by Jane Herbertson
- Lesson plan 1
Duration 60 minutes
Level Upper Intermediate
1. To direct students to noticing lexical items as chunks
of language (Stage 2)
2. To sensitise students to the grammar/usage of multi words
3. To introduce students to a lexical set connected to money
1. To develop students' reading sub-skills to extract implicit
information (Stage 2)
2. To give students the opportunity to peer teach and learn
from each other (Stage 3)
3. To encourage students to use dictionaries (Stage 2)
4. To provide opportunities for students to meet and try to
use some of the new vocabulary - assisting the process of
converting input to intake - see rationale (Stages 2 - 7)
The students should be able to get the gist of the reading
texts and may be able to guess the meaning of some of the
phrases from context or because of their similarity to L1
(to get to the end of the month). They may know parts of phrases
such as a loan (in take out a loan) but they will probably
not be familiar with the whole phrase and producing these
phrases is not quite so straightforward - students are reluctant
to employ delexicalised verbs in this way.
The idea of using words together is not completely new to
this group - they have met the more common make/do phrases
and dependent prepositions depends on (but have problems with
accurate production). They will not be completely familiar
with the nature of these phrases ie fixed: To make (both)
ends meet, semi-fixed: Money's a bit tight (little/scarce/short)
or more flexible and generative 'frames': I couldn't afford
The theme of managing/spending money is something students
will be able to comment on - as they will all have experienced
Anticipated problems & solutions
1. Problem: (Stage 4)
Not knowing exactly what phrases will be chosen by students
from their texts when we focus on the usage of lexis as a
Ensure I have researched all the likely phrases beforehand.
2. Problem: (Stage 5)
Lexical consolidation - again dependent on what students select
themselves. It could be potentially confusing to present students
with a huge number of sentences - covering all possible options.
I have made the majority of the sentences open, students can
choose how to complete them - using the new lexis. If certain
phrases are not chosen by students at Stage 2, I will either:
- ask students NOT to tackle certain questions, looking at
them in the next class, after the homework has been done
- or give students the answer with a short explanation
3. Problem: (Stage 5)
Students may confuse some of the items in the consolidation
gap fill eg make a few cuts/put some money to one side
Discuss in feedback - however this problem will serve to show
that we have a choice of phrases at our disposal
Timing: the class is student centred and during the main lexical
focus, the stages may take longer than anticipated.
Stages 6/7 (relating to the role play) can be done after the
Students' tiredness in a four hour class (with only break).
The observation takes place in the third hour.
Whilst I do not wish to radically change the structure of
the class for the observation, they will be having their break
earlier today to accommodate the observation and should start
this part of the class with fresh impetus.
Ten students who meet once a week for four hours on a Saturday
afternoon and are very enthusiastic. The group bonded well
from day one and have continued to do so, as new students
have joined. Most of the them are fluent speakers and whilst
launching themselves happily into nearly all activities, speaking
in L2 is the skill they especially enjoy practising. The majority
are university students and young professionals. About half
the group hope to do FC in December, whilst others plan to
skip the exam, going on to advanced level studies.
· A. is one of the strongest, using English regularly
outside class. Has an easy-going nature and happy to help
other students or model language/tasks.
· A.M. is the least proficient. Lacks self confidence
and is not prepared to take risks in class.
· B. joined the group in March. Very confident and
enthusiastic. Whilst she has integrated into the group, she
has missed about half the classes and I do not know her as
well as I know the others.
· C., confident, with a good level. Unafraid to challenge
language points -even if everyone else disagrees. Going to
the UK soon to improve his English.
· E. is also very strong and tries to use new vocabulary.
Is currently looking for a job abroad where she would be able
to use her English.
· F. joined in March. Would probably lapse into L1
but is gradually being 'trained' by his peers to use English
all the time. Is confident, relaxed with a good level. He
is weakest in writing.
· I. joined in March and has missed some classes because
of very serious family problems. Enthusiastic - his knowledge
of the world usually compensates where his language skills
· I. lacks some confidence but, despite this, she manages
well and is able to express personal opinions.
· M. takes L2 very seriously. She is extremely enthusiastic.
Has family in the US and is used to American expressions.
Whilst she is a strong student, she does make basic errors
which are often due to transfer from L1.
· R. is a quiet student and very able. An all round
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