Category Archives: Small Class Activity

Activity: Consensus decision

A very important language skill is being able to work with others to make a decision or consensus. This is an activity I did with an Intermediate class to demonstrate the use of modality in making a decision. The text … Continue reading

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Directions Game

I added a game to the Resources page that practises giving directions. I use it especially with Junior/Senior High School kids. Usually the language of commands is introducted, understandable enough, with giving directions around town (turn left at High Street). The … Continue reading

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Activity: tenor, language choice and procedures

Here is an slightly different take on teaching the genre of procedures. The lesson was on giving ‘how-to’ instructions, for example ‘how to buy a ticket at train station’ or ‘how to make cup noodles’. Usually I would just teach … Continue reading

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Activity: Jobs – have to/get to and appraisal

For Elementary and pre-Intermediate students, ‘jobs’ are often used to introduce various grammatical structures, especially, to compare ‘have to’ (A police officer has to arrest people) with ‘must’ (A police officer must be brave). This comparison, to me, doesn’t seem to … Continue reading

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Activity: Expression and new information

A difficulty for all levels is recognising what is presented as new information within the clause. New information comes through stress in the Expression stratum and differs from the Theme – Rheme distinction of the clause. Here is a short activity … Continue reading

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Activity: Polite requests and grammatical metaphor

We often try to introduce students, especially in higher Elementary and Pre-Intermediate levels,  to ‘Could you …’ type polite requests  but I’ve found that textbooks do not always explain quite adequately exactly WHY one form is more polite than another. … Continue reading

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Activity: SFL for Elementary classes (simple dialogues)

Here is an activity I did with some Junior High School students using simple dialogues to highlight register choices of field, tenor and mode, and the three metafunctions of Ideational, Interpersonal and Textual meanings. The dialogues are people looking for lost … Continue reading

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Activity: Register and text

I’ve been doing a lot of activities recently trying to get students thinking about how context affects language choice. Here is one featuring three texts related to travel – two from a tourist booklet and one from the SMH travel … Continue reading

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Activity: verbal and relational clauses

Here is a quick activity I often do with young learners or lower level students. It’s a quick way to highlight the difference between relational and verbal clauses. All you need is two sets of animal cards (or any semantic … Continue reading

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Activity: Written Movie Review

Here is a very short text from http://metropolis.co.jp/ that shows nicely the Generic Structure Potential (GSP) of Written Movie Reviews: “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” The premise is strained in this Disney film about the holocaust, but the approach is fresh, … Continue reading

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