Andre Farant Andre Farant

TP8 - Grammar
Upper Intermediate level


In this lesson students learn to use modals for deduction.


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Main Aims

  • To provide clarification of modals of deduction in the context of making logical predictions

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide practice with words of deduction


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

I tell Ss we will be playing the role of detectives and looking at a few photos, guessing at the situation. I present the first photo and describe it myself using the modals to be examined (but without indicating that I am doing so, making it part of natural language): "He might be a businessman, or he may be a lawyer. He could be on his way to a meeting, but he must be late because he is looking at his watch and he looks upset, worried" I then show the Ss three more photos and have them make assumptions and deductions regarding the content and situation. I do not elicit the specific modals to be examined at this stage.

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

I present Ss with a short dialogue containing the target language. I have them first read it for gist, asking them to answer two questions via Google Forms after which we check their answers. In Open Class I then present the dialogue again with sentences containing the target language underlined. I ask them to identify the two sentences that present the most certainty.

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

I isolate the sentences using the target language. Each sentence is labeled with their level of certainty (maybe / more certain). I elicit why some sentences demonstrate more certainty than others. I elicit whether or not any of them indicate absolute certainty.

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

Using Google Forms and modified guided discovery, I present Ss with a few questions: Are the sentences referring to the past, present or future? How would they write the first sentence in the negative (using the negative will be an option during the practice stages)? Choose the correct form. Can the main clause be moved (ex: "Lost, he could be")? We review their answers. I then elicit the stressed word in the sentences, highlighting that the modal is stressed in every sentence. I elicit the negative for sentence 4. The negative contains a contraction (mustn't), which I drill.

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

I present students with a gap fill featuring five new sentences with the relevant modals removed. I remind them that some gaps can be filled with more than one answer and I elicit an example (may / might / could). I remind them to pay attention to levels of certainty.

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

I give Ss three more images and place them in BORs to make deductions regarding the images. I tell them to come up with two less certain deductions and one more certain deduction for each photo, for a total of at nine deductions. I also ask them to justify their own deductions. In OCFB I elicit examples of deductions from the Ss. DEC if time permits.

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