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ITTT straight-arrow ESA lesson plan

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  • margin
    5 December, 2016 at 10:04
    • Total posts: 1

    Hi Dan and other members of the Eslbase,

    I submitted a lesson plan about an ESA plan how to use present continuous tense to a pre-intermediate class (“Write a straight-arrow ESA lesson plan for a pre-intermediate level class where the focus of the lesson is to practice a single usage of the present continuous tense and for the students to be able to use it effectively. Provide as much detail as possible for each stage of the lesson and activities used. The lesson should be one hour long.”)

    Here is my lesson plan below but they returned it to me for some improvement.

    I submit the lesson plan below and at the end the comments from the moderator right at the bottom.

    Class Level: Pre-Intermediate
    Date and Time:
    Expected Number of Students: 10
    Language points: Description of the present continuous tense which shows a progressive action happening at the time of speaking
    Teaching Aids: The board, markers, worksheets, pictures or drawings showing some continuous activities. I may use also power point presentation with illustrations
    Learner Objectives: The students should understand in what situations to use the present continuous tense and how it is formed (to be-verb-ing). What is more they should note that this tense is used at a progressive time of actions which happen exactly at the time of speaking
    Personal Aims: To make the students understand in what circumstances to use this tense, to give them appropriate examples, to make them participate equally and to make the whole atmosphere friendly and interesting
    Anticipated Problems for Students:
    The students would not know grammatically how to form a sentence using the present continuous tense. They would have difficulty with confusing present simple and present continuous tense. Therefore, they would need good examples which illustrate the difference between the two.
    Anticipated Problems for Teacher:
    The teacher has to clearly show examples of the usage of the present continuous time. He should emphasize on the fact that this tense shows progressive actions at the time of speaking (at the moment). Moreover, he/she would have some difficulty to explain the grammar to the students when using the tense
    The students would need good examples which illustrate when to use the present continuous tense. Drawings and questions asking what a student is doing right now is a good solution (such as “What are you doing”? Answer: “I am brushing my teeth”). Another solution would be to make the students entertained and interested.
    Make all students participate, ask many questions to them as well as interact with each other, make funny games, ask them to write on the board and not correcting them all the time
    Engage 1: I will show using power point or posters of people performing different activities such as for instance “A boy is playing soccer” or “A woman is dancing” and others. I would ask the students what those people are doing and ask for answers too (5 min)
    Engage 2: I would ask the students then to perform different actions such as to walk in the classroom, write on the board, jump, run, play some sport etc. I would tell them that they are doing this right now at the moment of speaking and not all the time. (5 min)
    Study 1: Explain how this tense is used. I would write many sentences and show how the verb adds the “ing” form (Subject+aux. verb ‘be’+verb ing). I would give many examples and later on ask the students to make the right form of the tense. I would note that they must this tense only when doing something at the moment. I would make clear the difference by using those two sentences: “I am going to school now” and “I go to school every day” (10 min)
    Study 2: Then I would give an exercise for the students to talk to each other and say what they like doing. I may divide them into groups or pairs and pass through them and correct them if I see any mistakes (5 min)
    Study 3: I would hand worksheets to each of them with different exercises. One of them would be to transform verbs in present simple tense to present continuous tense (I play basketball would become “I am playing basketball”). Another one would be to choose the right verb according to a particular drawing and right the whole sentence using the verb in the present continuous tense correctly (For example a picture would show a man who is climbing a hill and the question would be “What is the man doing”? and the answer would be “The man is climbing a hill”!). Another one would ask the students to choose which tense is used in the exercise (For instance the sentence “I am shopping” would be present continuous tense while “I go to opera every Friday” would be present simple tense etc). A last exercise would ask the students to explain shortly the difference between those two sentences). (10 min)
    Study 4: In this stage I would make sure the students have understood when to use this tense, how it formed and I would ask briefly a few of them questions according to some pictures and what the people are doing it. Student A would ask another Student B “What is he/she doing” and Student B would answer using the correct tense such as “She is taking a shower” or “She is preparing lunch/dinner!” etc. This would be some kind of short repetition of the previous stage to make sure everything is well comprehended and understood. (5 min)
    Activate 1: I would give them an assignment to create a short story of on their own using the present continuous tense. I would give them 5 minutes to write it. (5 min)
    Activate 2: Each student should come in front of the class and read his/her story (maybe in a few sentences). The teacher should correct if there are any mistakes. Finally, the teacher should summarize with one sentence briefly how and when the present continuous tense is used. (15 min)

