English teaching resources: The conditionals
English Level: Advanced (B2-C1)
Practice using conditional sentences in imaginary or real situations
Traditionally grammar practising has been done in writing and gives the students time to think about what is right or wrong.
The problem is that when you speak, you must come up with the proper grammar simultaneously. That is when trouble starts.
With some imagination, it shouldn´t be too difficult to make oral, grammar exercises and here is one example. We present these exercises in our TEFL courses not only for teachers to learn to develop this aspect of grammar in class, but also to stimulate the creativity and critical spirit of their students.
Activity 1: “What if…”
On the board you can review the meaning, structure and use of conditionals 1 and 2. The you can write the following questions on the board:
- 1.What will happen if there is no TV?
- 2.What will happen if all babies are born in test tubes?
- 3.What will happen if scientists find life on other planets?
- 4.What will happen if every government leader is a woman?
- 5.What will happen if there is no more oil in the world?
- 6.What will happen if computers replace teachers?
Some more daring questions could be:
- 1. What will happen if scientists prove that there is a God?
- 2. What will happen if there are no laws against pornography?
- 3. What will happen if marijuana is legal everywhere in the world?
You instruct the students to give two answers to each question, one that they consider quite likely to happen (using the 1st conditional) and one that is more of a speculation (using the 2nd conditional).
Activity 2: Debate
When they have finished, you listen to some of their answers and you gear up for a debate – one that incites the fury and fire in many a Spanish student. After the embers of the debate has settled, you can ask them what they think will be the good changes and why.
Make it clear for the students from the start that there are no right or wrong answers; they are predictions…. and yes, don´t allow them to get into another grammar debate again. That’s for another class.