Proficiency Lesson Plan 1 – Reported Speech

Teaching English to learners who have successfully reached C2 level can be unforgiving, and is certainly not for the faint hearted. These are dedicated individuals who will pick apart your grammar explanations, ask you the difference between impossibly similar adjectives, and occasionally produce pieces of writings that are so beautiful you have to read them twice to find some improvements to recommend.

Despite C2 being perhaps the most difficult level to teach, I have often found a lack of resources to help educators plan valuable lesson content. That’s why I have made a few plans of my own and I would like to share them with you. First up, Reported Speech.

If you need to refresh your knowledge of reported speech before teaching it, have a look at my post on the subject: How To Teach Reported Speech

The full lesson plan with a breakdown of each stage can be found here: Reported Speech Lesson Plan C2

Reported Speech for Proficiency

Step 1 – Lead in

Begin by refreshing their understanding of a reporting verb with a sentence on the board.

My mother said that she had been to the supermarket.

A painfully easy sentence for them to analyse, I know, but we must start with the foundations.

Once they have correctly identified that the reporting verb is ‘to say’, tell them that your lesson is going to revolve around playing with nicer and more advanced ways to express the manner in which people say things.

Step 2 – Introduce the Vocabulary

Present them with a list of reporting verbs that are appropriate for their level. Below I have put some examples from the Masterclass® textbook, use these or add to them.

  • Acquiesce
  • Blab
  • Brag
  • Clamour
  • Clarify
  • Demand
  • Egg on
  • Fill in
  • Go along with
  • Gloat
  • Moot
  • Mouth
  • Mumble
  • Pledge
  • Propose
  • Rebuff
  • Spell out
  • Swear
  • Turn down
  • Urge

Ask students to work as a group to put these words into three categories.

  1. Words I know
  2. Words I don’t know
  3. Word I’m not sure about

Clarify any meanings of tricky ones once they have finished this.

Step Three – Tie in Grammar

You should now put the following five categories on the board;

  1. to + infinitive
  2. object + to + infinitive
  3. that
  4. -ing
  5. to + object + that

Students must separate the words they have learned into these structures, in most cases, more than one category applies.

Extension – To make this a little more applied, you could put example sentences with each category, this also makes it easier for students to place each word. For example:

  1. to + infinitive

The manager ______ to help the players win the championship.

The manager pledged to help the players win the championship.

The manager swore to help the players win the championship.


Step Four – Practice Makes Perfect

You now have some beautiful reporting verbs and they are separated into the correct categories. Now your students need some practice, use this worksheet to reinforce what you have taught them: Reporting Verbs Practice C2

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