Number one for English language teachers

Where were you? Could / Couldn't

Type: General lesson plan

Students play a guessing game to practise could and couldn’t in question, negative and short-answer forms of can.

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Readers' comments (4)

  • Hi memophonics,

    Great, glad we could be of help. Personally, I'd keep them hidden as I think it makes it that much more exciting!

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  • This is just what I was looking for! Do you recommend letting them see the cards before playing so they have an idea of the possibilities or keeping them hidden?

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  • Hi bartonim,

    Thanks for the feedback. This is an interesting point that you make. Clearly there are different types of English taught around the world and it is important to be aware of the varieties and subtleties involved when introducing new vocabulary to your students.

    As with other publications and websites, here at onestopenglish we have a style guide and being an English company, we use English spelling on all our materials. However, why not use this as an opportunity to highlight the difference in spelling and vocabulary to your students? You can make it part of the lesson to see who can spot the words with English spelling and whether any of them know the American spelling. And if they don't then you can come to the rescue and tell them!

    Hope that helps and good to hear that you are enjoying the activities.

    Best wishes,

    The onestopenglish team

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  • I love these activities, but one thing many teachers around the world find is that British English is often not the taught standard, so much of the vocabulary can go to waste. I am Canadian, living in Japan, and have fiercely tried to stick at least to the spelling I was taught--British spelling almost exclusively, the exceptions being rare--like the American 'tire' for 'tyre'. In the end, it's more trouble than it's worth, because in Japan the English taught is American. I do try to teach the differences given a chance, but the opportunity often does not come up. I know it's a minor point, but the 'aeroplane' card could have both spelllings, just to make it easier for teachers. Otherwise, great activity!

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Free pragmatics lesson plans brought to you by Macmillan Dictionary as part of the Macmillan Year of Life skills.

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