Home TEFL forum Grammar & Vocabulary Can/Can’t and have to/don’t have to

Can/Can’t and have to/don’t have to

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  • petaleigh
    Participant
    12 April, 2011 at 13:58
    • Total posts: 1

    Hi there.
    Can anyone give me some easy games/ideas to get the concept of when we use these two … have covered in class but confusion has reigned with:-

    Muslims don’t have to eat pork- should be can’t
    In the UK you can drive on the left. should be have to

    Students are getting confused with both – any lesson ideas greatly appreciated.

    KarinThomas
    Participant
    10 July, 2011 at 8:36
    • Total posts: 3

    Reply To: Can/Can’t and have to /don’t have to

    Maybe you could case it as a series of rules or something.

    Set it up so that you write some rules with the class (example) like:

    No spitting
    Don’t speak loudly
    Walk in the hall
    Listen to your classmates
    Listen to your teacher

    Then you can incorporate the language into it after. The conceptual difference between those is that one is possible, while the other is something that you must or must not do. The students generally can’t be taught by saying the sentence I just wrote for you, but they can understand through deduction and reasoning. Change some of the words like ‘walk’ above to ‘run’ and then ask the questions: Can you run?–of course you can, it’s possible. Do you have to run? — no that’s silly. Can you walk in the halls? – yes, again, it’s possible…"Do you have to walk in the halls? – yes, why? because running is dangerous etc. etc. If you use four examples like the ones above and deduce them in this way, it might help the students to understand.

    I think you have to isolate these concepts and then check with the students that they are able to respond and understand in context. Just an idea. I’m new to teaching but been trying to read up on some stuff, and won’t know if any of this works till I get to sink my teeth into the classroom. I suggest reading a bit of Jeremy Harmer, he seems to know tons of stuff about teaching theory–and can explain it better than I!!!

    Cheers!

    Karin

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