Posted in Advanced C1, Grammar Classes, Proficiency

C1/C2: Inversions – A Weekend Off!

Stressed and tired new parents with screaming newborn baby por Rob and  Julia Campbell - Stocksy United

This is a grammar lesson focusing on inversions based around the topic of the stresses of parenthood. Students read a text about new parents who get a weekend off, then transform the text using inversions. Download the handout and teacher’s notes below.

Teacher’s Notes

This lesson plan is designed to be used in several ways depending on your students’ level. The grammar focus is inversions, a structure that typically comes up at C1.

Lead-in

Write these questions on the board and have students discuss them in groups:

  • How does life change when you have kids?
  • How can other family members help with childcare?
  • What things do you think new parents miss about their old life?

Feedback in open class and top up language. Somethings that came up with my students were:

  • Suffer from sleep deprivation
  • loss/lack of intimacy
  • Changing dirty nappies/diapers
  • Pick kids up from kindergarten/nursery
  • Grandparents help out, lend/give you a hand
  • Financial struggles
  • Look after/take care of kids
  • Babysit – babysitter/nanny

Reading

Give out the text, fold the page so that they can’t see the grammar focus part yet, or just share the text if you’re teaching online.

Instruct students to read the text and find the answers to the lead in questions for the couple the text describes:

  • How has their life changed?
  • How do their family members help with childcare?
  • What things do they miss about their old lives?

Feedback in open class.

Language Focus + Controlled Practice

Here is where you can choose a different path depending on how familiar your students are with inversions.

C1 – Introduction to inversions

  • Lead them through the different types of inversions listed below the text.
  • Compare and contrast inverted sentences with uninverted ones:
    • This phone can take photos and videos.
    • Not only can this phone take photos, but also videos.
    • Add emphasis, more formal.
  • Highlight what we mean by “inversion”
    • Position of subject and auxiliary verb is inverted/switched
    • This phone (subject) can (auxiliary verb) take photos….
    • Not only can (aux verb) this phone (subject) take photos….
  • Tell students that the first paragraph contains 10 sentences that can be changed to use inversions and challenge them to change them.
  • There are 6 more in the second paragraph.

C1 – Inversion Revision

  • Challenge them to change the 10 sentences in the first paragraph (or all 16 in the whole text) using the language focus boxes as reference. Monitor and help out as needed.
  • The sentence stems at the bottom will help them identify which sentences they need to change.

C2 – Inversion Revision Super Challenge

  • Just give them the text, don’t give them language focus boxes for reference or the sentence stems! Tell them there are 16 sentences that can be changed to inversions and see how they get on.
  • Give out the language focus boxes if needed, monitor specific groups, maybe not everyone needs it.

Task Check

Show them the second version of the text with all the inversions.

Rarely do we have much time to ourselves. So busy is our schedule that we just can’t find the time to get out of the house. Not only do my husband and I both work full time, but we also have two small kids to look after. Little did I know that my parents were planning a special surprise for me this weekend. Only when I walked in the front door on Friday night did I discover what they had planned. No sooner had I opened the door than they appeared with a bottle of wine and the news that they were taking the kids to the local theme park for the weekend. Obviously the kids were ecstatic, not since they were four years old have they been to the theme park and that was just for 1 day, now they were going for a whole weekend! So grateful were we that we gave my mum and dad a massive hug. However, there had to be some ground rules for the kids. We told them that under no circumstances should they annoy grandma and grandad and on no account must they eat too many sweets before going on the roller coasters.

Hardly had my parents left the house when we opened the bottle of wine and sat on the sofa enjoying the sudden peace and quiet. Not until we sat down did we realise how tired we were. Hardly ever do we get a chance to watch a movie together over a glass of wine. However, barely had we chosen a movie and started watching it when we both fell asleep. Not until the next morning when we woke up did we appreciate how quiet the house was. Not since our second daughter was born had we had the house to ourselves. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves!

Freer Production

Challenge students to work in groups to continue the story. How did the couple spend the rest of their weekend off? Set them a time limit of ten minutes and encourage them to use as many inversions as they can.

Posted in Grammar Classes

CAE Conditionals Worksheet

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This is a worksheet to practice some advanced conditional expressions such as as soon as/otherwise/even if.

It follows on from my previous CAE conditionals lesson plan. Download the worksheet below:

Conditionals Worksheet

Conditionals Worksheet

Complete the sentences with a word from the box.

  1. ______________ the weather improves, we’ll have to cancel the match.
  2. ______________ you won the lottery, would you keep working?
  3. ______I known you were going to get angry, I wouldn’t have mentioned it.
  4. ______ they to install a swimming pool, how many people would use it?
  5. Put on another pair of socks, _____________ you’re going to get cold.
  6. I’m not going to speak to him again, ______________ he begs me on his hands and knees.
  7. __________ you feel sick, take two of these tablets.
  8. ______________ you pay us half of the money now, we’ll give you a 5% discount.
Should       were       supposing       unless       had       even if       provided that       otherwise

 

Match the first half of the conditional (1-8) to the second half.

1.     Supposing I asked you out for dinner,

2.     You can have a party,

3.     I wouldn’t go on a date with him,

4.     Should you need any assistance,

5.     Make sure you close the cage door,

6.     Unless you lower your price,

7.     Were the boss to give us a pay rise,

8.     Had I not seen the warning sign,

a.     Even if he was the last man on Earth.

b.     Provided that you clean up afterwards.

c.      Don’t hesitate to call me.

d.     We might not be so grumpy all the time.

e.     The deal is off.

f.       Otherwise the hamster might escape.

g.     I would have touched the cable and been electrocuted!

h.     What would you say?

