Formulaic Expression

Students’ Learning Outcomes

·         Use more phrases and formulaic expression learn in class and from extended environment.

Information for Teachers

·         What is formulaic language?
·         Multi-word units, multi word chunks, fixed expressions, frozen phrases,  phrasal vocabulary / routine formulas, chunks, prefabricated  routine———–
·         Formulaic expressions are words and phrases used in everyday situations to communicate for different purposes e.g. greetings (How are you? Fine, thank you) permissions (May i? Sure) gratitude (Thank you! You are welcome). These words and phrases once learn can fit in most situations without much change.
·         Formulaic expressions are used to show good manners and polite behavior.
·         The choice of words and expressions used depends on the age, gender and status of the addressee.
·         You need to select phrases and expressions which are easy for your students. The expressions should also help the students in their homes, school, market place, etc.)
·         While teaching the lesson, the teacher should also use textbook where applicable.

Material / Resources

Chalks/markers, board, duster, charts, etc.

Worm up activity

·         Greet the class and say: Good mornings how are you?
(Answer: “fine thank you”/ “very well”, “thank you”)
·         Introduce the concept giving some examples, give a word and ask them where and why we use that word: Thank you=gratitude, may i= permission, excuse me = request, please = request, please=request, you are welcome= in reply to thank you, I am sorry= to accept a mistake.
·         Explain that basic courtesy demands that one replies according to the age and relationship with the person one is speaking to
·         Ask them if ‘Hi’ or ‘hello” would be an appropriate way to greet a teacher/elder or grandparent. Explain that it is best to greet friends or class fellows with Hi or Hello.
·         Now write above greetings and two possible answers on the board and ask students to greet their partners. How are you? Response: fine, thank you/ very well, thank you)


Activity 1

·         Call one student to come up for writing. Ask the class who has the best handwriting; call that student because he will be writing on a chart today.
·         Tell the class that, to express greeting, farewell, thanks, or apologies, we use a lot of formulaic expressions. These may consist of a single word or of several words acting as a unit. Give them examples.
·         Organize the formulaic expressions in categories: gratitude (Thanks, thank you, bundle of thanks, thank a lot)
·         Ask the student who is there with you to write these words on the chart.
·         Tell them that the expression: ‘Here you are’ is used when someone wants us to give or hand over something. Write following dialogue on a chart:
    Student A: Can you give me this book, please?
    Student B: Sure/ of course / yes / yeah/, here you are.
·         Ask them to tell you which of the expressions they will use for the following addresses: (For some of them there may be more than one correct answer for example you can say thank you to all of the addressees.
Thank you
Friend/class fellow
Teacher/ neighbor
Thanks a lot
Bundle of thanks
·         Give them practice of acting out as different roles and saying the appropriate word to each other.
·         Tell them that some formulaic expressions express agreement with a previous speaker’s
(Yes, Yeah, Okay, Right, Sure, Of course)
Make this lesson interesting by asking the students to role-play different situations and roles in pairs and exchange dialogues.
·         Explain that ‘Yeah’ is an informal way and should only be used with people of same age or with friends.

Sum up / Conclusion

·         Conclude the lesson by telling the class that formulaic expressions and phrases are very helpful in their daily life. Ask the students to paste the chart on the wall of class.


·          Prepare role play chits (sample attached) and ask students to come in pairs to present appropriate formulaic expression to express agreement/gratitude.

Follow up

·         Ask them to use the formulaic expressions in the class and add new expressions to the list whenever they read / hear any new expression. They will be adding that expression. They will be adding that expression in the list of formulaic expression.
·         Ask them to notice formulaic expressions in their mother tongue as well.
Role-play chit 1:
Speaker 1: Grandparent
Speaker 2: Grand child
Situation: greeting
Role-play chit 2:
Speaker 1: Neighbor
Speaker 2: Child
Situation: request to borrow the newspaper / reply to express gratitude.

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