Many ESL teachers get stumped when students ask about the difference in usage between really and very. It's another of those concepts we use naturally, without being about to articulate reasoning, but the rule is actually very simple. Once your students discover it through this linguistic investigation, they aren't likely to forget it. :)
Allowing students to discover grammar rules by working together in cooperative learning groups both decreases teacher talk and instills deductive reasoning skills into students. When they can articulate rules into their own words, they own them and will be more like to both remember them and use them correctly.
In this linguistic investigation, students will work together to discover the rules for when to use "really" vs. when to use "very". There are two versions--one with key words underlined and one without (to make it more difficult). There is also a practice page with an answer key.
This activity was designed for high beginning-level to low-intermediate adult ESL students.
CLICK HERE for Other Linguistic Investigations