Activity: Finite as negotiation

Here’s an activity adapted from Jones’ ‘Functional Grammar in the ESL classroom’ but one I’ve used especially for Junior High young learners (or possibly false beginner adults). It features the Finite as a resource for arguing a proposition, and some basic grammatical metaphor. The activity is a conversation:
A: Do you want a sandwich?
B: No, I don’t. Thanks.
A: What do you want then?
B: I want a hotdog.
A: You don’t want a sandwich?
B: No, I want a hotdog.
A: You don’t want a hotdog!
B: Yes, I do. I do want a hotdog!
A: No, you don’t.
B: Yes, I do!
A: Do not!
B: Do too!
A: Don’t!
B: Do!

The activity is then to gradually scaffold the conversation. First, go through the conversation together bit by bit, focusing especially on intonation and stress to emphasize the marked Finite and polarity Then, blank out all of the ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s on a separate sheet and have the students write them back in. As a kind of game, the students then role-play the conversation and the winner can be whoever is loudest at the end. The students enjoy it as they get the shout but it also highlights the Finite as the nub of negotiation.


About eflfunc

I'm an EFL teacher in Japan and this is a blog to record some thoughts on using Systemic Functional Linguistics in the foreign language classroom.
This entry was posted in Young Learner Activity and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Activity: Finite as negotiation

  1. Koba edouard says:

    we need to have more detail on the functionality of the interpersonal fiunction

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