by Sarn Rich
plan - preliminary information
Make it easier for the class to manage and to communicate
in class and outside without resorting to Spanish, focussing
- language for agreeing, disagreeing and asking opinions (Yeah,
Of course, Mm, Well.., Hmm.., I don't know.., Maybe.., What
you think?, Well?) (Stages 4,5,7)
- language of paraphrasing (See Handout)
- language for use when thinking (fillers) (Hmm.., You know,
Develop listening skills
- for context (1)
- for specific language (4,6,8)
Build Ls' confidence in their ability to communicate only
Fit: This lesson is near the beginning of the course and
has been devised in response to Ls' overuse of Spanish.
The language for agreeing and disagreeing will be reviewed
and recycled in a discussion in 3 lessons time.
Paraphrasing will be used in a lesson on jobs which follows
When drawing up the course programme we wanted to develop
speaking and listening in conversation as an interactive process,
and have timetabled a lesson on backchannelling and showing
reactions to follow this one.
The last lesson to develop listening skills concentrated on
determining speakers' feelings and relationships. The next
will be concerned with information transfer.
There is a learner-training thread to the course. The learners
will be encouraged to use paraphrasing and co-operative strategies
in peer teaching.
The Ls are used to speaking Spanish, and in some tasks
probably resort to Spanish as a way of gaining security because
the tasks are unfamiliar.
The language in the paraphrasing section is probably familiar
Anticipated problems & solutions: Unfamiliarity
of the idea of communicating entirely in English - I will
encourage the Ls to realise that this is within their capabilities.
Board, tape recording (unscripted dialogues), game boards,
labels, bits of paper, counters, HO, realia: 3 X lemon, balloon,
playing card, garlic, child's fork, plastic cup, mask, silver
foil, bead (in a cloth bag)
the beginning of the course all the learners said that their
priority was to improve their speaking. We have therefore
included opportunities for practice, and lessons devoted to
developing speaking skills, but found already that the learners
resort to Spanish more often than might be expected.
lesson is intended to encourage the idea that resorting to
Spanish is unnecessary, and to start the habit of using English
in all classroom activities.
element in this is the use of paraphrase when the learners
do not know the exact language for what they want to convey.
This communication strategy demands the exercise of some imagination,
which wil be stimulated by the following elements in the lesson:
- unexpected seating arrangement.
- lots of realia, of different textures and colours.
- example sentences (on the handout and in the game which
refer to different senses (taste, sight, hearing, touch) and
intention is that the learners should use the target language
communicatively and for an authentic purpose. The language
for agreeing and disagreeing is to be practised in discussing
questions where the learners might genuinely have different
opinions (stages 5, 6 and 7), and fillers are to be practised
when they need time to think (stage 8).
intention in the final activity is that the learners should
use and listen to paraphrasing language out of necessity,
being unable to point to the objects being described and not
knowing their English names. Should they want to know an object's
English name after the lesson the learners can practise their
communication strategies again with English speakers and other
learners to ask for it.
are twelve learners in the class seven men, five women, all
Spanish and aged from
23-30. Their previous learning experiences are very varied,
as are their strengths and weaknesses. All appear to regard
English classes as a social event, and get on well with each
24, biology student, currently unemployed, has attended classes
at the school before but claims not to enjoy learning English
because 'very different for me'. Generally her level is lower
than the other members of the class and she is quite reticent.
However, she is considerate and helpful in pair and group
work and a popular member of the class.
27,industrial engineer, keen on Real Madrid and the Beatles,
claims to be very lazy, but contributes well in class, having
a wide vocabulary and confident speaking ability.
30, sculptor, always smiling, appears to enjoy classes at
the school. He says English was his worst subject when he
was a child, and his vocabulary and speaking are quite poor
for the class.
27, physiotherapist, one of the more fluent learners, wanting
to improve her English before travelling to India to work
with survivors of the Gujerat earthquake.
28, clinical research, an attentive and alert learner. She
likes to know the meaning of every word. Has a good memory,
and is always cheerful.
26, law graduate but wants to improve her English to help
get a job in international sales. Her vocabulary and grammar
are very good and she occasionally becomes frustrated with
other learners at a lower level.
23, trainee infants' teacher, sometimes perhaps intimidated
by the higher level of the rest of the class, but enjoys pairwork.
24, trainee infants' teacher, enthusiastic and talkative.
24, chemist, quiet and contemplative but happy to make a contribution
27, chemistry graduate, despite weaknesses in her pronunciation
and grammar she manages to be quite voluble in speaking activities.
Jose, 24, law student, a quiet and popular learner. Has only
attended two lessons.
the lesson procedure
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