Stephen Davis Stephen Davis

Upper Intermediate level


In this lesson, students will work on practicing and differentiating between idioms that are collocated with the word "first".


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Main Aims

  • To provide clarification of "First", and associated Idioms in the context of Various
  • To provide review of "First", and related Idioms in the context of Various

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide clarification of language used for To provide a welcoming and lightly pressuredized environment where students are invited to share ideas and express opinions while interacting with classmates and teachers


Warmer/Lead-in (3-5 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

The students should be quickly greeted as the teacher briefly and politely introduces themselves.

Exposure (8-10 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through a text or situation

This week is special. It’s the first time that the Summer olympics have been held in Japan since 1964, and only the third time they have been in Asia. Holding the olympics during a global pandemic wasn’t anyone’s First Choice, but it looks like Japan, and the International Olympic Committee is determined to go ahead with the First Class sporting event. Maybe they think the logo is too well-designed to wait any longer. My first impression is that there is a lot that could go wrong with these races. First of all, many of the athletes are already getting sick and seeking First Aid, or even hospitalization. At First, I was disappointed with the decision to move forward, but the athletes seem excited and ready to move their bodies. After all, movement is really the first language of all humans. Regardless, whoever wins First place in any event, the games are going to be unforgettable, for better or for worse.

Highlighting (2-4 minutes) • To draw students' attention to the target language

Using the previous paragraph, the instructor should highlight the "first" idioms being used.

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

Students are asked some or all of the following questions to test for understanding and retention. Has the same meaning as mother tongue? Means that you know someone well enough to use their first name? Means ‘initially’? Is the opposite of “last thing at night”? Means the thing or place you choose first? Means of the very best quality? Means you fallen love with someone as soon as you meet them? Means that you are in a leading position Is the idea of people or things that you get when you first see them? Is a type of simple medical care? Is the slowest speed on a car or racing bike? Means “before everything else”?

Controlled Practice (8-10 minutes) • To concept check and prepare students for more meaningful practice

Students are asked to place each idiom into one of 4 categories. This task re-exposed students to the idiom itself while also reinforcing their prior knowledge of grammatical forms and their role in sentences.

Semi-Controlled Practice (8-10 minutes) • To concept check further and prepare students for free practice

Conversation : you will have about 5 minutes to read the following dialog about the Tokyo Olympics. While you read, please fill in the blanks with the appropriate word or phrase form the answer box. Welcome to Tokyo!! Kenji : wow, that was a long flight. ___A__, I want to thank you for picking me up from the airport. I almost wish I had chosen ___B__ seating, instead of the back of the airplane. Asuka : Oh, I know what you mean. Paying extra for a better seat is always my ___C___ when flying long distances but sometimes it’s all booked up. Kenji : Yea, well now I’m in Tokyo and excited about working with the Olympians. I think I got the job because even though Japanese is my __D__, I also speak Spanish fluently. Asuka : Yea, it will be a big help to the athletes if you can speak directly to them at the ____E____ station, in case they get injured. Kenji : I’m certainly going to work hard and do my part. I’m really excited to see the marathon. Who do you think will come ____F___? Asuka : I’ve only seen them run a little. But my ___G____ are that it will be a close race, with no clear favorite to win. Kenji : Yea, I agree!!! Words First Class In first Gear First Language First Aid At First First impressions First of all First Choice In First Place

Free Practice (8-10 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the target language

In this portion of the lesson, students are asked questions which they should answer in the group. Imagine we are "speed dating" (instructor can clarify this real world activity here). What questions do you think are most important to ask? Remember, you only have 10 minutes to discover if this person is worth dating again in the future or if you will never see them again. Are you going to ask if they like dogs or cats better? Probably not. So what will you ask? On a first date : Where would you go? What would you eat? Do you believe in "Love at First Sight"? Has it happened to you? Instructor should leave time for feedback and asking if students have any additional questions.

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