Where Could Snowden Go? Modals of Possibility

Are your students interested in Edward Snowden? Are they wondering where he will turn up next? If you enjoy using authentic materials with your high-intermediate and advanced learners, you might get some inspiration from this CNN article: Where on earth could Snowden go next? While the language and tone in this article may be a bit tough (and inappropriate) for your learners, you could have them write their own guesses about Snowden (or whistleblowers in general) using a similar format. This might be a fun way to practice modals of possibility.

On seeking refuge in Iceland: “For Snowden it might feel chilly after Hawaii, Hong Kong and midsummer Moscow, but he could easily warm up with a dip in the geothermal waters of the Grindavik Blue Lagoon.Barry Neild, CNN

If you have a class of international students, ask your learners to explain why their own country may or may not be a good refuge for Snowden or others seeking political asylum.

Example
Possible Refuge: He could go to China.
Why Stay: He might get lost in the crowd.
Why Go: He might not like the Internet restrictions.

Your class could also think of some things Snowden should have done differently. This will help them practice perfect modals. (Try our Grammar Stories lesson plan.) “He could have turned himself in.” OR “He should have kept quiet.”

Useful Vocabulary

whistleblower
leak information
seek refuge
embassy
flee
political asylum

Related in the ESL-Library

Surveillance Lesson PlanIf your students are interested in this topic, try our NEW lesson plan on “Surveillance” in our Discussion Starters section. The FREE podcast preview is available on our blog. Not a member yet? Join ESL-Library today!

We are working on a new Grammar Practice Worksheet lesson for Modals of Possibility. In the meantime, check out this useful SlideShare.

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