Most of us, when we think of our students, will confidently say that pretty much all of them can tell the time.

Makes sense, right? I mean, we teach telling the time at Beginner level.

But is that enough to talk about the time in English, or any language come to that?

What we usually teach at low levels is the “survival language.” This is the basic, universally recognised way of communicating in English. The thing is, it often isn’t actually what we use when communicating at a higher level.

When you have two high-level English speakers talking to each other, they might say things like “Got the time on you?” or “Let’s meet at around ten-ish.” These are sentences that are guaranteed to baffle your Beginner students.

But if one of your Beginner level students joined in the higher-level conversation, those high-level speakers would probably default to sentences like “What time is it?” and “Let’s meet at about ten o’clock.”

My point?

My point is that there are lots of different ways to talk about time in English.

It goes beyond talking about asking the time and arranging times to do things. We also talk about time zone differences, make rhetorical questions like “What kind of time do you call this?” and statements like “I had to get up at stupid o’clock.”

And that’s what this video is there for – for you to find all these expressions, words, phrases and systems in one place so that your students can talk about the time more thoroughly.


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