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Some problems with functions and speech acts
and some solutions through pragmatics to help
upper intermediate learners
by Greg Gobel
- lesson plan 4

Stage 1
8 minutes
Test to see how learners can give instructions to each other.
Prompting learner-to-learner interaction early in lesson.

1A. Learners give each other instructions for how to work a video camera; T monitors checking for language they used to help give inst, or ask how the video recorder works.

  • Interaction pattern: Closed pairs, attention on pictures and tape recorder
  • Classroom aids: ohp, oht
  • 4-5 minutes

1B. Feedback to the task focusing on both the steps and also some of the language that learners may have used.

Stage 2
7 minutes
Tactile activity to cater to kinaesthetic learners. Listening text to cater to auditory learners.
For learners to put stages of camera operation in order so they have a framework for stage 3.
For learners to verify they have succeeded and to wrap up the activity.

2A. Learners listen to a taped dialogue about operating a video camea. As they listen, they put eight pictures in order. If need be, tape can be played several times to help learners hear.

  • Interaction pattern: Closed pairs, attention on pictures and tape recorder
  • Classroom aids: sets of pictures, tape, tape recorder
  • 4 minutes

2B. Feedback to pictures on the ohp. One set of cut up pictures, the same as the learners have, are rearranged on the ohp. This may be done with learners telling teacher how to order the pictures or teacher may ask a learner to come to ohp to order them.

  • Interaction pattern: lockstep
  • Classroom aids: sets of pictures, ohp, oht.
  • 2 minute

Stage 3
20 minutes
For learners to notice and write down the target expressions of the lesson. For learners to practice pronunciation through controlled repetition drilling.
For learners to attempt noticing prominence and tonal movement.
For learners to decide about the meaning/function of each expression.
Tchr will try to create pace but balance it with patience through stage 3A.

3A. In this stage of the lesson, learners will do several things with the teacher guiding and helping them focus on the target language

For each target expression in the dialogue, the following sequence will be used drawing on techniques of lifting from the tape, drilling, classifying:

    1. listen to bit of tape
    2. listen to bit of tape again
    3. elicit from learners what the expression is
    4. listen again if trouble
    5. try eliciting again
    6. ask learners to categorize function according to chart
    7. choral drill
    8. individual drills
    9. have learners identify prominence and tonal movement
    10. perhaps drill again if necessary
    11. T makes note of a few helping clues on board for quick recall at end of this stage

(Throughout this sequence T may try to raise learners’ awareness of other phonological features in the expressions to do with linking. This will depend on time and learners’ success through the stages of the sequence above.)

  • Interaction pattern: Learners-tape recorder; learners - T.
  • Classroom aids: tape recorder, tape, board, charts
  • 15 minutes

3B. Teacher will show learners a completed chart on ohp. Learners can compare with their own chart and make necessary changes. Teacher will monitor at this point to be available to help.

  • Interaction pattern: closed pairs; learners – ohp; learners – T.
  • Classroom aids: charts, ohp, oht with chart
  • 3 minutes

3C. Very quick recall with teacher’s board notes for each or some of the expressions.

  • Interaction pattern: learners - T.
  • Classroom aids: board, possibly board pen
  • 2 minutes

Stage 4
13 minutes
For learners to have controlled practice using the expressions to build confidence in using them before making attempts in a freer environment.

4A. Controlled speaking practice. StA has a picture sheet with some word prompts to help them give instructions to their partner using expressions for giving instructions. StB has the pictures cut up and mixed up so must listen to StA and put the pictures in order, meanwhile using expressions for receiving instructions. Both learners try to get rid of all their phrase slips. Also listeners need to decide which of the instructions was not in the right order.

  • Interaction patterns: closed pairs, changing pairs when appropriate
  • Classroom aids: prompt cards with visuals, phrase slips
  • Time: 8-10 minutes

4B. Feedback

  • Interaction pattern: lockstep
  • Classroom aids: prompt cards if necessary
  • Time: 1-3 minutes

Stage 5
12 minutes
For learners to have the opportunity for freer practice in a contextualized role play.
Learners stand to re-energize and give task more real-life context, as in a shop they would likely be standing to do this.
For learners to experience both sides of this this type of conversation, time allowing.
For learners to correct their own mistakes soon after completion of the activity. To bring closure to the task.

5A. Role play at ‘Best Buy’. First learners have a chance to read their role cards, then they do the role play with a partner.

A: Shop clerk who is patient and willing to forgive instructions but can’t give compensation.

B: Has bought a device, not sure how to get it to work. Wants some sort of compensation.

  • Interactive pattern: closed pairs, standing.
  • Classroom aids: correction notes, role cards (3 types), ohp chart ready if learners struggle too much
  • 5 minutes

5B. Feedback and correction spot.

  • Interactive pattern: lockstep
  • Classroom aids: board, board pens, correction notes

5C. Change roles if time allows.

  • Interactive pattern: closed pairs, standing
  • Classroom aids: correction notes, role cards, ohp chart ready if learners struggle too much
  • 5 minutes

5D. Feedback and correction spot.

  • Interactive pattern: lockstep
  • Classroom aids: board, board pens, correction notes

The following tasks are available if there is extra time. The order is flexible based on time or emerging considerations.

Stage 6
4 minutes
To consolidate new language after the speaking activities.

6A. Learners get a gap fill of the dialogue used in stage 2 and 3. They fill the gaps from memory with some of the target expressions.

  • Interaction pattern: closed pairs
  • Classroom aids: gap fills
  • 3 minutes

6B. Feedback, eliciting answers from learners.

  • Interaction pattern: lockstep
  • Classroom aids: gap fills
1 minute

Stage 7
5-6 minutes
To personalize the instructions and for further practice with the target language.

7A. Learners think of a device they know of, e.g., their discman, mobile phone, etc; or, even a type of behaviour that can be instructional, e.g., Jose’s martial arts.

  • Interaction patterns: learners thinking alone
  • 1 minute

7B. Learners give instructions again, but this time about their own device.
Listener pretends they do not really understand what to do so that speaker has to reiterate explanations. Role change possible as needed.

  • Interaction pattern: closed pairs
  • 3-5 minutes

7C. Feedback.

  • Interaction pattern: lockstep
  • 1 minute

Homework: Learners do p 27 in the workbook focusing on giving instructions.

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