Sunday, 29 January 2012

What would you do if?

6th September 2011

Today’s lesson focused on the 2nd Conditional

The Second Conditional is used to talk about 'impossible' situations.
• If we were in London today, we would be able to go to the concert in Hyde Park.
• If I had millions of dollars, I'd give a lot to charity.
• If there were no hungry people in this world, it would be a much better place.
• If everyone had clean water to drink, there would be a lot less disease.

In a thematic lead-in to the target language, students were asked ‘what would you do if you were young again? After conferring in pairs answers were fed back to the class with the majority of answers being ‘I would study harder’ and ‘play more sports’. We then focused on how this form is used to discuss hypothetical, ‘unreal’ possibilities.

A task was then given to match new vocabulary (relevant to following activities) with their definitions, students worked in pairs and did well to identify correct meanings. In order to check answers the interactive whiteboard was used.

Students were then shown a video where random people in the street were asked a particular question. The initial task was to identify what question was asked and who was asking it? The question was ‘what would you do if you were invisible for 24 hours?’, interestingly the question isn’t actually ‘asked’ by anyone, we know the question because the people being asked repeat it, giving an opportunity to point out that we don’t usually repeat questions before answering and that it happens here because of the informal nature of the situation where people are actually enjoying being imaginative. The second task was to watch the video again and find further information, providing more practice and exposure to the target language. The students conferred and again did well to find the relevant points:

• What would most people do? Rob a bank
• What would the man do after he hopped on the plane? Travel the world
• Who would the woman spy on? People
• How would the woman earn some money? Mind reading

The answers given in the video were often amusing and also raised some interesting questions for the group. We discussed the validity of some of the answers, again providing further focus and practice of the 2nd conditional form. Some ideas discussed were ‘how could you make money mind-reading by being invisible?’ and ‘travelling around the world takes longer than 24 hours so effectively you’ll only see the inside of a plane’. The students enjoyed ‘investigating’ the answers and this helped tie in the idea of ‘spontaneous’ introduced with vocabulary at the beginning of the lesson.

Students were given a handout with the grammatical forms highlighted and we discussed the use these with examples elicited and presented on the board. This was followed by pronunciation practice focusing on connected sounds and the contracted form of ‘I would = I’d’ in natural speech.


In order to practice the form further students were given a gap fill worksheet where they had to choose the correct verb and put it in it’s appropriate form. This proved to be a little tricky for some of the learners but after conferring with each other the correct answers were fed back to the class.

In a final activity the students used their own ideas to form ‘what would you do if?’ questions. These were written on a worksheet and the group asked each other their questions, noting answers they felt were interesting or amusing. At the end of the lesson we shared ideas discussed with some very interesting questions like ‘what would you do if you were the leader of your country?’ This provided some interesting discussion and again helped the learners to practice the target language from the lesson.

Vocabulary Cards

Handout – Q-A activity

Handout - 2nd Conditional+Verb-Adjective Activity

2nd Conditional Grammar Key

Gist+Further Info Tasks

2nd Conditional lesson plan

2nd Conditional Lesson Prompt

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