    Comments from the Moderator:

    Your lesson plan has been reviewed and it is heading in the right direction, however some changes are required.

    Please read the recommendations below very carefully and implement all the requested changes before resubmitting the lesson plan. Should your second submission not include all of the requested changes you will be asked to resubmit the lesson plan again.

    • Your learner objectives are realistic, however as part of your anticipated problems for students you say, ‘They would have difficulty with confusing present simple and present continuous tense. Therefore, they would need good examples which illustrate the difference between the two.’ This should not be the case as this lesson isn’t about contrasting two tenses. This contrasting approach affects several of the activities in your lesson that will need adjusting. Your whole lesson needs to be focused only on the target grammar, which is the present continuous tense for ‘actions happening at the moment of speaking’.

    • Your Engage activities are acceptable, but at the end of the final activity you are basically telling the students the usage your lesson is focused on, which is not advised. Please refer to my notes regarding the Study stage.

    • In the Study phase, all information regarding the grammar point should be elicited, rather than given to the students or explained. This applies to examples, tense structure (grammatical form) and usage.

    • Any worksheets or exercises the students complete in the Study stage should cover only the target grammar, as explained in my first point. Please adapt the current exercises that involve the present simple tense or provide new exercises.

    • In the Activate phase you are asking the students to “create a short story of on their own using the present continuous tense” and then present their stories to the class. There are a few problems with this activity:

    o Having the students work individually is not effective. The Activate stage should be communicative. The students should be creating their own thoughts and ideas and speaking with one another through activities that allow them to use the language they have learnt spontaneously and independently. All activities used here need to encourage plenty of student interaction and maximise student to student talk time.

    o This activity wouldn’t really work for the present continuous as this tense wouldn’t be used in isolation to tell a story.

    o At the end of the activity you say, ‘The teacher should correct if there are any mistakes.’, which is not advised. The focus here is on fluency, not accuracy and you should not be correcting mistakes at this stage of the lesson. The purpose of the Activate stage is to give the students the opportunity to practice the language without any corrections and to feel a sense of achievement in that they can put what they have learnt into use. They leave the classroom “on a high” so to speak. By going over any corrections at the end of the lesson you can lead them to feel that they have failed in this task and they will leave the classroom thinking that they have not achieved anything.

    • Please provide examples of the type of language you would expect the students to produce during the new Activity you use; in other words examples of what they might be saying to each other to demonstrate that they will be using the target language effectively.

    30 December, 2016 at 21:22
    • Total posts: 2

    I am stressed because my lesson plan was not accepted and ITTT wants me to resubmit. It will be my second submission. If anyone out there who can help me and fix the issue as per tutor’s recommendations mentioned in the email. This 2nd chance I don’t want to lose hence I need an expert who already passed earlier with good standing.
    I will appreciate for a quick response. Thanks.

    3 January, 2017 at 20:43
    • Total posts: 590

    Shah – please read this post first and feel free to re-post if you are on your final submission.


    20 January, 2017 at 20:17
    • Total posts: 1

    Hi Dan

    First of all thank you in advance for your help with this. I am taking the online ITTT TEFL certification course. I have completed the course with an average of over 92%, but I must submit a lesson plan to complete the course and get my teaching certificate. This is the last chance “re-submission”. So would you please take a look at my lesson plan and give me some advice? I am also going to include the tutor’s email here as well, which I have tried to adhere to as instructed. Better safe than sorry right?

