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What is grammar and how should
we teach it ?
by Jeanette Corbett

- lesson plan 1

Preliminary information

Level: First Certificate - Upper intermediate

Time: 60 minutes

Main aim: To introduce and review comparisons through a text, then heighten students´awareness of the use of modifiers and nouns with comparatives.
Subsidiary aims:
a) Vocabulary: to introduce and revise vocabulary associated with the family.
b) Speaking: To give students the opportunity to talk about their families & use comparisons as required.
c) To evaluate student knowledge of character and description adjectives related to people.

Timetable fit: The lesson is 1st in a series of 5 scheduled for Unit 3 (refer to the attached timetable). The theme of the unit is family and therefore provides the context for the lesson. The introduction of both the vocabulary and language is to support the speaking activity and for future lessons. Both will be recycled in the future lessons, keeping with the need for a syllabus to be cyclical.

Assumed knowledge: Students have a basic knowledge of family vocabulary. They already have an understanding of comparisons. Students are sufficiently interested in the topic of families to speak about it.

Anticipated problems & solutions: Students may not have any knowledge of modifiers in relation to comparisons and will be unable to complete the T-F statements effectively. If this happens I will allow other students to peer teach or demonstrate sentences using rods. The text (stage 6) may not contain sufficient information to generate interest for discussion or comparison. I hope by brainstorming qualities before the students will be interested and provide a springboard for discussion.

Materials: First Certificate Gold Maximiser, text only, page 25
Prepared worksheet with T-F statements and rules for comparisons.
Text about a Spanish family.
Vocabulary cards

Class Profile
They are a general adult English class based at the school. Though there are 10 students registered attendance is sometimes low, as the majority of the students are working. Quite often there are latecomers, arriving direct from work. The age group is from early twenties upwards and the class dynamics are good but they are often tired.

Francisco - one of the youngest students, currently studying medicine and is keen to do the FC exam with a view to studying abroad. He is strong in all skills, he enjoys speaking but is concerned about his accuracy.

Antonio - one of the older students, he is working as a social worker , having re-trained. He has studied English for a number of years but only recently returned to IH. He is often unconfident about his abilities, he is keen to express himself but sometimes has poor pronunciation on individual words.

Marta - She works in a local bank, in the accounts department. She has been studying at IH for a number of years and is keen to improve her English. Generally a quiet student, who likes to listen and participate rather than dominate the group. She is strong in all skills, but is concerned about her listening.

Sara - one of the youngest students, currently doing environmental studies at the university. She is also keen to the FC exam but unfortunately is one of the weakest in the class. She often has to miss classes due to her studies but always does her homework. She is weak in speaking, suffering mainly from lack of fluency.

Fernando - He works in customer service, having moved to Madrid quite recently. He has been studying English for a number of years & spent the previous year, studying at home. He is keen to learn but prefers an explanation from the teacher rather than self discovery. He is strong in all skills. He particularly likes speaking but often doesn't interact very well.

Jose Luis - He works for American Express and has been to England on training courses. I understand he uses English a lot in his work but I'm not entirely sure if he likes English. He has been at IH for a number of years. He is a strong speaker, with good fluency. His attendance depends on his job.

Luis Migel - He works in a local financial company, which I believe has links with England. He is a quiet student, who knows more than he is prepared to say. He is good in all skills and has studied at IH before. Again his attendance depends on his work

Ricardo - He is an agricultural journalist, who visits farms throughout Spain. For this his attendance is low. He is a student, who often doesn't speak much unless prompted. His writing is good and I believe he has travelled or studied abroad.

Angel - He has only attended one class at the beginning of the year.
Susanna - She has only attended one class at the beginning of the year.

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