an approach to the teaching of grammar, which is both more
learner-centred and more effective in terms of the learners'
long-term acquisition and deployment of the structures concerned
by Nicola Holmes
Plan - 2
am assuming that the students will already be familiar with
most of the verbs and expressions on page 76 of their books,
with the exception of 'buy' and 'meet' in the sense of meeting
friends, and possibly also 'see', (the students being more
familiar with the verbs 'look at' and 'watch').
stronger students will probably already have a degree of passive
familiarity with past simple regular and irregular forms,
although they may be unsure of their pronunciation and use.
Hopefully, the grammar analysis stage of this lesson will
allow these students to draw directly on their previous knowledge,
whilst not proving too difficult for the weaker students.
Anticipated Problems and Proposed Solutions:
mentioned above, two of the students missed the previous class,
but l am hoping that the introductory activities will give
them an opportunity to catch up on what they missed, whilst
providing the other students with revision and further practice.
generally have a problem with timings, and am hoping that
I will be able to get through all the activities planned.
I was a little unsure about the inclusion of extensive drilling
at stage 5 and concerned that it might render the survey in
stage 6 a little repetitive or even communicatively redundant.
However, I have chosen to retain it, both to assist the students
who were absent in the previous class and as a review for
the students who attended the previous class. In stage 6,
the students will be asking a different person their questions
and will probably also have different questions from the person
they ask, so will be encouraged to listen to each other. I
have also included a couple a different verbs in the survey.
I hope to keep the pace quick and snappy in the first half
of the class and may even cut short stages 2 and 5 if the
students are managing the tasks well. I probably won't use
all the picture cues in stage 5, although I have copies of
all of them if I feel that more drilling is necessary.
with less imagination may struggle with the prediction activities
in stage 7. Also the asking of closed yes/no questions may
seem a little strange and unnatural in the context of prediction.
However, the students in the class are used to prediction
activities and usually enter into this kind of activity with
a sense of fun and creativity (something they demonstrated
in the predictions they made about the suspects in the murder
mystery which featured in the last unit).
of the weaker students might feel anxious at the delay in
the grammar focus or, alternatively, the stronger students
may feel impatient. In general, however, I prefer to take
this approach, which gives them more time to absorb what we
are studying before they openly analyse or talk about it.
I hope that, by keeping the students both active and relaxed,
I can counter any anxiety or frustration.
feedback after the first listening at stage 9 may also prove
a little difficult, as some students may feel that they are
expected to produce past simple forms here already. If students
ask me about it, I will give them pointers to help them here.
Otherwise, I feel that it is sufficient at this stage if the
students can simply indicate which verbs or other vocabulary
they heard, and I have designed the ticking task to enable
them to feedback on the listening with as much or as little
accuracy as they can.
of the vocabulary which comes up could present difficulties,
although most of the important vocabulary is dealt with in
the first part of the lesson and clarified by the pictures.
The students probably will not know 'herbal tea', but I should
be able to explain this quite easily, possibly resorting to
quick translation for the sake of economy.
Materials: to see the materials
eggtimer for warmer (optional)
- English File One Students' book, page 76
- blown up copies Of pictures from page 76 for chain drill
- class survey in two parts (A and 3)
- pictures of Ronnie and Paolo and accompanying questions
and verbs for prediction and listening task
- English File One, File 73, tape 5
- handout of tapescripts with past simple verbs in bold
- handout for grammar analysis and focus on form
- time expression cue cards to pass round in final freer practice
- page 54 of English File One workbook for homework (not included
here - simple gap fill tasks)
page 3 of 4
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