Teaching ESL
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regrets or advice - should have and shouldn't have
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Author:  mesmark [ Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:12 am ]
Post subject:  regrets or advice - should have and shouldn't have

I was working with some high school students on talking about regrets or giving advice using "should have" and "shouldn't have".

I introduced the idea by playing the Treasure Island game and having them map out a course they planned to take. To start they had to follow their course, but after 5 moves they could choose to follow their plan or change it. Once the game was over we talked about what they should have done differently and actually what was good "It was good that I ..."

Later I wanted to practice the language more but the Treasure Island game itself is quite long and takes a lot of class time to set up (just 5-10 minutes but I only have students for 1 hour a week). So I started using the passive tense cards.

The students were already familiar with the passive tense cards and language, so we just reviewed the cards quickly. Then I asked what should he have done differently. They came up with some really imaginative advice for each of the cards.
for the card "He was scratched."
- "He shouldn't have picked up the cat."
- "He should have bought a dog."
- "He should have worn gloves."
- "He shouldn't have made the cat mad."

We went through quite a few cards, not quite all but it wouldn't hurt to do all of the cards or for large groups you can put the cards on the blackboard and have a few groups write advice for 2 or 3 cards. Then have one member from the group come up to the board and write their advice under the card(s).

For fluency and use practice I played the Get 'em game using the passive tense version on this site. you can find those listed on the game page or with the passive tense flashcards.

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