Angela Angela

Modals of Speculation Lesson
Intermediate level


In this lesson students will learn about present modals of speculation through guided discovery based on the reading text 'The Tricks of the Trade'. The lesson will start with a discussion about the facts that students remember from the text. This will be followed by focusing on the target language in the text with further controlled and semi-controlled practice. As the last stage, there will be a free practice when students will have an opportunity to activate the target language.


Abc Modals of Speculation Handout 2
Abc Strips of paper

Main Aims

  • To provide clarification and practice of present modals of speculation in the context of secrets

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide controlled writing and freer speaking practice with the target language


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

• Project the slides. • Elicit the word 'speculate' • Ask SS to speculate about the people in the photos. • Elicit from SS which words they used and what they are called.

Highlighting (5-6 minutes) • To draw students' attention to the target language - Present Modals of Speculation

• Draw SS' attention to the text they read at the previous lesson. • Say that you will give them a handout with three sentences from the text. They will look at the sentences and in pairs, will answer the questions. • Ask ICQs ensure SS understood the instructions.

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

• Discuss with SS the answers to the questions in their handouts. • Elicit from SS which words in the three sentences make them think that the speaker is not quite sure that what he is saying is 100% true. • Elicit what these verbs are called. • Elicit what these verbs are followed by. • Get SS to study the table on the other side of their handout. • In pairs, get them to put the modal verbs on the cline according to the degree of certainty of the speaker. • Get SS to complete the rule about the modals of speculation. • Project Slide 7. • Elicit sentence stress and weak forms. • Drill the sentences.

Controlled Practice (3-5 minutes) • To concept check and prepare SS for more meaningful practice.

• Distribute Modals of Speculation Handout 2. • In pairs, get SS to choose the correct verbs to complete the conversation. • Open Slide 8 to get SS check the answers.

Semi-controlled practice (6-7 minutes) • To concept check further and prepare for freer practice

• Get SS to look at the photo in Ex 2 on their handouts and write as many sentences as they can about it using modal verbs. • Get the SS to compare their sentences and explain their choice of modal verbs.

Free Practice (10-12 minutes) • To provide SS with free practice of the TL.

• Divide the class into 6 groups and distribute the picture strips face down. • Emphasize that SS mustn't look at them yet. • Explain that one S in a group must pick on of the strips. • Starting from the side with the pen mark, they fold back the strip enough to reveal the first picture. • All SS in the group look at the picture and speculate about what they can see using: They might be/It could be/She can be/It must be, etc • When everyone said a few ideas, a new S folds back the strip to reveal the second picture. • SS now make new guesses about the story - and so on until the final picture is revealed. • A group member then picks a new strip and the game is repeated.

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