Presentation on theme: "Lesson Planning The third of a series of workshops in second- language acquisition and instruction at the Language Training Center North Carolina State."— Presentation transcript:
Lesson Planning The third of a series of workshops in second- language acquisition and instruction at the Language Training Center North Carolina State University Wednesday, January 4, 2012 Sponsored by the Institute for International Education and the National Security Education Program
What we’ll do today: Together: 1. watch a little slide show In individual language teams: 2. write a syllabus for 101/102 3. develop a list of multimedia and cultural resources 4. outline lesson plans for the syllabus Break for lunch, then reassembled as one group, 5. show the syllabus 6. outline the cultural and practical resources 7. demo one lesson
syllabus 1. introduction and orientation to the course 2. outcome expectations 3. references to texts and materials 4. behavioral guidelines 5. study guidelines 6. calendar 7. work schedule
preparation formerly called ‘homework’ not a revision of the previous class not optional, essential to the function of the class new paradigm of active assumption of responsibility by the student for his learning preparation at home, practice and communication in class make it clear in your syllabus what skills are to be learned before coming to each class
Making Decisions about Lesson Content Ask yourself ‘What do I want students to learn and be able to do?’ Choose your TOPIC or theme (e.g., economy, family, traveling) Choose the CONTEXT (e.g., classroom environment, in the shopping center, informal gathering at friend’s house) Choose the specific LANGUAGE FUNCTIONS needed (e.g., asking and answering question, giving directions, praising)
Questions to ask yourself What skills do I want my students to obtain from this lesson? What are my objectives (measurable goals)? What is the topic or theme of this lesson? What resources (textbook, workbook, music, puppets, realia, internet sites, photos, etc.) are available? How will the lesson connect to what students already know? How will I begin and conclude the lesson? How will I arrange student groupings?
More questions to ask What activities will I use? Do I know exactly what the students have to do during each activity? Do I know exactly how to set up an activity? How much time will I need for each activity? How will I organize the lesson into stages or sections? What will I do if I have too little or too much time?
Reminder: 10 Lesson Planning Principles (non-negotiable) 1. Speak (nearly) 100% target language. 2. Keep students active and involved. 3. Create a theme and performance objective with non-grammar focus for each lesson. 4. Use pair/group work and physical movement. 5. Reduce in-class time not directly related to communication.
6. Use visual and auditory aids. 7. Integrate culture into each lesson. 8. Keep a brisk pace to the lesson. 9. Contextualize all activities. 10. Do not be tied to the textbook. Choose activities in a logical progression to lead to mastery of the objectives. Lesson-planning principles continued
Activities Activities are the ‘building blocks’ of a lesson Textbooks provide general ideas of how to implement an activity leaving the pedagogical procedure up to the teacher To make an activity successful, know what you will do and what your students will do
Principle: Richness and variety of experience. Every lesson should include as many of the following activities as possible:
1. A specific announced goal …stating what the students will be able to do by the end of this lesson. Functional, rather than grammatical. For example, students will be able to talk about their childhood, or about what they did yesterday. (The goal is not to learn the past tense.) Students will be able to say where things are located in a room. (The goal is not to learn prepositions.)
2. A communicative activity …related to a real-life situation, stimulating and capturing the interest of the student. Communication means receiving and providing real information. Students can greet each other, introduce themselves and give information about what they study, what they like to do, and what they want to be. Students naturally talk about topics pertaining to their life as students, roommates, friends, family members, etc. They have no trouble giving information about a bad roommate, about their daily schedule, and how busy they are.
3. A contextualized or personalized activity …relating to the interior experience, emotive life, or personality of the student. Students can remember a nice vacation they spent during their childhood. They can talk about their favorite food, or their favorite person. But students don’t always have to be the topic of every activity. In this case, the activity has to provide enough information to let the student learn about the situation. The place, time, and different circumstances surrounding the text provided have to emulate a true story that students can see happen in real life.
4. A mechanical activity …leading to mastery of a certain communicative reflex, or automatism, in the language, e.g., a structural drill, a substitution drill. More mechanical drills should always gradually progress towards real communication and real situations.
5. A physical activity …in which students get up, move around, interact physically as they exchange information. (Total Physical Response) Students are better engaged if they are totally engaged, mind and body. In order to avoid the drifting of the mind and the complacency that results from sitting down for a long period of time, instructors have to create activities requiring students’ physical response: getting up and introducing oneself to 3 students, the signing activities, task-based activity where students are required to find an item and bring it back, etc.
6. A real-life task activity …in which students work in teams to solve a problem or accomplish a goal. Students might have to buy a train ticket, or get somewhere using a cab, or order in a restaurant. They can find out specific information about other students in the class, discover who the tallest person is, or who has the most cash on them.
7. A visual activity …in which students internalize words and concepts through visual association and synthesis, e.g., photos, maps, flash cards, video clips. This is the best way to present vocabulary, where a word signifies what students see in a picture, and not the other word in the student’s native language. Visual aids help instructor stay in the target language, and clarify things that could take a long time to explain. Students who have never seen anything outside their own culture benefit from seeing authentic pictures, video clips, music videos, news, talk shows, soap operas, commercials, etc. This type of material could be shown at the beginning of class as a crossing over method to the world of the foreign language.
8. An auditory experience …or listening exercise designed to improve auditory discrimination. There should be a progression towards gradually understanding and reproducing more rapid, natural, colloquial speech, and appreciating subtle intonation and music. (In fact, the entire class, or as much as possible, should be an auditory experience in the target language, because class time is often the only time the student will hear the language.)
9. A cultural component … emphasizing not only difference, but also similarities between cultures. One of the main responsibilities of a language instructor is to convince mono-cultural students of the validity and the thrill of learning about other cultures. Cultural components should be authentic, and should be active and communicative whenever possible, rather than some kind of display. (This does not mean ‘Culture’ in the historical sense, but ‘culture’.)
10. A language game … or information gap activity. Much of human linguistic activity is aimed at acquiring or giving information, and students are easily engaged in games, contests, and competitions. Word search, unscramble the letters, find the missing letter, find the word that doesn’t belong, are activities that can be used at all levels. An information gap activity fulfills the true purpose of communication, which is finding unknown information by asking questions. (Points, scores, and winners should be secondary, however, to the excitement of the activity.)
Principle: Be real. Start the class, as students come in, with sincere personal greetings in the target language to each student. Use these personal exchanges as a warm-up for the lesson and to establish a personal connection. The depth of this warm-up and the linguistic level at which it is conducted can progress over weeks to become more complex. (See OPI.) It starts as a small bubble of target language and culture, and the bubble expands over time to include more and more of the target world.
Principle: Keep as much of the class as possible in the target language But empathize. Stay in touch with how they are coping. Don’t just chatter over their heads. Slow down and paraphrase whenever necessary. Let them paraphrase.
Last, remember that the day-to-day progression of lessons is the activity of building a pyramid. It’s not just about piling up lots of blocks at random. It’s about laying a foundation and successive layers with an overall conception of where the summit will be.