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Asking for Permission

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GOAL
By the end of the lesson, students should feel comfortable asking others for permission and responding appropriately.

LENGTH: 30-45 min

MATERIALS
Colored cards. (I use colored cards so students can practice colors too. My cards were made from construction paper cut into 16 even pieces. In retrospect, it would be better to use 8. I'll try to upload the pdf of my template which I photocopied onto each piece of construction paper. I'm assuming you can use plain paper cards, as long as there is something distinct on them--maybe an animal or vocabulary word).

METHOD
Divide class into small groups (I've found groups of 5-6 work well). Give each student a set of cards. Each student must have a different colored set. In the center of the table, mix all the colors and create a huge pile. Remind students to remember their color.

To start, each student takes a turn picking their card from the pile. If there are any cards on top of their card, they must ask their classmate for permission to move the card.

DIALOGUE:
For my lower level students:
Can I move your card? Yes, you can.
May I move your card? Yes, you may.

For my middle level students:
Is it ok if I move your card? Yes, it is ok.
Do you mind if I move your card? No, I don't mind.
Would it be okay if I move your card? Yes, it would be ok.

For my more advanced level students:
Would it be alright if I moved your card? Sure, it'd be alright -OR- Of course it'd be alright.
Would you mind if I moved your card? No, I wouldn't mind.
If you don't mind, I'd like to move your card. Sure, I don't mind.
Would it bother you if I moved your card over there? No, it wouldn't bother me at all.
Is it alright to move your card so I can pick up my card? Sure, it's alright.

If no cards need to be picked up, they should announce: I don't need to move any cards.

Once they get the hang of the easier questions, introduce more complicated questions. Also, make sure they answer correctly. Add colors in the question: Would it be alright if i moved your RED card?

NOTES
-Watch for the "Is it?/It is." combination...that's always tricky.
-My Chinese student always pronounce the silent "e" at the end of words. move is pronounced movie. argh.
-Some groups get bored halfway through. My more advanced students are usually more competitive so they play til the bitter end (and ruthlessly sabatage til the last card is picked up)...but thats the fun of the game.
-This is a pretty fun game where you can (for the most part) just sit and watch. Most groups begin to self-regulate, so you just correct when noone else catches the error (mostly its the Is it/It is combination or some pronunciation errors).

:+)
THIS CAN BE FOUND ON MY BLOG AT: http://chinatown-esl.blogspot.com/2004/08/lesson-being-polite-and-asking-for.html

(c) jenny wilsen, chinatown nyc . . . chinatown-esl.blogspot.com, 2004.

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