Nikue Gardner Nikue Gardner

Staying in touch
Intermediate level


In this lesson, students are encouraged to discuss their friends, how they stay in touch and what to say when you see each other. The lesson starts with reading and listening input, followed by analysis and review of adverbs of frequency. Students then discuss communication with friends and families. Finally, students are introduced to and practice some functional language used when coming across a friend or acquaintance.


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Main Aims

  • To provide review and practice of adverbs of frequency in the context of staying in touch
  • To provide clarification and practice of language used for greeting friends

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide detailed reading practice using a text about communication research in the context of staying in touch with friends
  • To provide gist and specific information listening practice using a text about friendly greetings


Lead-in (3-5 minutes) • To activate students schemata and personalise the context

Teacher describes a friend and the last time they were in touch, as an example. Working alone, students then write down the names of five friends, when they were last in touch and how they communicated. They then discuss with a partner and find similarities. Teacher elicits a few examples.

Reading (5-7 minutes) • To provide contextual input to further engage students

In pairs, students read the survey results and decide which answers they believe are true. Teacher then plays the answer track and students check. WCFB which results were surprising?

Listening #1 (3-5 minutes) • To provide language input in preparation for guided discovery

In pairs, students fill in the blanks from communication lexis using pictures as a guide. Teacher then plays CD and students check answers. In pairs, students discuss which answers are true for them. Teacher elicits a couple examples.

Guided Discovery #1 (2-4 minutes) • To provide an opportunity for students to make deductions about the meaning of the target language

In pairs, students analyse the listening text in order to fill out the chart of adverbs. Strong students come to the WB with answers. Teacher confirms.

Guided Discovery #2 (3-5 minutes) • To provide an opportunity for students to make deductions about the form of the target language

In pairs, students decide which adverbs usually go at the front of the sentence and which usually go at the end. Teacher draws a chart on the WB and stronger students come to fill out their answers. T confirms and drills a few sentences to ensure natural pronunciation for the upcoming speaking tasks.

Writing/Speaking (5-7 minutes) • To provide semi-controlled writing/speaking practice

Students use the prompts in exercise 3 to make guesses about their partners' routines and habits. Teacher monitors to ensure accuracy of form. Then partners ask each other and confirm or disprove their guesses. Teacher elicits a couple examples.

Mingle Speaking (5-7 minutes) • To provide an opportunity for more speaking practice with varied partners

Students are given one of two sets of questions. Half the group will stand up and rotate through the seated students, asking questions about routines until they find someone who matches them very closely. Teacher monitors and corrects pronunciation where necessary.

Listening #2 (3-5 minutes) • To provide practice in gist listening in the new, but related, context of greet friends

Students listen to 3 conversations and decide whether questions are true or false. They then check with partners. Might need to play track again. Teacher confirms answers and elicits justifications.

Test (2-3 minutes) • To check students understanding of register

In pairs, students read the conversations and select the most natural of two alternative phrasings for each. Teacher confirms answers.

Teach (1-2 minutes) • To clarify register in the context of the target language

Teacher asks students why the confirmed answers are correct (because informal language is more appropriate with friends and we often remove unnecessary words in informal language to increase the speed of communication and indicate the nature of relationships).

Test (3-5 minutes) • To check students' understanding of new phrases

In pairs, students fill in the blanks in exercise 3 with highlighted portions of the conversations from exercise 2. Then listen to check. Teacher drills pronunciation of the phrases where connected speech is important to maintain a natural sound.

Speaking 2 (3-5 minutes) • To provide controlled speaking practice

Students practice the conversations in pairs, focusing on accurate pronunciation patterns. Teacher monitors to correct where necessary.

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