    So here is the letter from the tutor:
    Learner Objectives

    · Your learner objectives should state the usage of the present continuous you intend to cover.

    Engage Stage
    · This stage is fine. No corrections needed.

    Study Stage
    · You should always try to elicit as much relevant information from the students as possible.
    · You have started the Study stage by eliciting example sentences from the students, which is good, but you then need to elicit the structure of the tense and the usage itself from the students.
    · Once you have elicited as much as you can, you can then follow up with clarification of the lesson point with further examples to ensure the students understand the grammar point if needed but the focus should be on eliciting the information from the students first.
    · Please note that the level of detail you have included with respect to the grammar is fine and should not be taken out of your lesson plan. The only difference is that this is information you should be eliciting from the students first – it still makes up your ‘board work’.

    · Please note that you have been asked to provide examples of questions asked and answers you would expect the students to produce for all worksheets/exercises completed during the lesson.

    Activate Stage
    · You are having the students complete a crossword in the Activate stage, this is not a suitable activity for this stage of the lesson. Please refer to unit 3 where the purpose of the Activate stage and suitable activities are covered.

    Please make the necessary changes to your lesson plan and send it back to me at this email address ****************** for further review. If you would like clarification on any of the requested changes, please send me an email with any questions you may have before resubmitting your lesson plan.

    At this stage, you need to be aware that if your third lesson plan submission is deemed unsatisfactory you will not have achieved a passing grade for the course, and we will contact you with the options that are available for continuing your training.

    And here is the lesson plan:



    Room: Training room

    Observer: N/A

    Expected numbers: 8

    Date & Time: ‎1/‎19/‎2017

    Class level: Pre-intermediate

    Context: Present tense form : Affirmative form of Present Continuous

    Teaching aids: Flashcards, Action verbs, Gap-fill exercise file copies. PDF file prepared for activity phase

    Learner objectives:
    Be able to produce accurate sentences using the affirmative form of the present continuous tense. To understand that we use the present continuous to speak about things that are happening at or around the moment of speaking. Such as:
    I’m working at the moment.
    John is resting today etc.

    Personal aims:
    – Increased student interaction and group work
    – More engagement by the students

    Anticipated problems for students:
    1. Confusion with other forms of the present tense
    2. Correct usage of auxiliary verbs and correct sentence structure
    1] To write and leave the correct structure on the board for reference using different colored markers for reference
    2] Sentence structure and other necessary sentence elements should be available at all time during the class

    Anticipated problems for teacher:
    1] Active involvement from the students
    2] Grammar confusions cause students to get discouraged
    1] Use plenty of pair work, group work, role-plays to keep the class going at a good pace
    2] Encourage and ensure that your student fully know that you are there the assist them and work through the challenges

    Engage 1 3 min T-S
    Before class write these sentences on small pieces of papers and put them in the plastic box.
    [She is running fast. He is working today. They are coming tomorrow. We are eating. It was playing. You are sleeping. I am typing the lesson. You are reading a book. He is studying. She is listening to music] Ask the students to choose one. Ask them to mime their sentence without showing their papers to others.

    Engage 2 5 min T-S
    By doing the above, you will elicit sentences, action verbs from the students. Write them all down. Make sure all 10 words have been written on the board.

