Where did the idea come from? S-T: Us! T-S: Did I take a long time to make the decision? S-T: No! T-S: Did it come to me spontaneously, in the moment? S-T: Yes! I will ask the students to think about the similarities between the sentences - are they talking about the past, the present or the future? I will ask the students to turn to their neighbours and discuss the sentences, thinking about how the meaning of each sentence is effected by the different forms. After one minute I will ask the WC if we all agree that the sentences are talking about the future and elicit the usage of the different forms with further CCQs: - When is my mother in law coming to stay? – Tomorrow. (There is a planned date/time in the future… an arrangement has been made… I will bring attention to the use of the Present Continuous by circling the word coming, and to the adverb of time tomorrow, and write under the sentence 'present continuous - arrangement' - subject + to be + base + ing) - And if she was coming on Saturday? – My mother in law is coming on Saturday. (again, we use a lexical time phrase to show that the event is happening in the future, this time on Saturday) - Have I written it on my calendar/in my diary? – Yes!! (realia) - Am I prepared for it? – Yes! (or not! Ha. Ha.) - What happens if you just turn up at your doctor’s house on the weekend? - What do you do when you want to see your doctor? - You make an appointment. (I will use the doctor/dentist example to reinforce that Present Continuous is used when an arrangement has already been made) - What does my mother in law intend to do? – She intends to stay at least a month. - And what do I think, what do I anticipate, will happen to me?! – You’re going to go crazy. You’re going to lose your mind. (I am anticipating that it will be horrible! Difficult! It might not be a horrible experience but I’ve already decided that it will be. Here I will point to the corresponding sentence, underlining the words 'she's going to' - subject + to be + going to + base form of verb) -Do you have any plans for the weekend? – I’m going to the cinema… I’m going to stay home… I’m going shopping… etc. (again, pointing to She’s going to drive me crazy! You’ve decided about a future action…) -And if you decide to do something in the moment, spontaneously? What language form do you use? – will… (I’ll point to I’ll call her and cancel! I’m deciding NOW to call her and cancel - subject + will + base form of verb) -Will you help me please? Now?! I need to call my mother in law and cancel but she only speaks Turkish! – Yes, I’ll help you. - How long did you have to think about your answer? – No time at all. You decided in the moment. I will end this stage of the lesson by repeating the three different future forms: 'present continuous' when talking about an arrangement, '(be) going to' to express an intention, and 'will' when making a spontaneous decision.
I will tell the class that I want them to listen to another story about a difficult personal relationship, this time in a conversation between Zoe and Sandy. Before playing the audio track I will ask the class to listen quietly, and to try to get a general idea of what is going on in the conversation. After playing the audio track I will ask the class: Why is Sandy unhappy? and ask them to discuss their answers with their neighbours. I will then repeat the question to the WC: Why is Sandy unhappy? and elicit the answer from an individual student.
I will then tell the class that I am going to give them a written version of the same conversation between Zoe and Sandy and that I would like them to read the texts individually, paying attention to the numbered sentences. I will give the students under a minute to read the text and then ask them to work in groups to decide what is special about the numbered sentences, eliciting from the students that they are three different ways of talking about the future. I will ask the students to work in groups to decide which of the forms (highlighted parts of the conversation) is used to talk about a spontaneous decision, which is used to talk about an intention, and which is used to talk about an arrangement. Here I will give them the HOs for exercise 2 and give them a few minutes to match parts 1-3 of the written text with answers a) b) c). I will check comprehension with CCQs.
I will tell students that I have the second part of the conversation, and that this time it is a conversation between Sandy and James. CCQ: James? The person Sandy decided to call... I will tell the class that I will give them each a copy of the conversation, pointing out that they will notice that parts of the text have been made bold. I will tell the class that I would like them to read the text individually and then work together in pairs/groups to find the most appropriate future form, deciding also what the situation is for each form choice i.e. Is it a spontaneous decision, an intention or an arrangement? Before giving them the texts I will write the example answer on the WB: What will you do/are you doing tonight? I will ask the class which is the correct form and why they think it is correct. I will then tell the class that they have to do the same for the other bold parts of the text and hand out the texts. I will give students 5 minutes to do this exercise and walk around the class monitoring and eliciting correct answers with CCQs where necessary.
I will tell class that I will now play them the conversation between James and Sandy and ask them to check their answers against the audio. I will choose two students from the class to read out the correct version of the conversation, taking a character each. I will check that the whole class agrees with the answers and clarify any queries that might arise.
I will ask the class if they would like to know what is going to happen to Sandy and David? I will tell them that I have the third part of the conversation but that there are some gaps in the text. I will ask the class to read the text individually and then work in pairs/groups to fill the gaps by putting the verb in the most appropriate future form. Before handing out the texts I will suggest that we move around a little as we've been working so hard all lesson and divide the class into 3 groups, assigning students with the name Zoe, Sandy or David. When the students have changed places and are sitting in their new groups I will repeat the instructions and hand out the texts, giving them 5 minutes to complete the exercise and monitoring with CCQs to elicit the correct answers where necessary.
I will tell the class that I will now play the audio clip and ask the class to check their answers against the audio. I will check that the class is happy with the answers and answer any queries that might arise. I will choose three students, one from each group, to read the conversation.
I will ask the class if they think there is any hope for Sandy and David? Do you think they have a future? I will tell the class that I will play them the last part of the conversation, this time between Sandy, Alex and James. When the track is finished I will ask the class what has happened and whether they think there is any hope for Sandy and David?
I will end the lesson by telling the students that I have a set of flash cards with some words and phrases on them, all relating to personal relationships and social events. I will ask students to work in groups and to create a conversation between two or more people that is refers to the word/phrase on the paper and that uses the three future forms. I will tell the students that they can be as ridiculous as they want to be and that they should think back to some of the conversations they had heard over the course of the lesson, from the first story about my mother in law to all the conversations between Zoe, Sandy, James, David, Alex etc. I will hand out the pieces of paper and give the students 3 minutes to complete the task, following it with a WC feedback where I ask 2 or 3 students to act out their conversations.