When I decided to design this lesson I wanted it to be as coherent as possible. The purpose of every lesson plan is to communicate. Every single lesson plan guides the teacher in organizing her material and herself for the purpose of helping her students to attain the intended learning outcomes. Your lesson plan must not be interpreted in many ways; otherwise it will be identified as a not very good plan. This leads to the conclusion that a key principle in creating a plan, is specificity.
An effective teaching combines a number of techniques in order to satisfy students’ different learning styles. The lesson includes some individual works as well as pair work, in order to give students a chance to work with both techniques.
Harmer (2007:370) cited that, ”when planning lessons we need to think carefully, therefore about what stages a lesson will go through and how we will get from one stage to another.” So I think that it would be better if I split the lesson into three stages; the opening, the middle and the end.
I start the lesson by reminding the students to speak English in the class, as it will help them to practice their fluency in speaking English, and I tell them what we are going to cover during the lesson. While i am talking I will give them a sheet with the sequence of the lesson, because as Harmer (207:370) pointed out, ”students need to know during a lesson when one stage has finished and another is about to begin. ” Each lesson plan has to follow a logical sequence so that learners will not find any difficulties in the different activities they will do with the teacher.
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In order to start the main part of the lesson, I use a picture of Ainsley Harriot who is a very famous English celebrity chef and television presenter in order to activate their background knowledge and to motivate them. I will ask them questions related to Ainsley, so that the whole class can participate by answering my questions. This is a very good pre-reading activity because learners activate their schemata but also because the teacher activates their motivation through the discussion about Ainsley Harriot.
After this pre-reading activity, I will give them a text related to Ainsley Harriot with a global reading task to do. I decided to give them some reading exercises to do, because as Ur P. (2007:147) points out, ”reading skills need to be fostered so that the learner can cope with more and more sophisticated texts and tasks and deal with them efficiently.” The worksheet I am going to give them includes three paragraph headings. Each paragraph heading goes to one paragraph. The students will gain an idea of the organization of the text and skim quickly through the text in order to find the correct heading for each paragraph. According to Thornbury and Watkins (2007:211) skimming in reading is getting the main ideas or gist of a text by reading it rapidly.
After the global reading task I will give them an intensive reading task. I will supply them with another worksheet; which contains 8 questions with four possible answers allocated to each question. Students are supposed to circle the correct answer. They will use the text to find the correct answers. Specifically they are required to carry out specific information in order to find the correct answer. So they do not have to read the whole text, but they will focus on important key words in the questions and then find these keywords in the text in order to decide which answer to circle. This is called the scanning method. According to Lindsay and Knight (2006:72) scanning is the kind of reading you do when you want to find out about something specific.
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I think it would be better if I used the given text of Ainsley Harriot in order to design some other exercises. Thus I planned a vocabulary activity based on the words from the text. When the students will finish the last worksheet, I will take some words out of the text, write them on the board and I will ask students to tell me some family words of the given words. (Word families) As Nunan (2000:137) points out, word families is an extension of the formal grouping technique and she provides an example of exercise which can be developed in order to show how word ‘families’ are developed from a single root. For example, music, musician musical. So the activity I decided to give them is called word families. I am going to write on the whiteboard a word like entertain which is in the text. Then, I will tell students to tell me some family words of the word given by giving them an example from another word. Word families are important because they can bring out hidden parts of spelling in a word that we already know. Likewise are very useful because it will give students the chance to expand their vocabulary and meet new words.
When they will finish the previous exercise I will tell students to write a short biography of themselves (approximately 10 lines). As Wallace T, Winifred E. Stariba and Herbet J. Walberg (page 15) point out; ”writing is the final product of several separate acts that are hugely challenging to learn simultaneously.” It will be based on the text and if they want they can use some of the words we wrote on the board. I will also indicate that they have to use the present tenses we did in the last lesson (simple present and present continuous). In this piece of writing they have to write about their likes, their hobbies and their daily routine. This type of writing is called personal writing. The purpose I have chosen personal writing is because students are invited to write about themselves. This is an interesting topic, and it is a thing which many students like, because they prefer this sort of writing as they do not have to imagine or invent stories, but if they want to, they can add some fictional details on order to make it more fascinating. Ur P. (2007:250) has pointed out, that written work includes assignments on grammar or vocabulary, and so on. Indubitable, when writing we practice the language but also we reinforce the language we have learnt. Thereby, students will practice writing in terms of the grammar, but also the vocabulary activity they have been doing.
After writing the short biography, I will suggest that students have to swap their biographies. I will also mention that the purpose of this activity is to read and correct any mistakes they will spot in the biography of their classmates. When they finish reading the biography, they will tell to his/her classmate what mistakes they have done. For example, Marc holds Marina’s biography. When they finish, they get together and they tell to each other (Marc-Marina, Marina-Marc) their mistakes. Peer correction is the method of error correction, where students correct each other’s mistakes rather than having the teacher to correct them. However, students may not be able to identify all the mistakes, but at least they will be able to detect some of them. As Ur P. (2007:172) points out, peer correction can be a time-saving and a useful technique. It can be a useful technique as the learner will feel more comfortable and less afraid or anxious when being helped by their fellow students.
In order to finish the lesson, I will tell students the correct answers of the worksheets they have done, and ask them in order to reaffirm if they have any queries. Lastly, I will tell them what they have to do for homework, and collect their biographies so that I will be able to correct them and bring them back next week.
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