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Lesson Planning Cryout

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  • Jemineye
    Participant
    2 September, 2012 at 17:55
    • Total posts: 21

    I’ve been up since 9:30am this morning attempting to rack my brains about what and how I should teach a class of pre-intermediate’s prepositions of place. I am at my wits end. I really don’t know what to do. I feel even more upset about this than I do nervous about actually teaching and it’s driving me up the wall.

    We have to follow a format:

    Warmup Activity
    Introduce Target Language
    – Focus on Target Language e.g. meaning, form & pronunciation
    Controlled Practice

    The ideas I had were as follows:

    In order to start off, I would split students into groups to discuss places in the city e.g. bank, pub, library…etc, for about a minute.

    I would then call them back and explain the rules of the game, stating that I would describe a location without actually using the word and students would need to buzz in in their groups to answer the question. Team with the most points wins.

    I was then thinking of diving into an inductive presentation whereby I would elicit from the students a story about a man who doesn’t know how to get to a particular location e.g. a bank. My target language would be "where is the location?" and then I would launch into a worksheet.

    Worksheet would contain a map of places – some from the warmup – and a list of prepositions. And then statements underneath – a gap fill exercise.

    Now I know gap fills test form but I’m really struggling because obviously, I haven’t used my target language really, which are the prepositions until this exercise.

    I really don’t know what to do. I don’t know how I would test meaning in conjunction with form. Is the warmup exercise useless?

    I really need some ideas. I teach on Tuesday and I’m really desperate as I don’t want to fail.


    Cert.TESOL Qualified

    Keith
    Moderator
    3 September, 2012 at 11:57
    • Total posts: 272

    Reply To: Lesson Planning Cryout

    Hi Jemineye

    You’re already thinking along the right lines, which is positive. The ideas just need a bit of clarity, so let’s break it down:

    Warmup Activity
    In order to start off, I would split students into groups to discuss places in the city e.g. bank, pub, library…etc, for about a minute.

    Think carefully about what you mean by "discuss places in the city". If someone asked you to do this, what would you talk about? Try and think of a specific activity they can do – they need to have a reason to discuss places in the city.

    So you could, for example, play some kind of memory game – put pictures up on the walls of 10 places in the city, give them two minutes in pairs to go round and memorise as many as they can. If this isn’t vocabulary they’ve already learnt, you could also provide the word underneath the picture. Then use your feedback activity (where you describe the location) as the test of memory. Keep the descriptions very simple.

    There are other possibilities – the key, as I said, is to give them a reason to be doing the activity beyond just "Discuss…".

    I was then thinking of diving into an inductive presentation whereby I would elicit from the students a story about a man who doesn’t know how to get to a particular location e.g. a bank. My target language would be "where is the [location]?"

    Good idea to elicit a story. Think about your target language though – you really need to include prepositions of place in the target language. So think about making it the answer to "Where is the bank" rather than the question.

    You’ll need to decide also with your story if you want to get into giving directions as well. If your situation is a man who needs to know how to get to the bank, then this would naturally lead to giving diretions as well as prepositions ("Go straight on, take the second street on the right…") Do you want to get into this? If not, you could keep all the locations on one street in your story so you only need "It’s next to the…" or "It’s opposite the…".

    Worksheet would contain a map of places – some from the warmup – and a list of prepositions. And then statements underneath – a gap fill exercise.

    Now I know gap fills test form but I’m really struggling because obviously, I haven’t used my target language really, which are the prepositions until this exercise.

    If you bear in mind the point about the target language above, then you will have used it before, in which case the worksheet with a map is fine. Again though, remember it’s prepositions of place you’re teaching and not giving directions, unless you want to get into this as well as I mentioned above.

    Will they have an opportunity to speak using the target language in controlled practice? Perhaps with some controlled questions and answers in pairs?

    Hope that helps – Sorry it’s a bit rushed, I’ve got to run.

    Let us know how it goes.

    Keith

    Jemineye
    Participant
    3 September, 2012 at 20:27
    • Total posts: 21

    Reply To: Lesson Planning Cryout

    This is the thing. I’m not teaching directions. I’m teaching prepositions of place to keep it simple for both me and the pupils. It’s my first lesson so I wanted to keep it simple.

    I’ve spoken to my tutors and now you and everyone’s basically saying that my ideas about places/locations are generally a bad idea which makes me feel like I have to revamp my entire lesson and use realia instead.

    I apologise. I am quite stressed out.

    Even though these are pre-intermediates, some of them are really really elementary so it’s difficult to get things from them. In today’s lessons which I observed my peers doing their lessons, some students just didn’t get it.

    I’ve since tailored my lesson plan to do this:

    Warmer – Memory game (I liked that idea) – put students into groups and give them one min to recall the places on the board. Team with the most correct answers wins.

    Introduce story – What I was going to do was elicit story and then turn it on the students. Explain that the man in my story askes them for direction and state that they have a map, thus leading into my next activity

    Worksheet – Using the following words e.g. inside, across from…etc, fill in the gaps.

    I would give them five minutes to complete this in pairs and then do a feedback session, checking understanding, pronunciation…etc.

    I was then going to launch into a game and have students follow my instructions e.g. Stand next to someone wearing blue…etc. So it gets them moving around.

    My final activity was going to have them go around the room and ask each other different questions e.g. where is that ____? and have them answer using the map e.g. the [noun] is [preposition] the [noun]

    Unfortunately, my warmer doesn’t include any target language for the lesson besides places. Is this bad?


    Cert.TESOL Qualified

    Keith
    Moderator
    4 September, 2012 at 18:35
    • Total posts: 272

    Reply To: Lesson Planning Cryout

    Hi Jemineye

    How did the lesson go today?

    I’ve spoken to my tutors and now you and everyone’s basically saying that my ideas about places/locations are generally a bad idea.

    I don’t think I said that your ideas were bad – in fact you were thinking along the right lines. They just needed some focus, for example with the prepositions versus giving directions thing.

    Your new plan sounds good. You’ve got some good variety in the activities. I’d be interested to hear how the story presentation worked out, and if you were able to concentrate on the prepositions rather than giving directions.

    And don’t worry – it’s your first lesson. The whole course is a learning process and a very steep learning curve. It’s normal that you feel stressed for the first lesson – if you knew exactly what to do already, you wouldn’t need to be taking the course! The idea is to try some things out, see what works and what doesn’t, and use the feedback from your tutors for the next time.

    Unfortunately, my warmer doesn’t include any target language for the lesson besides places. Is this bad?

    The idea of a warmer is to generate interest and get them thinking about the topic – not necessarily about the target language, but about the general context that you’re going to be using to present this target language. So if your warmer is a game about places in a town, then as long as this relates to the context you’re going to use in your language presentation in some way, that’s fine.

    Good luck with the next stage of the course.

    Keith

    Jemineye
    Participant
    4 September, 2012 at 20:04
    • Total posts: 21

    Reply To: Lesson Planning Cryout

    I apologise. I was just in a tizzy yesterday.

    The lesson actually went very well save for at the end when I had three minutes on the clock (my tutor was being very anal) and I’d run out of content.

    I felt like it could have gone better but everyone agreed that it went well and they awarded me a merit which is nice. But now I have another lesson to plan on short reply answers and it’s got to be the most boring vocabulary ever.

    For the prepositions lesson, I had four days to perfect it. Tonight I only have tonight.

    Also, I changed my warmer completely and stuck chocolates all around the room and had students go find them instead. They got to keep them as well so that went down well.

    -sigh- I don’t think I’ll be able to top that lesson.


    Cert.TESOL Qualified

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