Julia Julia

Vague language in informal conversations
Upper intermediate level


In this lesson, students practise using vague language in the context of an informal conversation about childhood and growing up. The lesson will start with a short lead-in activity in which students share what they wanted to be when they were growing up, and whether their adult professions are anything like their childhood aspirations. This will be followed by a content preparation task in which students brainstorm topics of conversation relating to childhood and growing up. Language preparation will be undertaken through categorisation and guided discovery tasks, and drilling on pronunciation. Productive tasks will follow in which students talk about their own childhood experiences and childhood today. Finally, feedback will be given on content and language use at the end of the lesson.


Abc Zoom, Google Jamboard, Google Slides

Main Aims

  • To provide fluency practice in using vague language in informal situations, in the context of a conversation about childhood and growing up.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide practice in listening and responding in a conversation.
  • To provide review of lexis relating to family and childhood.


Warmer/Lead-in (4-5 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Instructions: Think about when you were a child and what you wanted to be when you grew up. Did it come true? Teacher gives a demo, then allocates Ss to breakout rooms to discuss. Teacher brings Ss back to main room and elicits a few examples.

Content Preparation (5-6 minutes) • To prepare students for the content of the task

Instructions: Imagine you're with friends. You're chatting about your childhoods and experiences of growing up. What kind of things would you talk about? In groups, add possible topics to the jamboard. Teacher shows jamboard to Ss, elicits one or two examples and demonstrates how to add them to the jamboard (1-2 minutes). Teacher shares link to the jamboard, then allocates everyone to breakout rooms to work on the task (2 minutes). Teacher brings everyone back to the main room and discusses the topics added, eliciting further detail and adding to the jamboard (2 minutes).

Language Preparation (8-9 minutes) • To prepare students for the language needed for the task

Meaning: Teacher shares a google slide showing two possible responses to questions, and elicits from Ss which answer sounds more informal, less direct. Teacher elicits meaning of the vague language using CCQs (2-3 minutes) Form: Teacher shares link to a google slide with example sentences using vague language and asks students to categorise them by form in breakout rooms. Teacher assigns students to breakout rooms and monitors. Teacher brings students back to main room and shows answer (3 minutes) Pronunciation: Teacher shows slide with example sentences, then drills pronunciation. (2 minutes)

Productive Task(s) (18-20 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice speaking fluency using the target language

Task 1: Teacher asks students to talk about their own childhoods and experiences of growing up, then allocates them to breakout rooms. Teacher monitors breakout rooms for language. Teacher brings Ss back to main room for brief OCFB and to give instructions for task 2. Task 2: Teacher asks students to talk about childhood today and what is the same/different from when they were growing up. Teacher re-arranges and opens breakout rooms, then monitors the conversations. Back-up task: Teacher asks students to tell their group about an important moment in their childhood.

Feedback and Error Correction (4-5 minutes) • To provide feedback on content and language

Teacher writes down examples of language overheard during breakout rooms. Teacher commends good language use, elicits reformulations, and elicits corrections from Ss for any mistakes.

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