Upper Intermediate level
To provide clarification and practice of vague language in the context of places in the world that are important to you
To improve ss' oral fluency using vague language
Procedure (36-48 minutes)
I start the lesson be telling ss that I am going to describe a country and they are expected to tell me the name. (I do this to give ss a reason to listen). The first time, I use vague language expressions, but the second time I will not. Then I ask ss to tell me what differences they noticed between these two versions of the same description. Next, ss work in pairs and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of vague language for one minute. Then we discuss them WC. “It’s a country, you know, in southwestern Asia. It’s a kind of big country with a population of seventy million or so and the country’ entire population is more or less Muslim. It’s sort of mountainous in most areas. Oil and natural gas are like the most important exports. It’s one of Turkey’s neighbors.” Pros: it’s a way of playing for time, in a phone conversation. Cons: it can be annoying and distracting especially if used too much.
I give out HO with a short text written on it, in which there are ten different examples of vague language. Ss first read it and give a summary to their partners. Then in pairs they read it again and underline the ten examples of vague language. For the feedback, I display the HO on OHP and have ss underline the ten examples on the board.
I give out HO with the description of vague language. Ss read it in pairs and match the examples with their functions. For the FB, I give the answers to one of the ss to play the role of the teacher and check other ss’ answers.
I give out HO of a text with blanks in it. First ss try to fill in the blanks on their own and then they compare their answers in their groups. Then ss listen to the recording to compare their answers. We listen to the recording again and this time we focus on the intonation patterns.
I ask ss to talk in pairs about the conversation between Gavin and Mark to see how much they can remember. They are supposed to use the vague language expressions from ex.1.
I ask each student to think a little about where they went on vacation last summer. Then they stand up and mingle. They should tell their story to the person they meet and hear their story. Ss find another partner. This time they should not tell their own story, but should tell the story they heard from their last partner. This will allow a lot of use if vague language as they will be unclear or uncertain of many details. Optional: ss can find their first partner and talk to them again to see how far their story strayed from the truth.