Gaining Comfort with Levels of Formality

In a recent YouTube video, I challenged upper level students to find more formal or less formal variations of ten statements. Watch the lesson. Such tasks are open-ended because there isn’t one right answer. Ideally, the viewer should do my exercises with at least one other person. Two heads are better than one, and discoveries…

Teaching Modal Verbs: Function, Strength, and Formality

Have you developed an approach to teaching modal verbs? I’ve found it most effective to focus on these three aspects: Function. What purpose(s) do these modal verbs serve? What do they express? Students will learn and retain grammar if they understand how it functions in communication. I strongly recommend presenting these auxiliary verbs in groups according…