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Absolute Beginner English Countable / Uncountable

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Now that students are familiar with 'some' and 'any' you can extend this knowledge by adding the questions 'How much' and 'How many', as well as the quantifiers 'some', 'a lot of', 'a little' and 'a few'.

Prepare the lesson by once again writing a few headings on the board. I would include 'Some', 'a lot', 'a little' for uncountble objects and 'some', '4', 'a lot' and 'a few' for countable objects. Under these headings, add a list of the countable and uncountable objects that you have introduced - or will be introducing - during the lesson. This will help students continue to expand on the concept of countable and uncountable nouns.

Teacher: (Take an illustration or picture that contains many objects.) How much water is there in the glass? There is a lot of water in the glass. (Model 'how much' and 'a lot of' by accenting 'how much' and 'a lot of' in the question and response. This use of accenting differing words with your intonation helps students learn that 'how much' is used in the question form for an uncountable object and 'a lot of' in a positive statement.)

Teacher: How much wine is there in the glass? There is a little wine in the glass.

Teacher: How much cheese is there? There is some cheese.

(Repeat with several different uncountable objects.)

Teacher: Paolo, how much water is there in the glass?

Student(s): There is a lot of water in the glass.

Continue this exercise around the room with each of the students. If a student makes a mistake, touch your ear to signal that the student should listen and then repeat his/her answer accenting what the student should have said.

Part II: Asking Questions With How Many

Teacher: (Take an illustration or picture that contains many countable objects.) How many apples are there in the picture? There are a lot of apples in the picture. (Model 'how many' and 'a lot of' by accenting 'how many' and 'a lot of' in the question and response. This use of accenting differing words with your intonation helps students learn that 'how many' is used in the question form for countable objects and 'a lot of' in a positive statement.)

Teacher: How many glasses are there in the picture? There are a few glasses in the picture.

Teacher: How many oranges are there? There are some oranges.

(Repeat with several different countable objects.)

Teacher: Paolo, how many books are there in the picture?

Student(s): There are a few books in the picture.

Continue this exercise around the room with each of the students. If a student makes a mistake, touch your ear to signal that the student should listen and then repeat his/her answer accenting what the student should have said.

Part III: Expanding into a Mini-Conversation

Teacher: (Choose an image)

Teacher: Paolo, is there any water in this picture.

Student(s): Yes, there is some water in that picture.

Teacher: Paolo, how much water is in this picture.

Student(s): Yes, there is a lot of water in that picture.

Teacher: (Continue around the room - make sure to repeat students' incorrect sentences accenting the mistake so that they may correct themselves.)

Back to the Absolute Beginner 20 Point Program

Related Video
ESL: Questions in English
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