 

 

 

Key

Exercise 1

  1. Unless
  2. Supposing
  3. Had
  4. Were
  5. Otherwise
  6. Even if
  7. Should
  8. Provided that

Exercise 2

  1. H
  2. B
  3. A
  4. C
  5. F
  6. E
  7. D
  8. G
Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Grammar Classes

Inversion Revision Worksheet CAE/CPE

This is a worksheet to revise 3 different inversion phrases for CAE/CPE students:

Download the worksheet here:

Inversion Revision

Inversion Revision.

  1. No sooner + had + subject + past part….. + than + sub +verb.

No sooner had I walked in the door, than the phone rang.

Invert these sentences:

As soon as the ball hit the back of the net, all the fans started cheering.

…………………………………………………

As soon as I saw her I fell in love.

…………………………………………………

As soon as the teacher entered the class the students fell silent.

…………………………………………………………

  1. Hardly/scarcely/barely + had + subject + past part…. + when + sub + verb

Scarcely had he left the house when it started to rain.

Invert these sentences:

As soon as the concert started his phone rang.

…………………………………………………………

As soon as his head hit the pillow he fell asleep.

…………………………………………………………

As soon as I saw her face I knew something was wrong.

………………………………………………………….

  1. Under no circumstances/On no account + should/must + sub + verb. (prohibitions)

Under no circumstances/On no account + to be + sub + infinitive

Under no circumstance is this door to be left open.

On no account should you eat on the bus.

On no account are you to speak during the exam.

Invert these sentences:

You mustn’t leave your bags on the table.

…………………………………………………………….

You mustn’t smoke in the school.

…………………………………………………………….

You mustn’t disturb the sleeping babies.

…………………………………………………………….

Posted in Games, Grammar Classes

Inversions of Prohibition – Pictionary

This is an update of my modals of obligation/prohibition lesson plan. This is a fun way to practice the following inversions:

Under no circumstances must you talk in the exam.

On no account should you put your head out the window.

Part 1 – Introduce the structures

Write the following sentences on a piece of paper, cut them up and jumble the words, then give a copy to the students to rearrange in pairs or groups of 3.

You must not speak in the exam.

You must not smoke in school.

The winner is the team who makes the sentences first.

Now elicit what the two sentences express: Prohibition. Now explain that there are two inversion structures we can use to express prohibition in a more formal way.

Model the sentences on the board with the inversion structures, paying particular attention to the way in which the aux verb and subject are inverted and the “not” is removed.

Under no circumstance must/should you speak in the exam.

On no account must/should you smoke in school.

Part 2 – Pictionary

Now split the class into two groups. Tell each group that they need to come up with 10 prohibitions using the two structures as a group and write them on strips of paper, emcourage them to be imaginative and think of crazy prohibitions: Under no circumtances must you sing to the dolphins. To them to work quietly so that the other group doesn’t hear their sentences.

While they work monitor them and correct mistakes.

Now collect in the sentences making sure to keep the two group’s sentences seperate. Now the students play pictionary: 1 volunteer from the first group comes to the board and has 2 minutes to draw as many of the prohibitions written by the other group for their own group to guess. They musn’t speak or write letters. Award 1 point for each sentences they guess correctly.

Let both teams have 2 turns each, the winning team is the one with the most points.

Posted in Grammar Classes, Video Classes

Inversionana Jones: Video inversion lesson

This is a lesson plan based around clips from the Indiana Jones films to teach inversion structures. Specifically the following ones:

No sooner had I sat down than the phone rang.

Scarcely/hardly/barely do you enter the restaurant when you smell the delicious food.

Part 1 – Introducing the structures

Print out this handout and cut it up into separate words, keeping the “No sooner, hardly, barely, scarcely, than and when cards for yourself.” I laminated the words for future use and printed the “No sooner, hardly etc.” parts on orange paper.

Give out the cards to students in group and have them order them into correct sentences. Either do this on a central table where everyone can see, on the floor or have the students come and blu-tac the sentences on the board.

As soon as I had sat down the phone started ringing.

As soon as you enter the restaurant you can smell the delicious food.

As soon as we had stepped off the plane, it started raining.

Tell students that we can use inversion to express the same thing as these sentences in 4 different ways. Now use the “No sooner/hardly/barely etc.” cards to transform the sentences. Be sure to draw their attention to the way in which you invert the auxiliary verb or add it if it’s not in the original sentence. Note: if this is a revision class have the students do it themselves.

No sooner had I sat down, than the phone started ringing.

Barely do you enter the restaurant, when you can smell the delicious food.

Scarcely had we stepped off the plane, when it started raining.

Draw student’s attention to the use of “than” with no sooner and “when” with the others. Have them copy the following formula:

Inversion Phrase + aux verb + subject + verb

Hardly had I sat down

Part 2 – Indiana Jones Clips

Now you can show them the Indiana Jones clips, tell them to watch the action and look out for actions which can be described using the structures:

No sooner had he swapped the sandbag for the statue, than the temple began to collapse. Encourage students to look for more.

Barely had the Nazis got on the boat when Indy escaped on his motorbike. Encourage students to look for more.

Scarcely had the Nazi drunk from the fake Holy Grail, when he grew old and disintegrated. Encourage students to look for more.

There are hundreds of other video clips that can be used to teach these structures, let me know which other ones you find.

Follow up

Set a composition in which students need to describe an exciting activity they’ve done, encourage them to use the structures to make a narrative more exciting.