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Telling the time.

What is the time?

Telling the time is a basic skill that most students will eagerly acquire. You will need to take some sort of clock into the room. The best clock is one that has been designed for teaching purposes, however, you can also just draw a clock face on the board and add various times as you go through the lesson.
Many students might be used to a 24 hour clock in their native culture. To begin telling time, it's a good idea to just go through the hours and make students aware of the fact that we use a twelve hour clock in English. Write the numbers 1 - 24 on the board and the equivalent time in English, i.e. 1 - 12, 1 - 12. It is also best to leave out. 'a.m.' and 'p.m.' at this point.

  1. What time is it?
  2. It's seven o'clock.
    This use of accenting differing words with your intonation helps students learn that 'what time' is used in the question form and 'o'clock' in the answer.)
    (Go through a number of different hours. Make sure to demonstrate that we use a 12 hour clock by pointing to a number above 12 such as 18 and saying 'It's six o'clock'.) 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 their answer accenting what the student should have said.
  3. Quarter to, Quarter past and half past

    Teacher: (Set the clock to a quarter to an hour, i.e. quarter to three) What time is it? It's a quarter to three. (Model 'to' by accenting 'to' in the response. This use of accenting differing words with your intonation helps students learn that 'to' is used to express time before the hour.)
  4. What time is it? It's a quarter past three.
  5. What time is it? It's half past three.
  6. It's a quarter to five.

The minutes

  1. What time is it?
  2. It's ten (minutes) to five.




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