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TEFL Lesson Plan help please!

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  • pink_seoul
    Participant
    18 January, 2016 at 13:45
    • Total posts: 1

    Hi everyone, I’m new here. Thanks in advance for the help. I finished the ITTT course with a 95 average and I sent in my first lesson plan which was rejected. I’m a little stumped on how to fix it. I spent all day on it and read about other people and what made their lesson plans get rejected and mine was still sent back. Here was my first lesson plan:

    Engage:
    To get the students thinking and speaking English, start by putting the students into pairs. Have them draw a photo from the bowl. Each picture will have a different activity such as swimming, running, jumping, etc. Have each student describe their picture while writing each sport on the board. Ask the students what kind of sports they like to play or watch on TV and write them on the board as well.

    Study:
    Have each pair come up to the board and create two sentences with the sport of their choice. Have them first create a present simple sentence (such as “I play soccer.”) and then ask the class how the sentence can be changed if they are doing it at that moment. (“I am playing soccer.”)

    Create more sentences as examples for clarification, asking what tense the verb is in and how it could be changed if they are currently doing that activity. Ask the students to also produce the negative form and questions continuing to ask for verb tense. ( “He does not like soccer.” “Is he playing?” ) Write them on the board.

    Pass out a fill in the blank worksheet to be completed in pairs. Ex: My family and I ___(go) to Korea every year. I ___(am) learning Korean. They watch football every weekend. What is the verb tense? Be available to answer any questions.

    After everyone has completed the worksheet, have each student call out their answer to the class to make sure everyone has a chance to participate. Give feedback as needed. Help them to break down the sentence structure if they have trouble with any of the sentences so they can see the verb tense.

    Activate:
    Give each student a copy of a “Find someone who…” questionnaire sheet. Have them work in groups of 3 and ask each other questions. Instruct the students to create sentences in the correct tense about what they have learned. Invite the students to share what they learned.

    Here is the response they sent me back:

    1. Engage – This stage is fine. No corrections needed.

    2. Study – Make sure that the objective of the lesson is covered in detail during the Study stage. As the focus of this lesson is ‘to contrast the present simple tense with the present continuous tense’ it would be expected that the students have already learnt both tenses, therefore rather than ‘explaining’ the grammar you need to ‘elicit’ that information from them at the start of the Study stage. You need to choose one usage from each tense that you want to use to demonstrate the contrast (contrasting more than this would be too much information for one lesson) and you should then try to ‘elicit’ examples sentences, the two usages and the structure of the two tenses from the students at the start of the Study stage. All of the information you elicit, (i.e. example sentences, usages, structures) needs to be included in your lesson plan procedure – this would essentially be your ‘board work’. As a lesson plan should be considered a working document that could be used by a replacement teacher in case you were unable to teach a lesson, it’s important that these sorts of details are included.

    3. Once you have elicited as much information as possible from the students, you should follow up with clarification and further examples from the teacher to clarify the differences between the two tenses.

    4. Activate – You need to make sure that your Activate stage activities reflect what is covered in the Study stage. After you have made the changes to your Study stage, you need to make sure that during the Activate stage students are producing present simple and present continuous sentences in keeping with the two usages you have chosen to cover.

    5. I would also like to see examples of the type of language you would expect the students to produce during this stage of the lesson. This serves as a check for yourself that your teaching idea will elicit the correct grammar from the students. Sometimes the idea doesn’t permit the correct usage and you don’t realize it until you test out your activity.

    If anyone could give me some ideas on how to change my lesson plan it would be greatly appreciated. I’m not really sure what the response meant since I did elicit the responses from the students in the study stage and I gave examples too.

    Thanks so much!

    dan
    Moderator
    21 January, 2016 at 10:16
    • Total posts: 768

    As the focus of this lesson is ‘to contrast the present simple tense with the present continuous tense’ it would be expected that the students have already learnt both tenses, therefore rather than ‘explaining’ the grammar you need to ‘elicit’ that information from them at the start of the Study stage.

    Ok, I think the tutor is being perhaps a little bit harsh here, because in your plan you’re not really explaining the grammar – you are attempting to elicit the contrast in meaning from them.

    Anyway, instead of this:

    Have each pair come up to the board and create two sentences with the sport of their choice. Have them first create a present simple sentence (such as “I play soccer.”) and then ask the class how the sentence can be changed if they are doing it at that moment. (“I am playing soccer.”)

    …it might be better to start with two sentences on the board (or on flashcards): “I play football” and “I am playing football” rather than having them create them at this point. Then ask some questions which clarify the difference in meaning:

    “I play football” – Every Sunday or at the moment? (Every Sunday)
    “I am playing football” – Every Sunday or at the moment? (At the moment)

    You can then elicit some more examples from them – one way to do this would be to hold up a picture of an activity and say “At the moment” or “Every Sunday” (or swap out “Every Sunday” for “Generally” depending on which meaning of present simple you want to use). Students say the sentence in the correct tense depending on your prompts.

    After that, according to the tutor’s feedback, you’ll also need to elicit the form of the two tenses (the activity before elicits the meaning). One way to do this would be to have the two prompts (“Every Sunday” and “Now”) on the board and then write underneath each on “I _____ football” – then elicit from students what goes in the gap. Repeat with question and negative form.

    You can then follow on with your worksheet and they can then practise orally in pairs, use their own ideas, etc

    One thing for your worksheet – make sure that the context of the example sentences makes it clear which tense they have to use, and don’t make it a mechanical exercise of just adding “ing” to a verb:

    “My family and I ___(go) to Korea every year. ”
    – This is a good example, students have to choose the tense based on the context (every year).

    “I ___(am) learning Korean”
    – Here you’ve already given them the answer – all they have to do is write “am” in the gap! Change it to something like:
    “I _____ (learn) Korean at the moment”.

    Give each student a copy of a “Find someone who…” questionnaire sheet. Have them work in groups of 3 and ask each other questions. Instruct the students to create sentences in the correct tense about what they have learned. Invite the students to share what they learned.

    I think the problem here may be that it’s difficult with a Find Someone Who to get students producing present continuous sentences, if you’re using the meaning of “actions in progress at the moment of speaking”. All of the questions would be something like “Do you play tennis? / How often do you eat sushi?” etc – this would be fine for present simple only, but not to contrast the two tenses. So you need to think of an activity here where they can naturally (or at least semi-naturally) use both tenses.

    Finally, bear in mind these comments:

    All of the information you elicit, (i.e. example sentences, usages, structures) needs to be included in your lesson plan procedure

    I would also like to see examples of the type of language you would expect the students to produce during this stage of the lesson.

    Hope that helps.

    Dan

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