Ivana Popov Ivana Popov

Skills, 'Can and can't'
Level A1, Beginner level


In this lesson students will learn about and practice using 'can' to express ability, and 'can't' to express inability, in the context of speaking about their own personal skills and preferred leisure activities. The lesson will follow the framework of a Presentation Practice Production lesson, with emphasis on students being able to produce the target language in context by the end of the lesson.


No materials added to this plan yet.

Main Aims

  • For students to produce fluent and accurate language to express their abilities and inabilities using 'can' and 'can't'.

Subsidiary Aims

  • For students to practice speaking skills by engaging in group and whole-class discussion about their personal skills and preferred leisure activities.


Warmer/Lead-in (3-5 minutes) • To present the target language to the students, whilst revising language from the previous lesson, and engaging them with the new target language

- Point to image on whiteboard: map of Itanbul, red dot with Ivana written above it, and image of Galata tower - 'Who is this?' (pointing to red dot with my name above), 'What is this?' (pointing to Galata Tower), 'And this?' (pointing to whole map) - Point out, using words and gestures, that students should imagine a situation.... 'Imagine...' - Tell students - 'I can't find Galata Tower...' - 'Why can't I find Galata Tower?' - student's might have answers - elicit that 'I can't ask for directions because - I can't speak Turkish (model language on whiteboard) - and I can't see the tower!' - 'Can you (pointing to class) give me directions to Galata Tower?' - Students give directions to Galata Tower (drawing on language from previous lesson) - I thank the class and confirm - 'You can give directions very well - You can speak English.' (model language on whiteboard)

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

- Divide class into two groups, around separate tables, making sure that the stronger students are divided evenly between the groups. - Eliciting the target language by pointing to the sentences on the whiteboard - 'I can't speak Turkish - You can speak English' - I will draw the student's attention to two words written on either side of whiteboard: 'can' and 'can't'. I will show the students that I have some images of people doing things, and that students have to work in groups to decide whether they think the people in the pictures 'can' or 'can't' do the thing in the picture. - Students will do board-rush activity, sticking pictures in appropriate place beside whiteboard, either under 'can' or 'can't'. Each group will have 6 images, a mixture of 'can' and 'can't'. There will be 12 images in total. - I will then tell the students that I have some sentences about the people in the pictures. I will give each group 4 sentences and again, students will engage in board-rush activity to match the sentences with the pictures. - I will elicit the remaining 4 sentences from the students, through individual nomination, choosing the weaker students. As answers are elicited from students I will stick corresponding sentences/language models under pictures. - I will end this stage by nominating an individual student, asking them 'Can you....?' - After they have replied I will ask them to do the same to another student, and we will do this until 3 students have spoken. I will correct pronunciation where necessary, pointing out that we place stress on 'can't' but not 'can'. WC Drill - model and repeat.

Highlighting (2-4 minutes) • To draw students' attention to the form of the target language

- I will elicit various pronouns from the students, pointing to the images that are stuck beside whiteboard, and to their corresponding sentences. - I will point out that 'can' and 'can't' stay the same regardless of the pronoun used. - On the whiteboard I will draw a plus sign above 'can' and a minus sign above 'can't'. Underneath 'can't' I will write 'can' and 'not' and ask the class whether this is correct... Then I will erase 'not' and rewrite 'cannot', and then I will remove the second 'n' and 'o', replacing it with the more common spoken negative form: 'can't'. - Can they think of another example? Do - don't.

Controlled Practice (5-6 minutes) • To concept check and prepare students for more meaningful practice

- Students complete simple gap-fill exercise individually (Adaptation of exercise 8: Yes/No Questions and Short Answers) - WC feedback by nominating pairs to ask yes/no question and give short answers. - I will then give students 3 pieces of paper each and on those pieces of paper they will have to write something they CAN do, something they CAN'T do, and something that someone else CAN/CAN'T do. I will collect the pieces of paper in a bag, and mix them up.

Semi-Controlled Practice (8-10 minutes) • For students to practice using the target language in speaking and listening 'Find someone who...' exercise

- Students are given a table with four columns: the first column says 'Skill', the second says 'Find someone who can...', the third says 'Find someone who can't...', and the fourth says 'Do you know someone who can/can't.... ' - I will then give the students three pieces of paper each, taken randomly from the hat. Students will have to fill their first column with these three things. I will demo to the class, showing them how to divide the first column. - Students will then have to get up and mingle, using Yes/No questions to find someone to put in each of the columns on their table. I will do WC demo before.

Free practice (6-8 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the target language

- In groups, students will have to compare their tables and decide on one person in the class to talk about, pointing out what they can do, what they can't do and someone they know that can/can't do something. As a group they have to decide what that person might like/dislike based on answers and report back to whole class by nominating one speaker from the group to talk about their chosen person. Demo before, pretending to read from my table.

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