Allison Munn Allison Munn

CELTA TP5- Obligations in the Past, Listening
Intermediate level


In this lesson, students will learn how to use obligations in the past through the context of a listening on what makes a good or bad boss. The lesson will begin with a short discussion of two bosses, comparing who is a better boss and which boss they would prefer. Then students will review vocabulary they will encounter in the listening. They will listen and complete an activity, comparing answers with a partner. Then they will review the past forms of obligations, using the transcript to practice. They will then review "was/weren't allowed to", and do controlled practice to change present forms into the past. Finally, the students will practice creating their own sentences in an interactive group exercise. If there is time at the end of class, the lesson will end with a short error-correction exercise.


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Main Aims

  • To provide clarification and practice of the obligatory past (had to/need to and allowed to) in the context of a listening discussing good and bad bosses.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide gist and specific information listening practice using a text about good and bad bosses


Warmer/Lead-in (5-6 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

I will introduce the context of the lesson by talking about my first job and bosses at this job. I will describe them, then divide students into pairs or groups of three and have them discuss: 1) Which boss do they think is better? Why? 2) Which boss would they want to work for? I will give them 2 minutes to discuss, then we will recap as a class.

Clarification (5-6 minutes) • Pre-teach vocabulary they will hear in the listening activity

Before beginning the listening activity, I will quickly teach a few phrases and vocabulary words they will encounter in the listening. I will cover the following: 1) to credit (v.)/share credit(n.) Ex: She always shared the credit with her employees. 2) "mix with" ex: The boss didn't like to mix with his staff. 3) Preferred. Ex: He preferred working on his own to working with others. 4) overwork Ex: The employees were tired and overworked.

Exposure - Listening for context (8-10 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through a listening exercise

After discussing bosses and what makes a good boss, we will take a look at the listening on page 58. I will hand out the questions for exercise 3, and have the students review the statements on the left for 2 minutes with a partner before beginning. Then I will play the listening. I will stop after each speaker, and give the students 30-60 seconds to discuss their answer with a partner. After the listening, I will give them 2 minutes to compare as a group. Then we will check answers as a class.

Highlighting (4-6 minutes) • To draw students' attention to the target language

I will ask students to work in pairs, then I will give them the transcript for the second speaker, and ask them to look for what happened the week before. What did the speaker and his colleagues do? Why? Who did most of the work and why? Did he want to? What would have happened if he didn't? Recap question: WHEN did this happen? I will emphasize that this was an obligation that occurred in the past.

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

Since I have already clarified the meaning of "need to" and "have to" in the past, we will emphasize their form and pronunciation. I will compare with don't need to/don't have to. Then I will return back to my discussion of my first job to introduce "Is/ aren't allowed to." I will talk about things my boss said I could and couldn't do. I hope to elicit the terms "allowed to" and "not allowed to." For each I will emphasize meaning, form, and pronunciation.

Controlled Practice (5-7 minutes) • To concept check and prepare students for more meaningful practice

I will give the students exercise 6 from the book and have them complete this activity in partners. The will need to change the modal verb to past tense in each statement. When they have finished, I will have them change partners and compare answers. If they have any questions about the exercise, we will review as a class.

Semi-Controlled Practice (5-7 minutes) • To concept check further and prepare students for free practice

I will give each student a slip of paper that has half of a phrase written on it. Each slip will describe a situation with "had to," "didn't have to," "was allowed to," or "wasn't allowed to." The students will stand up, find a partner, and read the statement. The other student will need to finish the sentence to make it true for themselves. When they have both done this, they will exchange slips of paper and go find a new partner.

Error-Correction (3-5 minutes) • To provide students with review of the target language through error-correction

If there is time permitting at the end of the lesson, I will finish with error-correction of errors I have taken note of during the lesson. We will review the language covered and I will answer any remaining questions they may have.

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