Teaching Modals: What Can and Can’t Be Done

Is it possible to teach modals separately, one by one? Of course, you could, but why? Their uses and meanings tend to overlap, so it makes sense to teach modals together in small sets, for example, may and might for possibilities. However, it’s very likely that at least one student will ask a question such…

Basic Abilities: Teaching modal verbs to express ability

The next time you must teach can/ could to lower level students, consider these two activities. 1.) MUSICAL CHALLENGE. “Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)” is a duet from the Broadway musical Annie Get Your Gun.  You’ll find various versions of Irving Berlin’s song on the Internet, giving you the chance to select the one…

Student Stumper 21: May vs. Might

QUESTION: Is it true that the only difference between MAY and MIGHT is that MAY is stronger? ANSWER:  Yes, but only when we’re talking about possibilities. I may get my work done early if I don’t run into any trouble. This suggests it’s possible that I’ll finish early. Compare: If the computer screen stops freezing…