Kate Kate

Future forms and their use
Intermediate level


In this lesson, students will learn via guided discovery about the different ways to talk about the future ("will", "be going to", and present continuous) through listening exercises. First they will speak a little in pairs about why a woman in a photograph is crying, then, through a listening activity based on the woman's story, they will do some exercises and learn about how to talk about the future in English. At the end, if there is time, students will work at producing their own sentences about the future in the context of a future jazz festival.


Abc Grammar Explanation
Abc New Inside Out - CD
Abc HO1 - New Inside Out, SB
Abc HO2 - New Inside Out, SB
Lineup HO3

Main Aims

  • To provide clarification, review and practice of the future forms ("will", "be going to", and present continuous) in the context of listening to everyday conversations.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide gist and specific information listening practice using a listening exercise about romantic relationships.


Warmer/Lead-in (3-5 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Without giving HO1 to the students, show one student the picture, and ask him/her to describe what's happening. (There are two women, one of them is crying.) Ask the class to discuss in groups of 3 why they think the woman could be crying, discuss as WC. Next, say that their names are Sandy and Zoe, and that during this lesson we are going to listen to some of their conversations.

Exposure (3-5 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through a text or situation

- Tell students we'll now listen to a conversation between Sandy and Zoe, and they have to answer one question: why is Sandy so unhappy? They don't need to understand every word. Give HO1 (folded) to students. Tell them to read and listen. Ask them ICQs ("What are you going to listen for?" "Do you have to understand everything?") After they've listened once, ask them to check the answer with their partner, then check as a whole class. (Because David hasn't called her.)

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

- Direct students' attention to the numbers in the text (1,2,3). Ask students about the time of the actions. (Future). Ask students how many ways there are of speaking about the future (3) and ask students to name them. (Divide WB in 3, write answers - 1. present continuous, 2. "be going to", 3. "will").

Clarification (8-10 minutes) • To clarify the meaning, form and pronunciation of the target language

- Ask students to tell you what situations each form is used for. If they can't describe, act out scenarios to elicit the answers (present cont. for arrangements; "be going to" for intentions; "will" for spontaneous decisions). Focus on "will" for contractions and negative. Highlight the fact that "will" often goes along with "I think..." Draw timelines to clarify. - Give students the Grammar Expl. HO. Tell them it's for reference while they do the activities, they don't need to read it. - Next, direct students' attention to the side of HO1 where it explains the future forms. Ask them to read it with a new partner and then talk about why each form is used for each scenario.

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

- Direct students' attention to ex. 2. Tell them these sentences describe one of these three ways of speaking about the future. Read them, and ask students (in pairs) to match the letters with the numbers in ex. 1. - Show the rest of HO1 to students (chest it), tell them to fold above the picture of David. Explain that students should read and answer the questions in the dialogue (ex. 3) with a partner. Ask ICQs ("Are you going to read or listen?"). - Listen to the dialogue and check answers. When checking answers, ask CCQ ("Why does this use "will"?") - Unfold HO1 again (chest it), and focus on ex. 4. Explain that students should read and write the appropriate future form with their partners. Ask ICQs ("Will you just read?") - Listen to the dialogue and check answers.

Listening Break (5-10 minutes) • To give students a break from the grammar and practice their listening skills

*Part, none, or all of this can be done, depending upon time* - Tell students to have a short conversation about whether or not Sandy and David have a future. - Tell students that they'll now listen to the final conversation. They should listen for the answer. (ICQs: "What will you listen for?") - The answer is no. Ask them if they can highlight the future form (they can listen again). Ask them what form it is, and why.

More Controlled Practice (5-10 minutes) • To concept check and prepare students for more meaningful practice

- Show students HO2 (chest it). Put students in new pairs. Ask them to do one activity at a time, and explain the instructions before each one. If students are finished early, ask them to write their answers on the board. - Not all of this HO may be necessary to do. If students seem competent, cut it short (only do the first two exercises or so) and move on to free practice.

Free Practice with dialogue activity (8-10 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the target language

- Tell students that they will now write a dialogue about a future music festival. Gives students HO3. Make new partners.

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