Modals of Speculation, past
Intermediate level


In this lesson, students will learn about the past modals of speculation in the context of a text about a French impostor in the Middle Ages. They will be asked to say what they remember about the text. They will be asked to read it again, and to answer a few questions in pairs (the answers are in the text). The answers will then be written on the board (model sentences). They will be asked to highlight the answers in their text. They will then be asked for each marker sentence a few CQs. The teacher will write the cline on the board, with the marker sentences and form. Teacher will ask CQs to students. Students will then drill the marker sentences. Following this, they will be asked to do exercises in pairs. Feedback, followed by free language practice exercise


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Main Aims

  • To provide clarification and practice of Past modals of speculation in the context of a text about the trial of a Medieval impostor

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide accuracy speaking practice in a conversation in the context of deductions


Reading stage (3-3 minutes) • To remind students of the story, and make them more familiar with the text

Students will be asked to read the text again individually

Highlighting target language (8-10 minutes) • to highlight the target language by use of eliciting and guided task, and make sure students notice the TL

T will nominate a student to give a quick summary of the text. T will ask CQ: ''Is this story happening now, or did it happen in the past?''. Students will then be given a hand out with questions, and will be given time to find the answers in the text (pair work) and to highlight the answers in the text....The teacher will ask Ss to give their answers (ss will be nominated)...T will then write full answers on the board, these answers will be the marker sentences. But change the last marker sentence to a statement (she could have believed him)

Clarification of Target language (10-10 minutes) • to clarify meaning, model and drill, highlight form

T asks the CQ using gesture: ''are we talking about the past of the present?'' TT will draw a cline showing levels of certainty on the board. Students will be asked (for each of the marker sentences) to tell what the level of certainty is by use of CCQs (sure it happened, less sure it happened, sure it didn't happen) and T will write the modal next to the cline. T will ask ss to TELL HIM what the form is for each sentence (what is this? a subject and this? a modal...) T will then WRITE the form on the board, ELICITING the HAVE + PP and highlighting the ''have + PP'' in red.... T will underline them in red for each sentence. The teacher will then drill the TL: T will make sure ss know where the stress is in the sentence (draw stress marker over the stressed word). T will make ss notice the linking/connected speech (mustave, mayave, couldav), drawing an arrow connecting the two words to help them notice it. Finally, ss will drill the full sentences. T will play with the drilling

Language practice (8-10 minutes) • Provide controlled oral practice of TL

Students will do the exercises 1 on page 101, in pairs. This is a straightforward exercise: these sentences are related to ONE of the news headlines. Which one? SS will have a couple of minutes for this, and T will nominate ss to give the correct answer. T will ask ss to look at the example for ex 2 (''they can't have come from a zoo''), and ss will then do the rest in pairs on their HO. T will nominate ss to give their answers, and will ask the s to write them on the board (6 students for each answer). T will correct the errors (one by one, asking ss for confirmation for each answer) and will then underline the 'have + PP' for each sentence in red.

Less controlled language practice (10-10 minutes) • to give students the opportunity to be more creative with the language

T will write the heading C (Alien attacks teacher) and writes the example sentences for exercise 3 on the board. T will ask ss to give other examples, and write them on the board. Ss will then be asked to write deductions for the other headlines (a, b, c, d). WC feedback if time allows.

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