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Causal Phrases Against Humanity

by Theresa A. Orlovsky | 21 May 2016
Resource Description:

This is a card game used to practice the syntax of causal phrases. The game is based on the party game “Cards Against Humanity” and functions in similar way. This activity is meant to put into practice causal phrases taught at the beginning of class, based on those in found in Unit 18 of Business Benchmark textbook (Brook-Hart, 2013, pp.85-86). The activity was originally designed for a Business English class that prepares students for the Cambridge BULATS exam. Hence, the game has a business theme.

Audience: Adult, University
Audience Language Proficiency: Advanced, Intermediate
Duration: 30 minutes
Materials and Technology: Sentence cards

Answer cards

An overhead projector would also be useful to project a chart showing syntax rules for the causal phrases (chart included below).

Using causal phrases in context
Objective(s): Differentiating the syntax used for different causal phrases

Recognizing nouns/noun phrases vs. noun clauses

Practicing business vocabulary

Student will be able to differentiate between causal ​phrases ​ are followed by nouns/noun phrases and those ​which followed by noun clauses. 

Activity Description: Ask students to get into groups of 4-6, depending on class size.

Depending on student level, you can choose whether or not to keep examples projected or written on the board for student reference.

Give each group of students a deck of sentence cards and a deck of answer cards.

Explain the rules:

Each player draws 4 answer cards without showing them to classmates.

In each round one player acts as the “judge.”

The judge draws a sentence card and reads it out loud.

All of the other players give the judge one of their answer cards, face down, and then draw a new answer card to maintain a hand of four.

The judge reads the sentence out loud with each possible answer.

The judge eliminates all answers that do not fit syntactically into the sentence.*

The judge then decides on his or her favorite answer.

The player who gave the winning answer wins the sentence card.

Play continues, with the player to the right of the judge becoming the new judge.

The player with the most sentence cards at the end wins.

Brook-Hart, G. (2013). Business Benchmark: Upper intermediate, 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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TESOL Interest Section: Adult Education, English as a Foreign Language, English for Specific Purposes, Higher Education