Katie Sullivan Erul Katie Sullivan Erul

Teaching Practice 7
Upper Intermediate level


In this lesson, students will review and practice using modals to express permission, obligation (and lack of), and prohibition in the context of workplace rules. Since students are likely to have been exposed to this grammar before, the lesson will follow a test-teach-test format, starting with an exercise to test their knowledge, followed by any necessary clarification of meaning, form and/or pronunciation. The second exercise will test that they have understood any parts that weren't clear before. Finally, students will have an opportunity for freer practice.


Main Aims

  • To provide review and practice of modals expressing permission, obligation, and prohibition in the context of workplace rules.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in a conversation in the context of workplace rules.


Lead-in (3-4 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Write first model sentence on the board: "We had to work fast." Ask Ss where this is from. Answer:Reading. Underline "had to." Asks Ss if there is another way we can say this by changing "had to." Answer:Needed to. (If Ss don't reach the answer after a pause, write the "n" under "had to."

Test #1 (7-9 minutes) • To gauge students' prior knowledge of the target language

T shows HO and gives instructions: "On this page are 6 sentences like this from the reading. Each sentence has one part highlighted. Like in the example on the board, replace the underlined part with another word or phrase that has the same meaning. Some of them have more than one right answer. Work alone first. You'll have a few minutes. Please wait until after everyone has their paper to start." Ss find modals to replace, about 3 minutes. (while monitoring, if there are early finishers who find an answer to each one, ask them to think about any other possibilities for #3 and #4.) Ss check in pairs, 1-2 min. T shows answer key with one answer each and elicits any additional examples (there are a number of possible answers for some sentences.) T asks if anyone got all of them right, 5 right, etc.

Teach (10-15 minutes) • To clarify areas of the target language where students had difficulty in the first test stage

Do one example of concept checking together, using "We had to work fast." T says: Look at sentence 1. Ask Ss: Was it necessary to work fast? -Yes. Ask Ss: Did we have a choice? -No. Ask Ss: What do we call something that is necessary? -an obligation. (Write this one on the board soon if they don't offer the answer.) T gives instructions: "On the left side of this chart, are the different situations where we use these words. On the top, there is present tense and past tense. You are going to put each sentence from the last exercise in its place. You will see the example we did together here. You find the right place for the other 5. Also, answer the yes/no questions on the left." ICQs: "So, you're doing two things, first?" -put sentences in boxes. "Second?" Answer yes/no T continues instructions: "Work alone first. You'll have a few minutes to complete as much as you can." Give students the grammar chart with one sentence placed already. Ss place sentences in appropriate part of the chart and answer CCQs on the left. Give a few minutes to work alone. Ask Ss to check in pairs (but perhaps don't do this as an announcement. Try to put Ss together in pairs or groups of 3 based on S ability to complete the chart. This depends on how many people are there and know the material.) Give Ss another 2 minutes to discuss in pairs/groups of 3. Show answer key on WB. Ss check their answers. Point out similarity of "had to" and "must" as used for obligation. Ask Ss to say which one is negative of "had to." -"#2 Didn't have to" Ask Ss to say the negative of #4 "must". -"must not" Ask Ss if "must not" goes under "must" in the chart (like didn't have to goes under had to). Answer: No. Ask Ss: "Where does it go?" Answer: With #3, prohibition Ask Ss: Which is stronger? (Must or have to) Answer: Must. Ask Ss: Which is stronger? (Must not or aren't allowed to) Answer: Must not. On WB, elicit the form of #1 and #4 from Ss. (versions of S + modal + bare infinitive...) For first one (We had to work fast) ask Ss: "Does the "to" go here or here? (with the modal or with the infinitive?)) Answer: Modal. (They might not answer this) Highlight the reason as follows: Ask Ss to give the shortest answer to a why question using the form: "Why did you work fast?" Answer: We had to. Ask Ss to give the shortest answer to another why question using "Why are they looking after their backs?" Answer: They must. Drill each weak form pronunciation as we go (hafta, hadta, can, etc) Highlight that must is usually emphasized with no weak form. Highlight that the short answer versions are not as weak as in the middle of a sentence. (haftu)

Test #2 (5-7 minutes) • Check students' use of the target language again and compare with the first test

Workbook exercise 2: T shows handout and gives instructions: "Now we're going to read about the experience of a pharmacist. On this page, she talks about some of the rules at her job. There are gaps in the sentences, and for each gap, you will put ONE word. Pay attention to the (tense) and to the (modals)." ICQ: "How many words can go in each gap?" -One. "Work alone, you'll have a couple minutes to complete." Ss have 2-3 minutes to complete the exercise. Ss check in pairs (1 min) Ss check answers on back of handout.

Freer Practice (If there is extra time) (5-7 minutes) • To provide students with freer practice of the target language

IF THERE ARE MORE THAN 15 MINUTES REMAINING: T gives instructions: "What do you think was the worst rule in this story?" (Any answer is fine) "Did you ever have rules at your job that you didn't like?" (Yes...) "Talk with your partner about the rules you didn't like, and why?" Ss discuss in pairs for 2-3 minutes. T elicits some examples.

Free practice (13-15 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the target language

T projects image and Ss help set scenario: T: "Who is that? ... That's me. What kind of employee do you think I am?" -Bad, lazy, etc. "Actually you're my boss. I work for you in your office. I used to be good at my job, but recently, I'm not getting any of my work done. I have some really bad habits at work. What are some of my bad habits? (Let them give some examples, write them on board). "And now I'm friends with all of your other employees, so they're all becoming as bad as me. Unfortunately, you can't fire me. Do you know why?" (Let them give a reasonable example, if not, suggest that I'm a friend of the family) "So, since you can't fire me, you decided to make some new rules for the whole office." T gives instructions: "With your partner, discuss what rules you want to make for the office. Write down 5 that you think are the most important." Ss discuss in pairs for 2-3 minutes. T gives a 30-sec warning so they can write answers. Ss write their 5 rules. T gives some error correction if necessary. Then, T puts two pairs together and asks each group to look at their 10 rules and pick the 5 best ones. (ICQ: How many rules do you need now? -5) Ss discuss in groups of 4/5 and write 5 rules. T gives error correction again if necessary. Then, T groups up Ss again so that the class if half and half. Instructions: "Now you are going to decide all together what the 5 best rules are." T asks for a volunteer from one group (the bigger one if # is odd) to write their decisions on the board. Ss debate as a whole class which are the 5 best rules while 1 student writes their decisions on the board. T thanks boss and wraps up exercise.

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