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Lexis: changing attitudes
by Jane Herbertson
- Lesson plan 2

Timetable fit
4 .00 - 4.15 pm Speaking activity
4.15 - 4.30 pm Check last week's homework
4.30 - 5.00 pm Grammar input: Ability (including verb 'phrases': capable of…/succeed in…/manage to)
5.00 - 5.30 pm Listening: FCE task
5.30 - 6.00 pm Break
6.00 - 7.00 pm The lesson plan here
7.00 - 7.30 pm Homework preparation - report writing involving new vocabulary/or in-house video utilizing 'money' lexis
7.30 - 7.45 pm Class diaries (students will feedback on today's class)
7.45 - 8.00 pm Game involving recycling of today's new lexis

The coursebook unit we will begin work on today involves the topic of money (included in the end of course exam), and, as a second vocabulary focus make and do phrases. The second grammatical focus (which we will do next class is on verbs followed by prepositions). The observation itself will focus on everyday money vocabulary, which the students will select themselves from a text.

We regularly do FC practice (see class profile) - our coursebook is Ready for First Certificate (1) - hence the inclusion of some related activities in the overall plan. The above is an outline of what is planned for this 4 hour block but parts may be changed depending on students' concentration levels.

Today's language will be recycled during the next class. We will continue to approach reading tasks, in particular, in this vein - giving the students further noticing opportunities in the future.

Lesson rationale

At this level, students have covered much of the basic grammar and want/need to increase their lexical knowledge. We have focussed on this during the course but have not paid due attention to the acquisition of lexis as readymade phrases and their importance. If students notice chunks more (Main Aim 1: Stage 2), it will help not only production of these items but also reception: likewise if students are more sensitive to how to use these items, their overall skills will improve (Main Aim 2 : Stages 3, 4, 5). The course finishes next month - these aims will help equip students with good strategies for autonomous study.

As mentioned, students avoid phrases with delexicalised verbs eg to put some money to one side, preferring to use a concise verb - the latter is easier, but the former will be needed for recognition purposes and also to sound more natural.

Although the text chosen is not authentic (2), it provides a rich source of fairly natural input embracing the lexical chain of money in an interesting context. It gives students the chance to notice these phrases and to try to guess their meaning. Some of the expressions are used more in spoken English but can be employed for the writing assignment (3).

I have decided not to give phrases to students that I want to focus on, allowing them to pick the items themselves within the specified lexical chain - Stage 2 (this is what they will do as autonomous learners). Phrases may arise which are not specifically money related and I will give guidance, as necessary. I cannot predict their choices with complete certainty. To give the reading more of a focus (rather than only for lexis extraction), they will complete a handout with basic information (Stage 2), making assumptions about the writer from implied comments (Stage 2). They will then select/record phrases in pairs (4).

The peer teaching (Stage 3) will highlight how they can help each other and by the end of this stage they will have acquired approximately ten (5) new items. These phrases will form the basis of Stage 4 - grammatical usage. Here, too, further clarification of meaning will be provided if necessary and if any errors with form occurred earlier these can be corrected. Students have the whole article in their workbooks to explore the vocabulary further as homework.

They will then consolidate their knowledge with a gap fill (Stage 5) (6).

The role play (Stage 7) is something that students would not do out of class - trying to borrow money from parents in L2. However, they may meet this type of situation in the contexts of films etc. The reason for inclusion: to give students a different opportunity to process the phrases (although as this will be the first encounter with the language, it is unrealistic to expect much of the target language) and, at this point in the four hour class the students will welcome a lighter activity (7).

Aids and materials

1. Whiteboard
2. OHT (…….spend 40% of their income on etc…). Stage 1
3. Dictionaries. Stage 2
4. Reading text 'Money makes the world go round?': 5 extracts (x 2) enlarged and cut up separately. Stage 2
5. Chart for students to complete information/phrases from reading texts (handout 1). Stages 2/3
6. OHT for teacher to record SS' phrases. Stage 2/3
7. OHT pen (for writing SS' phrases). Stage 2/3
8. H/o 2 - Lexis consolidation. Stage 5
9. Role play cards. Stages 6/7


1 Norris, R. 2001. Macmillan Heinemann
2 An extract from Ready for First Certificate Workbook p98
outside the observation
3 if they work faster they will be encouraged to look further at the dictionary 4 definitions/write an example sentence using the target language
5 probably a manageable number for deeper processing - anymore might be overloading students
6 see problems/solutions (2) - above
7 see problems/solutions (4) with regard to timing

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