James Reckaway James Reckaway

Grammar - Second Conditionals in the Present Tense using 'would'.
Pre-Intermediate level


In this lesson, students will learn the meaning, grammatical structure, and proper use of the second conditional to express unreal, or unlikely, situations during conversation.


Main Aims

  • To provide clarification and practice of the second conditional (present and future) using 'would' in the context of imaginative conversation.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in a conversation in the context of unreal or unlikely events.


Lead-In (2-4 minutes) • To get the students thinking in English and using their imaginations.

Show picture of girl thinking to the class. Have an open discussion about what what they used to imagine when they played as children. Give your own example and illicit answers from the students.

Text-Gist (3-4 minutes) • To introduce the students to the target language and make them realize the expressions are imaginary.

Use slide 2 of the presentation to show students the text. The text displays numerous 2nd conditional statements. Give the students 1 minute to read the sentences quickly and answer the question. (Do the sentences describe real possibilities?) NO After a minute, have open class feedback to get the students to understand that all the sentences describe something imaginative...not real...highly unlikely.

Text-Detailed (6-8 minutes) • To allow students to realize what is included within the target language.

Use slides 3-5 to break students into group and read the sentences with more detail and answer the questions. They have 4 minutes to discuss before regrouping for OCFB. What word is in the first half of every sentence? (IF) What word is in the second half of every sentence? (WOULD) What tense is the verb in the first half of every sentence? (PAST) What tense is the verb in the second half of every sentence? (PRESENT)

MAFP (10-12 minutes) • To ensure students understand the proper meaning, form, and pronunciation of the 2nd conditional.

MEANING: Students should have grasped the meaning of the 2nd conditional through the Reading-Gist and Detail activities. Remind them this form is used for imaginary situations that are not likely. Likely scenarios use a different form. APPROPRIACY: Not applicable FORM: Use Google Slides to to refer to the Reading-Detail activity. Illicit from the students, through their answers to the question and proper verb forms. Have them notice the repeated pattern of the form: Pronoun + Verb (PAST) + a comma + Pronoun + 'would' + Verb (BASE FORM) If time permits, once students grasp the form, show them the clauses can be swapped and comma removed for the same meaning: Pronoun + 'would' + Verb (BASE FORM) + Pronoun + Verb (PAST) PRONUNCIATION: The most common word throughout any sentences in this lesson is 'would'. Would = /wʊd/ Wouldn't = /wʊdənt/ Ensure students can pronounce the words correctly through drilling if necessary. There are not likely to be any problems. Say the sentences on the Google Slides Reading Task. Illicit from the students the intonation of both the IF and CONDITIONAL clauses. They should notice the IF clause rises, and the CONDITIONAL clause lowers in tone. Use arrows on the slide to visualize this. Have students notice the pronouns and other nouns are often stressed throughout the sentence. If there are no other nouns, the main verb is stressed. Indicate this by changing those words to all caps within the sentence.

Controlled Practice (8-10 minutes) • To provide practice to students to perfect the proper form of the 2nd conditional.

Share the link to the Google Form Practice quiz. Students will have 4 minutes to complete on their own before breaking into group and discussing their answers for another 3 minutes. Regroup for OCFB

Free Practice (6-9 minutes) • To provide students the opportunity to use the target language in freer discussion with each other.

Show students the final slide for discussion ideas. Split into groups and allow them to ask each other, and respond, to hypothetical questions. Do one as an example with a student. Provide them 4-6 minutes for conversation then regroup for any feedback or DEC.

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