Be used to
Few and Little
Get Used To
Have and Have Got
Lend and Borrow
Past Perfect Continuous
Past Perfect Simple
Present Perfect Cont
Present Perfect Simple
Say and Tell
Small and Little
So and Such
Too and Enough
Will and Going to
(See the phonemic chart for IPA symbols used below)In connected speech catenation and elision often occur with wish.
Pictures work best. Something simple like a picture of someone running in the rain or a child crying (easy to
find in magazines). Question students along the lines of:
"What is she doing?" (running in the rain)
"Does she want to be running in the rain?" (no)
"What does she want to be doing?" (sitting at home with a cup of tea).
"So, does she wish she was sitting at home with a cup of tea?"
Plenty of build up like this, repetition with different examples and different pictures will give students the idea and the structure.
You can do the same for any of the "wish" structures. A picture of a person in prison:
"Why is he in prison?" (because he stole a car)
"Does he regret stealing the car?" (if students are not comfortable with the verb regret: "Does he want to change the past?" (yes)
"What does he regret?" (stealing the car)
"So he wishes he hadn't stolen the car?"
An idea I stole from my ESL teacher trainer is to introduce "Wish" with music. The band, Pearl Jam, has a
song called Wishlist and the song constantly repeats the form, "I
wish..." I have the students perform activities with the lyrics (mazes, jumbles,
etc...) to become familiar with the structure. Also, a great listening activity."
I use a magic lamp, like we see in the movies, and I tell them that they should make three wishes for the
genie. It doesn't matter if they make some mistakes. I then start talking about
my wishes and explain all the cases of wish"
I choose funny daily situations so that I can get their attention. For instance:
What if you missed a nice party with a lot of delicious food that took place yesterday?
I wish I had attended the party. I would have eaten...
Then I remind them that it exactly the same as the third conditional. Note that I start with the past perfect as it is easier to understand than the "unreal past"
Well! The first thing I say to my students is "I wish I wasn't here now. I wish I was on vacation." And then
ask what their wishes are and to share their wishes with the class. Starting
this way boosts their confidence. And when they can express their wishes
following my example, they are over the moon! I personally wanted to learn the
model from my teacher first when I myself was a student years back. But
actually, good examples at the beginning always trigger effective results."
AQM Khairul Basher
For teenagers or adult students... I tell students that I went out last night and got really drunk and
did a bunch of stupid things. In the morning I saw all the pictures up on
facebook. I ask them to write what is going through my mind. Wow! I spent so
much money last night, I wish I hadn't spent so much money. My favorite shirt is
ruined, I wish I hadn't spilled my drink on it. etc.
Well!! I agree with Chris using pictures is a good way to introduce wish to students. Because with one
single picture you can elicit many different sentences. however, I have another
way of doing this. I tell students a story in which I appear as a victim. How?
for example I tell them that my best friend went somewhere ( attended a party)
without inviting me. I appear as if I am really shocked by this action and then
ask them to say what they hope or wish the situation was instead. of course some
of them get the correct structure right from the start, but some keep
hypothesising. This way they compare between their native language and the
target one. So I start where they are not where I am. If no one gets the
structure I tell them the structure and let them express their feelings about
the inccident. this way the structure becomes automatic before even explaining it. Good luck!
Provide a context... for example, there is a good film on television tonight, but John has to revise because tomorrow he has a test.
Can John see the film?
What does he want?
He wishes he could see the film.
He wishes he didn't have to revise his lessons.
My method is a little bit different because I ask my students about the social evils of our society. Their
answers include pollution, bribery, nepotism and abuse of power. My next
question is what their wishes are and in which society they prefer to live.
Though my learners give grammatically incorrect sentences, it is my role to help them use correct sentences.
I draw a lion chasing a man on the board with a bubble over the man's head "I wish I..." I write the first
sentence "I wish I could run faster" then I ask students to complete the
sentence in their own words. It's funny and makes students use the structure.
I just want to comment. I was hoping to find some tips in this forum and I did. AQM Khairul Basher's method
appeals to me the most! It's brilliant teaching. Always relating to "here and
now" is the most credible, authentic context and the surest way to penetrate the
student's personal "firewall". Let's keep things simple and stay away from the
elaborate, since the elaborate may put pupils off and look suspicious to them. Thanks for sharing Khairul!
First, I create a situation related to the social background of my student. For example "a wedding party". I
ask them to make comments about the clothes or the bride using wish... "I wish
she hadn't worn that dress" "I wish I had been a bridesmaid" and so on.
If you have a good way of introducing or practising this grammar point, tell us about it here...
Try our grammar discussion forum for further help.
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