Modals of Deduction + Gender-biased Language + Games – A Grammar Lesson

Hello, everyone!

This week’s lesson plan is a very special one. We’ve recently had our branch meeting at the school I’m a coordinator at, and among the round of sessions I delivered there was one about using technology and students’ devices in our favor. Instead of providing teachers with a list of resources, I designed a lesson to show them how those suggestions could be put to practice. However, it isn’t the technological part of it that makes it so special.

There’s been a lot of discussion about inclusiveness in ELT, and what I’ve noticed is that a lot of teachers are fearful their wanting to approach more delicate topics in class may come off as an attempt to impose their own views on their learners’ or to evangelize them somehow. Although this might occur, it is only a possibility if actually done that way.

As language teachers, we’re there to teach… language. However, language is a social activity and never done in isolation. One speaks or writes so that another listens or reads it. So if we’re striving to teach language in a communicative way, why not insert language in a context that is relevant and current?

“Critical thinking” has become somewhat of a buzz term, but I’m still appreciative of its importance. Learning a second or foreign language enables one to be part of a much bigger community and become a citizen of the world. But learning grammar alone won’t do much for one’s wanting to interact with different cultures. There are other skills that need to be developed, and being able to listen and respect someone else’s opinion is, to my mind, one of the most important ones. It is only by allowing students to voice their opinions in a safe, controlled environment, and working as mediators rather than preachers that we’ll be fostering critical thinking and enabling learners to co-exist despite (or because of) their differences.

By the end of this lesson I’m sharing with you, students will have been enabled to talk critically about gender-related stereotypes using modals of deduction in the present. Besides, I’ll be using a lot of different websites and apps you can take full advantage of to spice your lessons up. If you don’t feel like using all of them in a single class, good thing is that you can still teach this very same lesson plan without the technology. 🙂

Lesson plan with procedures can be found here, in PDF.
Slides can be found here.

Should you use this lesson, let me know how it went by writing a comment in the comment section below. Don’t forget to like this post and share it on your social media!

Thanks for reading and happy teaching. 🙂

P.S.: This post is dedicated to the Braz-TESOL Voices Sig.


Yet/Already + Present Perfect – A Grammar Lesson

Hi, everyone! How’s it going?

After a long hiatus, I’m finally back. I won’t dwell on why I haven’t posted much here – let bygones be bygones! Fact is, I’m here, and with some (great, if I do say so myself) content to share with you!

The lesson I’m sharing today is one I’m very fond of, not only because of the grammar point it addresses itself, but also because of the material I used to set the topic. And great thing is it lends itself beautifully to teaching other language points as well!

A lot of teachers, whether novice or experienced, find it hard to teach the Present Perfect tense. Not so much because of the tense itself, but rather because of most learners’ reactions to it. I’ve once heard that learning (and mastering) all uses of the Present Perfect is what divides wo(men) from girls/boys, although I believe there are things far more complex than it one should master before any claims are made. Taking the CEFR into account, the Present Perfect is a structure learnt at A2 level in most coursebooks – although here in Brazil, where I’m based, some schools leave it to higher levels. Hopefully, the way I put this lesson plan together, teaching it won’t be a hassle anymore!

As I’ve just said, there are many uses to the Present Perfect. The one I’m aiming at in this lesson is using it to talk about life experiences.

You can find the lesson plan here: Thanks for reading!

Used to – A Grammar Lesson

Hello, everybody!

As a teacher, I’ve always enjoyed the idea of creating my own lessons from scratch, exercises and all. As much as I love using – and buying – coursebooks, I like to think of them more as a guide to help me to prepare my own material than the only means for delivering them.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve had my fair share of coursebook-bound lessons – especially in my first years in the profession. However, as I developed as a professional – and also as time went by, I’ve started to feel more comfortable with putting myself “out there” and coming up with complete lessons on my own.

The lesson I’m about to share with you is one that’s very dear to me. This lesson earned me a first-submission pass in my 3rd assignment in the CELTA course – an experience I’ve yet to share with you. We were supposed to design a lesson plan using authentic material for a skills lesson. However, as I was creating it, I realized the text I had chosen would lend itself beautifully to a grammar lesson as well, which is why this is a 2-cycle lesson (1st part grammar, 2nd part reading.)

The complete lesson plan plus handouts can be found attached below. Should you use it in your lessons, let me know how it went!