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Expectations: Game, Set and Match
Upper Intermediate level


Students will learn adverbs and idioms for expressing ways in which the turn of events corresponds with or contradicts expectations. The context will be gender roles. The context will be set with a brief video on the famous Billy Jean King/Bobby Riggs tennis match form the heyday of the women's lib movement. We will move on to eliciting terms like of course, strangely and miraculously. The sub-aim of speaking will involve pronunciation drills and working on intonation for using these words. We will end with a debate about gender roles.


Main Aims

  • To develop and practice lexis for expressing how things conform to or depart from expections such as "naturally," strangely" and "miraculously."

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice with terms for expectations.


Lead-in (1-3 minutes) • To activate schema re gender relations and to provide some background for talking about expectations.

Ask if anyone likes or plays tennis. Explain that we are about to see a brief video about a famous tennis match between a male star and a female star back in the 1970s. Tasks: A) Try to predict whether Billie Jean King or Bobby Riggs won the match and B) Was the video really about tennis, or about something else? What? Anticipated problem Some may have trouble grasping the gender conflict element of the video. Solution: Give brief background to the King-Riggs match; assign watching tasks above.

Brief discussion (3-8 minutes) • To help students begin to talk about expectations being confirmed, exceeded or overturned; to lead into elicitation of lexis

Was this film just about tennis? No. About gender. Who do you think won? Why? Speak in pairs about who you think won and why. Students are informed that King in fact defeated Riggs 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. Anticipated problem Perhaps someone may know the outcome of the match ahead and blurt it out. Solution: Have them discuss whether King's victory was a surprise or not.

Elicitation (8-18 minutes) • To draw out target language (or to teach it as needed); to check comprehension of meaning

The overall aim will be to use a cline to illustrate meaning of TL. One end of cline will represent the confirmation of expectations (of course, needless to say) while the other will represent surprise and unexpectedness (miraculously, remarkably). In the middle we have mild surprise (oddly, strangely). I will attempt to draw out TL with confirmation of expectations. Ex. What would you say if I told you men are in general stronger than women? Of course . . . Next, I will move to surprise. Perhaps: "What would you think if I told you Ceyda can beat me up?" You might be . . . . sur . . . . etc. etc. Finally, what would be your reaction if all men suddenly volunteered to do all of the chores? It would be a miracle. These items will be placed on a cline to illustrate rising level of surprise. CQs: Obviously, Needless to say: Am I surprised by something? No. Did I expect it? Yes. Strangely, Oddly: Am I surprised by something? Yes. Did I expect it? No. Am I really shocked? No. Miraculously, remarkably: Am I surprised? Yes. Did I expect it? No. Am I really, really surprised? Yes. Anticipated problems 1. Students may not know some or all of target language. Solution: Use leading questions such as "What do you call something that you did not expect to happen?" A surprise. "How do you form an adverb from the noun? "Surprisingly." 2. Students may not be able to grade the terms in regards to level of surprise. Guide students through use of cline.

Pronunciation (18-23 minutes) • To give practice prounouncing what will likely be the hardest word: miraculously.

Students may have trouble with the twists and turns of “miraculously” Write: /mɪrakjʊləsli/ on board Stress on the underlined syllable: mi rac' u lou sly Drill both word stress and overall pronunciation.

Gap-fill exercise (23-28 minutes) • To check students grasp meaning of TL

Working alone then checking as pairs, students complete gap-fill exercise with sentences based on the Riggs-King tennis match. Check answers as class briefly, allowing for alternate answers from cline list. Anticipated problem Early finishers Solution: Have them write answers on board.

Intonation drill (28-33 minutes) • To practice correct placement of sentence stress using TL; to show how sentence stress can be used to illustrate sarcasm

Demonstrate and drill how intonation of these words varies in direct relation to the level of surprise. Of course, men are stronger than women. (relatively flat tone). Surprisingly, women sometimes defeat men in sports. (The adverb is intoned a bit more strongly.) Miraculously, Ceyda defeated Glenn in boxing! (Sharp intonation) However, we can suggest sarcasm by stressing the normally mild “of course” and by stressing some of the other terms even more. Stressed words are all caps: Of COURSE I stayed sober last night! MiRACulously, it did not rain on my day off. CQs: What do I mean when I say "miraculously" it did not rain on my holiday? Am I saying I usually have good luck on my vacations or bad luck? Bad luck. Is is usually sunny, or is it usually rainy? Rainy. I am complaining. Anticipated problems Not understanding what "sarcasm" is Explain with rough definition (A rough or critical remark, often in which one exaggerates or says one thing, but means another). Ex. Bobby Riggs REALLLY believed in equality. I LOOOOOVE CELTA.

Dialogue Read-Aloud (33-38 minutes) • To give students controlled practice for using sentence stress, intonation

Students take turns reading lines from role play. Sentences focus on using intonation and stress to make TL communicate emotions. Anticipated problems Male students may not like reading female lines and vice versa. Solution: try to encourage good humor or allow students to switch.

Debate – Should the sexes be treated equally in all ways? (38-45 minutes) • To boost fluency via free practice using TL in a debate format

Elicit a few areas in which we can debate equality. Housework. Pay. Education. Military service. Then arrange chairs in faceoff format (three facing each other on each side). One side will be “yes” side; the other will be “no.” Divide students by number so they are forced to take a side, even if they disagree with the position in question. They take turns making arguments for their side, using TL as much as possible. When one person makes a statement, she or he is replaced by a teammate standing behind him or her.

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