Tag Archives: classroom activity

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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Modality – ability

One last category of modality is that of ability/potentiality, which may be expressed either subjective explicit (she can/can’t…) or objective explicit (she is/isn’t able to…). As H & M (p. 621) put it, ability “is on the fringe of the modality … 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: Verbal group, discourse and Harry Potter

If we teach ‘the tenses’ separately, I think students might not get the interaction between them and how they are used in discourse for different effects. Here is an activity I’ve used with Upper Intermediate – Advanced students, though you could … Continue reading

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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 … 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: I wish I could fly

Here is a quick and simple activity for Elementary or Junior High students that highlights the importance of stress for New information. It followed on from a lesson using “I wish…”. First, at the top of the whiteboard, write the … 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: 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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