Fun Oral Practice Of Future Continuous Tense

Pairwork and groupwork for will + be + v +ing

Future continuous in common
Students try to think of as many true Future Continuous sentences as they can that start with “We will both be + v + ing”. Allow or even encourage obvious sentences like “We will both be breathing in ten minutes”.

Predict the class
Students write down what will be happening in the class at exactly this time next week, e.g. “Steven will be sitting in the same place”, “The teacher will be wearing the same shirt” and “It will be raining”. They then check their predictions at exactly that time in the next lesson. This also helps show the similarities with the Present Continuous, as they can use sentences like “I said the sun would be shining but it is snowing” to give feedback on their predictions in the next class.

Grumpy old men
This is like a reversal in time of the Monty Python comedy sketch in which Yorkshire men compare how difficult their childhoods were (“I lived in a cardboard box in the middle of a lake” etc). Students compete to give gloomy stories of how their lives are likely to be in a year when they will both be retired (e.g. 2045) such as “I’ll be living in a box in the park” “That sounds healthy, I’ll probably be in hospital with a tube in my nose”. If they can bear to think about such things seriously, this could be linked to a skills-based lesson on the ageing populations of many countries.

Predict our points in time
Students make predictions about their classmates like “In three years, almost everyone will still be learning English” and “In thirty years, only a few of us will be working”. They then choose predictions that they are fairly sure about, read one out and then take a show of hands to see if their prediction is considered to be correct. They can also argue their point if they think more people should be sticking up their hands. This could be combined with language for generalising like “The majority of…”

Ask students to make statements about things humans will still be doing and things that will have replaced some of those things at a certain point in time, e.g. 2035, then get them to compare and discuss their predictions. This could also be set up as a roleplay debate, with one person having to say optimistic things and the other pessimistic ones, or one person having to predict huge changes and the other saying that things will more or less stay the same.

Scenes from sci-fi films
Choose a science fiction film, TV series or animation which is set in a particular year in the future and ask students to predict things they will see people doing in a street scene with sentences like “People will be + v+ ing”. They get one point for every prediction that is right when they watch, then they can discuss which of the filmmaker’s predictions are really likely to be correct in that year.

Predict the next pause frame
Show students a video with lots of action and pause it. Tell students exactly when you will pause it again, e.g. in twenty seconds, and ask them to predict what will be happening on screen at exactly that time. The times when you pause should be planned in advance so you can get through the whole video (or extract from a video) in about ten to twenty stages. They should also be chosen carefully so that most of the things can actually be predicted from the last pause. It might be possible to set it up so that they make that the predictions for the next pause during the pause that they made their previous predictions about, or you made need additional pauses to give them enough evidence to make their predictions from. If students are unlikely to be able to make the predictions without help, you can give them a list of predictions that they can choose from to make statements about the next paused frame. This activity could be tied into discussion the predictability of modern films and/ or predictions about the future of cinema.

Written by Alex Case for December 2012
Alex Case is the author of TEFLtastic.

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