Functional Language
Upper Intermediate level


In this lesson, students will learn how to use expressions to change the topic of a conversation. The lesson will start with a listening exercise to introduce the language. They will be asked to identify the functional elements first, and then the new topic. This will first be followed by a repetition activity to practice on pronunciation, and finally by a speaking activity for production stage.


Abc Ideas to discuss
Abc Listening exercise 1.75 - 1.78

Main Aims

  • To provide students a better understanding and awareness of functional language structures that are used to shift the main topic of a conversation.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide accuracy by freer speaking practice on functional language.


Lead in (3-5 minutes) • To set lesson context and generate interest in the topic of the lesson

T first rearrange students' seats by fruit salad activity to set especially a specific group of students apart who generally talk too much and also have other students interacted with other learners. Then sets the context first by using the target language in personal conversations and then by projecting the visuals on the WB. Then asks students to work in pairs and think about ways to link the visuals into one single conversation. They will have two minutes to think and one minute for feedback.

Listening Task (8-10 minutes) • To contextualize and introduce the target language

T writes six different topics on the WB and introduces the target language by playing the listening exercises taken from the coursebook. T: We will listen to four different conversations. I want you to try to identify the main topics of the conversations. We need to find the answer for "What?". T writes six sentences on the WB (two of them are irrelevant to the listening exercises) and informs Ss to pay attention to figure out which ones are going to be mentioned, and which ones are not. T plays the recordings. (4-5 minutes) T: Could you hear any of the topics on the board? Runs a short feedback.

Highlighting theTarget Language (10-15 minutes) • To highlight the target language so the learners focus on it

After running a brief feedback, T indicates the second topic in each conversation. T: Now, we'll listen to the conversations one more time. I want you to pay attention if you can hear any other topic that I didn't write on the board. On what topics do they start talking about and move onto what other subjects. T plays the exercises again. Runs a feedback. For the first conversation: CCQ: Did he call her to pick him up from the airport? (no) CCQ: Could she pick him up if he had called? (yes) Second conversation: CCQ: Did he ask for his number? (no) CCQ: Did he ask something he just remembered? (yes) Third conversation: CCQ:Did she accept her friend’s offer? (no) why-why not? CCQ:Did she invite her friend to study together? (no) Fourth conversation: CCQ: Did she ask him out for a dinner? (no) CCQ: Did he want to talk in the school cafeteria? (no)

Clarifying target language (10-15 minutes) • To clarify meaning, form and pronunciation so learners can understand, say, and construct it

T: Have you realized some special expressions to switch from one topic to another? Can you identify which phrases were they? (Elicit) Explain there is no relationship with their other forms/usages. They are fixed, this is how they are used. Give examples "By the way" has nothing to do with any "way" For "speaking of" (meaning) CCQ: Do we use it out of nowhere? (no) CCQ: Do we have to relate it to something we heard? (yes) Clarification of pronunciation-form Any other example you could hear? For "before I forget" (If they cannot remember, elicit through antonym) CCQ: Do I want to say something that it important to me? (yes/probably) Clarification of pronunciation-form For "by the way" (Give the first letter-give examples using the word "way") CCQ: Do I want to completely change the main topic of the conversation? (yes) Clarification of prınunciation-form For "I've just remembered something" (Antonym) CCQ: Was I planning to say something before? Clarification of pronunciation (Absolutely finger)-form For "That reminds me" Is it related to something I heard? (possibly/yes) (Something caused me to remember but no relation is necessary)

Language practice (5-10 minutes) • To provide oral practice focused on using the target language accurately

T projects some ideas for students to think for one minute and then practice the target language in pairs.

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