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

- lesson plan 2

Lesson rationale

This lesson is 1st in a series of 5 from Unit 3 of the above coursebook. The topic of the unit is "family", therefore I decided to use it as the theme for my lesson, thus providing a context for the students. A synopsis of the lesson is the introduction of vocabulary leading onto to the language focus followed by a speaking activity, which aims to combine both of the above.

When planning the lesson, I considered how productive and motivating, it will be for the students against their learning needs and the syllabus. From experience, I feel student motivation and learning comes from allowing them to discover it for themselves while using the teacher for support.

Keeping the above in mind, the lesson is student focused, aiming to involve them actively at all stages and to develop their autonomy. In addition, many of the students use English in their work, those that do not, read in English or watch English TV/ films. This also was an important consideration when planning, as it is difficult to make assumptions about their knowledge.

Therefore the vocabulary input is short (stage 2), aiming to activate the student's passive knowledge of the words and enhance their lexical knowledge with the categorising activity.

The language focus follows stage 2 and is linked to a text about families from FC Maximiser, it is a more appropriate link in the lesson than the presentation in the coursebook which doesn't suit my students needs, equally the supporting skills activities seem segmental. As the text is taken from El Pais Semanal it provides a natural discourse for the students, in answering the true/false statements they will be looking at information in context.
The majority of the statements use a modifier with a comparative, linking back to the main aim of the lesson. I chose to focus on these because I believe it will be more challenging for the students than a standard structure. For the same reason there are some comparatives with nouns. I chose not to highlight the use of modifiers with superlatives, as I don't think it is necessary at this level. Naturally, should a student ask about this, I will give an example of their use.

The latter part of the lesson is focused on speaking (stage 6), I've written a short text about a Spanish family in the same style as the text, first as a link and to provide a springboard for discussion. I hope this text will motivate the students to talk about their own families or a typical family. Also, included is a picture of the family, to give the students an opportunity to use adjectives of description and make assumptions about their character.

During the lesson, I will focus my monitoring on assisting speaking fluency by supplying words when required by the students and evaluating their knowledge against their needs for future lessons. With pronunciation, I´ll give students an appropriate model if a word/ structure is unintelligible to others.

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