Be used to
Few and Little
Get Used To
Have and Have Got
Lend and Borrow
Past Perfect Continuous
Past Perfect Simple
Present Perfect Continuous
Present Perfect Simple
Say and Tell
Small and Little
So and Such
Too and Enough
Will and Going to
be + verb 3 (past participle)
Students practice using passive by playing charades- one student acts out a series of steps in a simple
procedure (e.g. making coffee), while the others must say what the student is doing using the passive voice (eg. "Sugar and milk are added").
I normally present two sentences - one is active and the another is passive. I let my student analyse
the difference between the two sentences, and if they are able to distinguish, I present the lesson (form, meaning and purpose). After that, exercises and
homework and possibly some materials (conversion of passive to active and vice versa, story telling etc.)
I give students some old
newspapers and ask them to read the news headlines and also some news items. Then I ask them to point out the passive sentences - headline language such as:
TWO ARRESTED to help me explain the function of the passives.
I ask students how to prepare a sandwich. First, I elicit the ingredients and write them on board, then the
actions (mayonaise - spread). Then, I make the sentences in passive. Students then asked me to prepare something together, so we decided as an additional
activity, to prepare a quick snack while explaining the process using only present simple form of passive. They decided to film themselves as if they were
in a cooking show.
I get students to write questions for a quiz using the passive. For example: When will the next World Cup be held? Who was the telephone
invented by? etc. Then do the quiz as a class, writing the answers in the passive to get as many points as possible.
I usually come up with a quiz.
Questions such as "Who discovered radioactivity?". The answers to the quiz are actually on the whiteboard in no particular order.
e.g. Marie Curie etc. This way students have a better chance of guessing the correct answer. I call out the
questions to one team at a time. They get one point for the correct answer (e.g. Marie Curie) and one point for responding in a full and correct passive
sentence. Radioactivity was discovered by Marie Curie. It's good to encourage the spoken use of the passive once they have learned the
grammar structure as this is often where they struggle.
I generally introduce the
structure by asking students about tasks that are done by people they have never seen, for example, collecting rubbish, cleaning the streets, committing
Starting from this we try to form as many examples as we can. At this level students are aware of the purpose behind the form. Students are also asked to list some tasks that they are done by people they know by name.
I also use a game show-like
activity to teach passive but instead of coming up with the questions myself I ask my students to write down a title of a book, movie, or song and put it in a
hat. Each student draws a piece of paper and must answer in a passive sentence, The song Yesterday was recorded by the Beatles.
If they are correct they get one point, if not the next student gets a chance to answer.
You could use a recipe:
the eggs are beaten
the flour is put into a bowl
the eggs are added
milk and sugar are added
the ingredients are mixed together
the mixture is poured into a tin
the tin is placed in the oven
the timer is set
If you have a good way of introducing or practising this grammar point, tell us about it here...
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