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Teaching Practice 6: Grammar
Upper Intermediate level


Grammar in the context of hypothetical and imaginary situations - using the Past tense/the Unreal Past to talk about hypothetical/imaginary situations in the present and how/when to use the Past simple in the same context.


Main Aims

  • To provide clarification, review and practice of Hypothetical/imaginary situations in the the present; the unreal past (with if, wish and if only) in the context of wishful thinking (appearances)

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in a conversation in the context of wishful thinking (appearances)


Lead-in/Warmer (5-8 minutes) • to set the context for the lesson

To let the students know that we will be continuing within the context from the previous lesson but branching into a specific area; appearances - introducing the words hypothetical, imaginary and wishful thinking into the context with the use of the text (Language focus 1 - 1a,b, Unit 11, Cutting Edge). Give the students two minutes to quickly read through the text before having a brief discussion about it.

Grammar: Unreal Past (5-8 minutes) • Clarifying meaning & introducing form

Paste the statements from 2b (Unit 11, Cutting Edge) on the whiteboard. Ask the students which ones they most/least agree with? give the students 2 to 3 minutes to share their opinions. Elicit from the students the tense (past tense) being used in all four statements when talking about wishful thinking. Give the term "unreal past" to them to further clarify the "form" of the TL.

TEST 1: Controlled practice (6-8 minutes) • Identifying meaning

Draw two columns on the whiteboard - "the past" and "imaginary/hypothetical situation in the present". Give instructions (one by one each student will paste their statement in the correct column on the board) and distribute the statements (Test 1: whiteboard activity). Do a whole class feedback - "ask each student to give a reason why they chose that column for their statement?" - Use CCQs

TEST 2: Controlled practice (8-10 minutes) • identifying and using form

Explain the target of the activity, let the students know they have two minutes to complete the exercise (TEST 2: Practice 1a) and distribute the handouts. Peer check for feedback and move on to the next activity (TEST 2: Practice 1b). Give the students five minutes to complete the task. Monitor and check for errors.

TEACH (4-6 minutes) • clarifying meaning, form and pronunciation

Use the errors collected from the previous stage to clarify any misunderstandings on meaning, form or pronunciation. (Time allocated to stage depends on the number/extent of errors from the previous controlled practice stage)

TEST 3: Controlled practice (3-4 minutes) • To test level of understanding of previous stage

Give the students 3 minutes to complete the activity. Distribute the handout (TEST 3: wishful thinking). Provide answer key for feedback (TEST 3: Answer Key).

Speaking Activity (if time) (3-4 minutes) • Freer practice of the TL

Wrap up the lesson by letting the students practice the TL through a speaking for fluency activity. Ask the students to switch partners. Give instructions. (role play activity)

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