    Study 1 5 min T-S
    Write on board [WHO – IS – DOING – WHAT? and/or WHEN?] as a guide. Don’t explain in detail yet, so as to elicit the sentence structure in the response from the students.
    Now ask the students:
    1. What am I wearing now?
    2. What am I doing? [mime different actions. Use the flash cards for ideas]
    3. Show some of the flash cards and ask questions such as: What is he doing? What is she wearing? etc.
    Expect to elicit answers such as:
    You are wearing a necktie. You are calling on the phone. You are singing. He is running. She is singing etc.
    Correct as needed.
    After eliciting the above information from the students, in order to reinforce their understanding. Write on the board “affirmative form of present continuous tense” and explain what these mean:
    Affirmative form
    [Positive, not negative]
    Present continuous (Verb+ ING)
    [action happening now. at or around the time of speaking]
    Subject + Am, Are, Is)
    [Who? What?] + [Am, Are, Is]

    Study 2 5 min S-S
    Form pairs for an exercise to reinforce [subject+aux. verb + verb+ing]. Hand out the gap-fill worksheets. Instruct the pairs to work together to solve the gap fill exercise. Be ready to assist if needed

    Study 3 5 min S-S
    Now distribute the action verb cards to the students. Ask them to form their own sentences using the sentence structure, in the present continuous tense in order to reinforce the learning. Now that they know, expect them to use correct sentence structure, and the verb tense. Actively observe and be ready to assist.
    -he is driving a car – We are studying now
    -she is cooking – You are eating a pizza etc…

    Study 4 5 min S-S
    Divide the class into 2 groups. Then each person in a group will assume one of the following 4 roles. [Subject, Aux Verb, Be+ING and Object]
    Have the groups form sentences. After each sentence, the roles must rotate and the group must make a new sentence with the new team structure. Remind the groups to form the sentences using the structure taught above.
    Instruct groups to use different subjects , and the aux. verbs in accordance. Expect the groups to form sentences such as:
    I am working today
    You are teaching now
    He is resting tomorrow etc.

    Study 5 10 min T-S
    Ask the two groups to present their sentences from the activity.
    Listen carefully, to ensure correct usage, grammar and structure.
    Correct as necessary.

    Activate 1 7 min S-S
    The focus of this activity is so that the student can use any and all of the language they know. Download the PDF for the activity with its instructions.
    This is a lively activity, in which the students play a game of taboo using the present continuous tense. Before class, make one copy of the cards and cut as indicated. The class is divided into two teams (A and B). For first round, a player from Team A comes to the front of the class and is given a card. The player then tries to describe the present continuous sentence to his/her team without saying the sentence or using the three words on the card. In order to do this, the player has to be creative with his/her English vocabulary and speaking skills. If the team successfully guesses the sentence within two minutes, they win a point. If the sentense is not formed correctly then it does not win a score. The winner is the team with the highest number of points at the end of the game.

    Activate 2 7 min S-S
    For Round 2, a player from Team B comes to the front of the class and is given a card. The player then tries to describe the present continuous sentence to his/her team without saying the sentence or using the three words on the card.

    Activate 3 8 min T-S
    Ask the teams towrite their sentences on the board
    Make necessary corrections
    Recap question – What is the one thing you learned today?

    Game of taboo. http://www.teach-this.com/images/resources/present-continuous-taboo.pdf
    Permission given to use.

    Deeply grateful


    20 January, 2017 at 20:31
    • Total posts: 590


    · Your learner objectives should state the usage of the present continuous you intend to cover.

    I would word your learner objectives to more clearly state this, for example: “…present continuous tense for actions in progress at the moment of speaking.”

    · You should always try to elicit as much relevant information from the students as possible.

    I think you’re still explaining the structure and usage rather than eliciting it. Please have a look at my comments in some of the posts quoted here, as well as some of the other plans shown in these posts for how to elicit this.

    Please note that you have been asked to provide examples of questions asked and answers you would expect the students to produce for all worksheets/exercises completed during the lesson.

    I can’t see any examples in your new plan – you need to give some examples of the questions you’ll use on your worksheet and the expected answers.

    For the Activate stage, this is certainly a more communicative activity, but I’m not sure if it’s giving the students much of an opportunity to use present continuous in a natural way (which is what the Activate activity should do). So this activity might be accepted, it might not, I can’t be sure…

    Hope that helps.


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