Supporting English as another language or dialect students


The students can:

  • recognise sentence structures, particular words and prefixes that signal negation
  • use negative forms in creating their own oral or written texts

Activities to support the strategy

Lesson 1

Use of not with auxiliary verbs. There are two activities in Lesson 1.

Activity 1: oral matching activity using images


Teacher will provide the target language required to introduce the initial concept of the "odd one out".

Teacher asks, using the pictures:

  • “Which one doesn’t belong?” or
  • “Which one isn’t the same?” or
  • “Which one can’t...?"”
  • “Which one hasn’t got/doesn’t have ....”

to signal negation.

Four images, a pig, a duck, a lamb and a rabbit
Image: Oral matching activity of four images, a pig, a duck, a lamb and a rabbit

Teacher tip: Find pictures, objects or lists of words where all but one match certain criteria (your criteria may include e.g. number of legs, classification, ability to do something).

Ask students to respond, using sentence structures:

  • “The ... isn’t the same because it doesn’t ....”


  • “ hasn’t”,
  • “ can’t”

or other auxiliary verbs.

Four images, a basketball, CD, dice and clock
Image: Oral matching activity of four images of a basketball, CD, dice and clock.

Teacher tip:

This concept can be approached at different levels, requiring different levels of knowledge across all KLAs, e.g.

  • 2D and 3D shapes
  • geographical terms
  • parts of speech
  • anything where students can differentiate using the negative form of a sentence.

Activity 2: matching



Opposites game worksheet cut into cards.

Give students cards with words to match opposites: can/can’t, do/don’t, has/hasn’t, etc.

Students, in pairs, match cards and form sentences using sentence structures such as:

  • “This boy can swim but this boy cannot/can’t (swim).”
  • (KLA link Maths) “These shapes have turning symmetry but these shapes don’t/haven’t.”
  • (KLA link HSIE) “These are all countries but these are not.”

Guided matching activity (PDF 75.5KB)

Lesson 2

There are two activities in lesson 2.

Activity 1: talking and listening (partner)


Picture card worksheet and word cards worksheet cut into cards.

Students, in pairs, choose a pair of cards or pictures to create their own questions and answers, both orally and in writing, using different forms. for example

  • “The key doesn’t open the door.”
  • “I don’t like hamburgers.”
  • “I won’t wear a jacket because it isn’t cold.”
  • “The bus hasn’t arrived yet.”

Talking and listening activity (PDF 4907.41KB)

Preview of picture card worksheet

Talking and listening activity with words (PDF 37.56KB)

Preview of talking and listening activity with words

Activity 2: negative word search

Students use authentic texts to search for negative words and write words in both forms – contracted form using apostrophe and expanded form. Students can write the sentence where the word is found and illustrate to show comprehension.


Australian curriculum

ACELA1480: Know that word contractions are a feature of informal language and that apostrophes of contraction are used to signal missing letters

NSW syllabus

EN2-4A: Uses an increasing range of skills, strategies and knowledge to fluently read, view and comprehend a range of texts on increasingly challenging topics

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