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Speaking and Conversation with a
Focus at Elementary Level
by Sam Smith
- lesson plan 3

Stages of the Lesson

1. Warmer - To introduce the topic of the lesson.

Pairs - 5 mins

T writes on board some words connected with a childhood memory: fence; school; big brother; Craig Gerry; skipping rope; break time; head teacher.
T helps students with vocabulary and in pairs students predict the story.

2. Listening to the teacher - To provide an example of an anecdote.

Whole class - 5 mins

T tells his anecdote of a childhood memory and students listen, ask questions and check their predictions about the story. T asks sts how they think he felt and if they think the story is true or false. It is true.

3. Preparation for speaking - To give time to plan telling an anecdote.

Whole class / individually - 8 mins

T writes on board: when; where; who; what happened; consequence. T then provides a variety of contexts as to where the story could come from and tells sts that if they really can't think of anything they can make it up.
Sts think of a childhood memory, sit back and relax as T asks them questions about it, then they have a few minutes to plan, make notes about what they're going to say. T monitors and helps sts with vocabulary and ideas.

4. Speaking - To practice telling an anecdote.

Pairs - 8 mins

Sts take turns to tell each other their anecdotes. Partners decide if the story is true or false.

5. Self analysis - To focus on how students showed interest and coped with problems when telling their anecdote.

Individually / pairs - 4 mins

Sts answer self analysis questions about how they showed interest in their partner's story and how they coped when they found it hard to tell their own story, then share their answers with their partner.

6. Pre - listening - To help students predict the content of a listening passage.

Pairs - 4 mins

Sts look at pictures about the listening and some key content words and try to predict the story of the listening passage.

7. Listening - To check predictions about the story.

Whole class / pairs - 5 mins

Sts listen to the story and in pairs compare what they heard before whole class feedback.

8. 2nd listening - To raise awareness of features of conversation.

Whole class / pairs - 10 mins

T asks sts: who was speaking most?; what did the other speaker do when the main speaker paused?; Did the main speaker use any 'set phrases' or 'fillers' to help her organise her speech and gain thinking time?
T divides class into 2 halves and sets them a worksheet based task, listening to identify any of the above - mentioned features. Half the class listening for questions to show interest and the other half for discourse organising features of telling a narrative.
After listening sts compare with their partner and with the tape-script.

9. Sharing information - To pass on what students noticed to the other half of the class.

Pairs - 4 mins

T reorganises sts to work with a new partner and show them what they noticed.

10. Controlled practice - To give controlled practice of the phrases used.

Whole class - 3 mins

Following the tape-script sts listen to the cassette, repeating the phrases of the interviewer and copying his intonation.

11. 2nd controlled practice - To give further controlled practice.

Whole class - 3 mins

Sts repeat the task but this time with the tape-script turned over, trying to predict the phrases, T pausing the tape at the right moments, then continuing listening to check.

12. Preparation for 2nd speaking - To refresh memories about students' own anecdotes keeping in mind the way that the speaker on tape told hers.

Individually - 2 mins

Sts look at the tape-script and think of their own anecdote and any ways to improve it.

13. 2nd speaking - To retell students' anecdotes and pay attention to features of conversation.

Groups of 3 - 12 mins

Sts form new groups of 3 and retell their anecdotes, one person telling, a 2nd listening and showing interest, while a 3rd notes uses of: phrases to show interest and phrases to tell an anecdote and help oneself when speaking, then change roles twice.

14. Feedback on activities - To give students a chance to evaluate their performance.

Individually / pairs - 4 mins

Sts answer self evaluation questions about the comparison between their 1st and 2nd speaking turn, how or whether they used the phrases to show interest and what they thought about the usefulness of the lesson.

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