Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word
Learning a language is about understanding what words mean, grammar, spelling and pronunciation. But there is more to it than that. As part of the Macmillan Education Life Skills series, Macmillan Dictionary focuses on an area of language learning students of English often find difficult to master: pragmatics.
This lesson plans was written by author Jonathan Marks to help learners with pragmatics.
Overview: In this pragmatics lesson, learners develop their awareness and understanding of expressions meaning I don't know and practise using these expressions.
Total time for activities: between 30 and 35 minutes
Level: upper intermediate to advanced
Includes: student worksheets, teacher's notes and answer keyDownload this lesson plan
The following lesson plans are designed to help students learn phrases and expressions that are used in everyday life. Each lesson plan contains teacher's notes and hand-outs for students.
Lesson plan 1 (don't know): helps learners to develop their awareness and understanding of expressions meaning 'I don't know' and practise using these expressions.
Lesson plan 2 (suggest): helps learners review, consolidate and practise ways of making and reporting suggestions.
Lesson plan 3 (apologize): helps learners review and consolidate ways of apologizing and accepting apologies.
Lesson plan 4 (agree/disagree): helps learners review and consolidate ways of expressing agreement or disagreement.
Lesson plan 5 (opinion): helps learners review and consolidate ways of expressing opinions.
Lesson plan 6 (sure/unsure): helps learners to develop their awareness and understanding of expressions meaning "I'm sure" and "I'm not sure", and practise using these expressions.
Lesson plan 7 (hello/goodbye): helps learners to develop their awareness of ways of saying hello and goodbye.
Lesson plan 8 (advice): helps learners to develop their awareness of expressions for giving advice, and ways of reporting advice.
Lesson plan 9 (warn): helps learners to develop their awareness of expressions for giving warnings.
Lesson plan 10 (criticize): helps learners to develop their awareness of expressions for expressing criticism.
Lesson plan 11 (praise): helps learners to develop their awareness of expressions for praising someone.
Have a look at the following blog posts presenting useful expressions with examples on how to use them:
To use the Macmillan Dictionary definition, pragmatics is "the study of how language is used in particular situations to express a meaning or attitude that may not be obvious from the actual words".
Learning how to express yourself and convey a message successfully is an important life skill. It's a skill that we all need to master in order to be successful academically and professionally.
In this pragmatics series, Macmillan Dictionary is providing resources in the form of lesson plans and blog posts focussing on questions such as:
To find out more about pragmatics, read Michael Rundell's blog post on this topic: Learning about pragmatics: a useful life skill.
Watch the recording of our Life Skills Day webinars – including Jonathan Marks' session on pragmatics – on the Macmillan Life Skills Day page.
For more free resources and information about Life Skills, visit the dedicated Macmillan Education Life Skills page.
To find out what other types of resources are available on Macmillan Dictionary, visit our popular English language resources page.