Teaching “wishes” & “hopes” to both low and high levels of EFL learners is enjoyable. It is a great way for learners to talk about their aspirations, dreams, and even hidden desires.
Here’s a practical lesson plan to introduce and practice “wishes” and “hopes” in the classroom.
By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:
- Tell the difference between “wish” and “hope” in meaning.
- Tell the difference between “wish” and “hope” in structure.
- Produce various sentences using “wish” and “hope”.
1. Presenting the Meaning
1. Writing the following examples on the board to show students the difference between “wish” and “hope” in meaning.
- I wish I could fly to the moon.
- I wish I had a million dollars.
- I wish my mother could be with me now.
- I hope (that) my friend gets better.
- I hope (that) it stops raining soon.
- I’m hoping for good weather today.
- I hope (that) my son succeeds in secondary school.
- I hope to study in Europe next year.
2. Telling students that there is a difference in meaning between “I wish” and “I hope”.
“I wish” refers to unrealistic dreams. E.g. I wish I could fly to the moon.
Most of the time when we use “I wish”, we want something impossible or doesn’t seem likely. E.g. I wish I had a million dollars.
We may feel sorry that things are not as we like. E.g. I wish my mother could be with me now.
On the other side, “I hope” is a bit different. When we use “I hope”, we want something to happen, e.g. I hope (that) my friend gets better. I hope (that) it stops raining soon, I’m hoping for good weather today, but we are not sure that it will.
It may be out of our control whether it happens or not, e.g. I hope (that) my son succeeds in secondary school. I hope to study in Europe next year.
2. Presenting the Structure
3. Telling students that there is a difference between “I wish” and “I hope” in structure as well, asking them to notice the structural differences from the examples above.
4. Eliciting from them that we use the past simple tense with “I wish” for a wish in the present.
5. Providing the following diagram:
(I wish + subject + past simple tense) and giving more examples, e.g. I wish I spoke Italian, I wish I had better news, I wish I was a famous footballer … etc.
* (With high level learners), add that we use the past perfect tense with “I wish” for a wish in the past.
* Providing the following diagram:
(I wish + subject + past perfect tense) and giving more examples, e.g. I wish I had studied harder for the test, I wish I had traveled with my father to London last summer … etc.
6. Then go to “Hope” structures and elicit the following diagrams:
- Hope + that-clause, giving more examples, e.g. I hope that there’s a cake in the party … etc. saying: we can omit “that”.
- Hoping + for + object, giving more examples, e.g. I’m hoping for a happy new year … etc. telling that hope is commonly used with “-ing”.
- Hope + infinitive, giving more examples, e.g. I hope to pass the interview … etc. saying that it is likely formal.
Give a text with gaps and ask students to fill in the gaps with the appropriate word; wish or hope.
Asking who wishes he had a car … etc. and eliciting from the student who wishes that to say: I wish I had a car … etc. (with high level learners, you can use wish + past perfect tense).
Asking students to respond to some situations using wish or hope, e.g. you dream to be in Paris in the present. You want your friend to get better … etc.
“Find out wishes & hopes”. Students work in pairs to know each other’s wishes and hopes. Then, each student makes two sentences at least about his/her partner; one wish and one hope. E.g. Jane wishes she was in Cairo, she hopes to learn Arabic. John wishes he could get good marks in the exams, he hopes that he does better in the next exams … etc.
Asking each student in the classroom to take a paper and write three wishes and three hopes. Then, select some students to tell the whole class what they wish and hope.
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