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Teaching functional exponents for making, rejecting & accepting suggestions
by Esther Ratcliff
- 1

Preliminary Information


Main aims;

  • To present through the context of a listening, a basic range of exponents for making, rejecting and accepting suggestions for free time activities.
  • To provide students with a chance to practice using functional language in making, rejecting and accepting suggestions for free time activities with other students.

Subsidiary aims;

  • To give practice at recycling and using some new lexical sets for free time activities.
  • To raise awareness of tonal movements of functional language for making suggestions.

The level is elementary which corresponds to A1 on the CEFR. They normally use New English File Elementary. Although these students level tested as beginners in October, most of the students are false beginners in the group and have an awareness of some basic grammatical forms from previous study. Their awareness of lexis is weaker than their grammar. I would say that 7 out of the ten students are average-strong for the level; 2-3 students are much weaker and need a lot longer for receptive and productive tasks.

Class Profile
There are 10 students in the class. The attendance is usually quite irregular so there are usually 6-7 students. They are studying an extensive general English course. (1.5 hrs 2 days a week) They come to class after work, and it is the last class of the day. Their ages range from 22 to 56. The older members of the class tend to slip into Spanish quite often. I have been trying to remedy this by feeding in additional classroom language according to the activity, and they record this language on coloured book marks. Many of the students use some English in their jobs and so have some technical vocabulary. Most of the students have some English knowledge outside the context of the classroom, either from their jobs or from wider society.

Timetable fit
This group have been studying on a general English course now for about six months. They have seen a lot of grammar recently especially the past simple with a focus on irregular verbs. Due to coursebook restraints and pacing issues for exams, I feel we don’t get a lot of time to do the practical English sections in the course book. This class will be an opportunity to use some of the vocabulary for free time activities the students have seen recently, and also present useful language for making plans. This lesson places functional language as a main aim, and sets up possibilities for subsequent lessons to explore the theme of further situational/functional language aims.

Monday 2 nd March
SS listen to an interview with to people talking about their favourite time of day
SS learn how to talk about thing they like/don’t like doing in their free time. (verb + ing) verb pattern.
SS tell each other about favourite time of day, month, season etc and why using verb+ing

Wednesday 4 th March
Day in the life of…
SS learn about verb-noun collocations with go, have and get.
SS ask each other about when they normally do things using a range of lexical items.

Monday 9 th March
Students read about two people’s experiences of a memorable night.
This introduces the language analysis of irregular past tense verbs. SS learn irregular past tense verbs
SS prepare some information about a memorable night they had and share experiences.

Wednesday 11 th March (Observed lesson)
Listening about friends talking about what they want to do together which presents the target language.
SS learn how to make and accept/reject suggestions when making plans with friends using a basic range of new and previously seen lexical items.
SS make plans with other students on plans for the rest of the week.

Monday 16 th March
Murder mystery night in a house which presents the target language.
Regular and irregular past tense revision comparing the forms.
SS use the target language review to ask and answer personal questions.

Wednesday 18 th March
(End of the unit)
Function Practical English video lesson on Asking the way
SS learn how to use the irregular past form of can (could) for asking for directions politely.
Revision of grammar and vocabulary from the unit.

Monday 23 rd March
Overveiw of Functions
Learner training session different situations we use functional language. Learners see a table of different sentences and contexts (similar to the example in the appendix)
Learners decide from a list which situations they would like to work on next.
SS review and learn more lexical sets for talking about food and food groups.

Wednesday 25 th March
SS read about different restaurants around the world which introduces the analysis of the grammar
Countable and uncountable nouns
Role play
SS a scene from a restaurant where they have to order from a menu, and ask about alternative dishes using some, any

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