Ask a couple of learners to give a presentation
on the function of modal verbs, discussing different meanings expressed by
each modal verb and giving a few examples from their course book.
Hand out a concordance printout of the modal
‘can’ to all the class. Elicit the function and different meanings from
the data given; ‘can’ expresses 4 meanings: possibility, ability,
permission and polite request.
Divide the class into groups of 5-6. Give each
group a different set of the concordance for ‘can’. Each group should
analyze the data given, and then discuss their findings.
Each group report back to the class. They
should be able to identify the function(s) in their concordance, illustrated
Learners are allowed to make any comments of
instances of other meanings not mentioned before.
Adapted with permission from: Prima Mallikamas’ activity in Applications
of Corpora in Language Teaching, ThaiTESOL Bulletin, Vol. 12 No. 1,
- Whole class
- Group 1
- Group 2
- Group 3
- Group 4
- Group 5
(1) Whole Class Activity
(2) - Group 1
Concordance (3) - Group 2
(4) - Group
Concordance (5) - Group 4
(6) - Group 5