John Coen John Coen

Teaching Practice 3: John Coen
Upper Intermediate level


This lesson will focus on adjectives and modifying adverbs through the context of heroes and villains in films.


Abc Kerr, K. & Jones, C. 2007, Straightforward: upper intermediate student's book, MacMillan
Abc Kerr, K. & Jones, C. 2007, Straightforward: upper intermediate workbook, MacMillan
Abc Scrivener, J. 2011, Learning Teaching: The essential guide to English language teaching, MacMillan
Abc Scrivener, J., et al. S. 2007, Straightforward: upper intermediate teacher's book, MacMillan

Main Aims

  • To develop students ability to use graded and ungraded adjectives with modifying adverbs in the context of villains in films

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in a conversation in the context of villains and a variety of topics


Warmer/Lead-in (4 minutes) • To set lesson context by elicit modifying adverbs and adjectives

Discuss the idea of heroes and villains: Images of 'Batman and The Joker', 'Thor and Loki', 'Saruman and Gandalf' to be posted on whiteboard. Ask the students who their favourite villain is and why? Ask students what their favourite villain's characteristics are?

Awareness raising (5-7 minutes) • To draw students attention to the target language

The students will read (scan) the provided text on villains and tell the class the modifiers and adjectives they find in the text. These will then be written on the whiteboard. Once all the examples from the students are written up, they will provide a list of correctly used modifier + adjective examples. Then, I will provide an example of an incorrect modifier from these examples. I'll write "absolutely dangerous", "very consumed" and "a bit furious" and ask "Do they work? If not, why not?" I'll let students discuss in groups.

Introducing the grammar (10-15 minutes) • To concept check and prepare students for more meaningful practice

Introduction to gradable and un-gradable adjectives using diagrams and realia. Use the wedding ring to illicit the concept of married and discuss whether the state of being married has a scale. Elicit "can you say I am very married?"- it is either single or married. Un-gradable. Use temperatures from freezing to boiling to illustrate a scale of adjectives. I'll draw the scale on the board from freezing, very cold, hot to boiling. I'll bring in varying samples of water at different temperatures. Discuss/elicit modifying adverbs that can be used with each. I'll elicit freezing and boiling (upgradable) and hot and cold have varying percentages (gradable). Then I'll elicit the modifying adverbs that can be used with each - I'll ask "How cold? to elicit a bit, very, quite, pretty, slightly, extremely, really (adverbs used with gradable adjectives - write them next to the scale. And write "absolutely. completely, totally, really" next to boiling and freezing - highlight boiling and freezing. So are the adverbs absolutely, totally, completely and really.

Guided practice (6-8 minutes) • To help students identify and categorise adjectives as graded or ungraded

Divide students into two groups, give them a number of adjectives (mixed). Ask them to discuss whether they are gradable or un-gradable. Once they have decided the students come come up and put them on the board under the correct category. Use of examples/personalisation I am ……….. (adverb) ……….. (adjective) because ………… I was ……….. (adverb) ……….. (adjective) when ………...

Exercise 1 (6-7 minutes) • To clarify the meaning and form of the target language

The students will work in pairs on exercise 1 from the students book. This is an activity to get the students thinking and deciding which sentences are correct/incorrect. Feedback from the whole group.

Free Practice (6-8 minutes) • To provide students with the opportunity to express their own ideas/opinions in free practice of the target language

Tell students that they are at a party and they will be involved in general chit chat. Set the scene - play some music in the background, ask students to stand up and give them paper cups as their drinks at the party. Give each student a topic to talk about (with a picture), e.g. traffic, horror films or celebrity magazines. Tell them to talk to other people at the party about the topics they have, i.e. give their opinions using modifying adverb + adjective examples practised during the lesson. (Alternatively, if there is not enough time to set up the scene, ask students to think of a film they like and describe the main character or villain in the movie and the other students will try to guess the name of the movie.)

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