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This assignment reports two 50-minute lessons with the detailed plans that were accomplished as a part of a teaching practicum under TESOL graduate diploma course Term 3 Unit 2. The lessons were provided in two coeducational schools, the details on the grade, English level of the students are provided further in the text and in Appendix.
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The practice teachings were delivered with presence of observers-experienced teachers in the classroom. After delivering the lessons, I was given the assessment and evaluation on the curriculum implemented and teaching itself by at least three observers.
Similar to many teachers, who see their main purpose in teaching English language as transmitting the communicative competence to the learners, I also support that idea and chose communicative approach as the style of my teaching. Thus, the approach to the creation of the lesson plan and teaching materials was selected with the accessibility degree for the learners, in order to exploit the language data as communication, because very often the authentic communication in the target language is complicated (Rel.sagepub, 2018). Moreover, communicative language teaching refers to a various set of general ideas and can be used for maintaining a diverse classroom procedure. The principles of the approach are: gaining communicative competence, learning through using the language to communicate, authentic semantic communication is the goal of classroom activities, accuracy and fluency are equally important, other language skills are integrated, errors and trials are expected (Richards, 2002).
Thorough lesson planning is very important, particularly for newly graduated teachers. It helps them to maintain flowless sequence of activities. Even though the lesson plan can be interrupted by unforeseen factors, such as lose of interest by the students, however, flexibility and following three stages of planning which are: planning in preparation for a program or course; energetic adequate response on the actual circumstances unfolding in the class; reflective decisions and analysing of the circumstances and modification of the plan for future lessons (Hood, Solomon and Burns, 1996, p. 42, as cited in Joyce and Feez, 2012, p. 83).
For the purpose of delivering meaningful lesson aiming to boost students’ knowledge three phases of lesson design were implemented: Phase 1-Needs analyses. The information on the students was gathered, such as: age, gender, background, language level, any barriers to learning and so on. Then the analyses of the received data allowed to determine the discourse, grammar and other aspects that needed to be addressed in the lesson (Chapter 1, as cited in Joyce and Feez, 2012, p. 84).
Phase 2-Program planning and application involves focusing on organising objectives and outcomes of lesson plan, organised in chunks of curriculum content. A cohesive teaching program consists of sequenced units of work designed through the process of following the steps of the program planning: design principles; selecting starting points (topic, audience, macro skill, strategy and so on); methodology (procedures, activities, resources to achieve the progress towards objectives and outcomes); sequence activities (Joyce and Feez, 2012, p. 84).
Phase 3-Assessment and evaluation. Integrating diagnostic assessment into teaching and learning cycles is productive approach. While, evaluation helps teaches and institutions to understand how effective is the implemented program (Joyce and Feez, 2012, p. 84). Key strategy to gain students’ attention is to show interest in them, their country and their nation. Creating a warm, friendly atmosphere in the class makes teaching and learning easier in all matters.
Each lesson should provide a good learning experience to the students and bring fun if possible. Thus, for a careful planning we need to set up objectives and goals first. Then we construct the lesson plan with several parts or stages, such as: preview, where the students are given an overview of the day’s lesson. Warming-up follows with short activity to generate a good class atmosphere. New materials for the day can also be introduced during that part. Main activities follow right after the warming-up unit, the part to which the most of the lesson will be devoted. Then optional activities can be included if time allows. Reserve or spare-tire activities should be available in case some parts of the lesson go quicker than planned (Snow, 2006, p. 61-64).
When it comes to designing the units of work in the lesson plan, worth to remember that parts of the lesson should be connected to each other in sequence. As well as each lesson to the next lesson. It is crucial also to present various activities on the topic that is being taught, preferably the content should be related to real-life tasks, so that the students have time to process and remember the language. The following structure connection will be ideal: Topic; objectives; language elements; skills and strategies (listening, speaking, for instance) and all these connected to activities and resources (Nunan, 1989, p. 17-20).
Creating a unified set of activities after assessing the needs and previous knowledge of the students is essential for delivering the lesson effectively and meeting the set-up goals and objectives of the lesson. This is done by enabling or deploying objectives which are the basic skills (such as vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation) and the life skills (including cultural knowledge). Materials and equipment (real life materials, flip charts and markers, visual aids, etc.) are chosen and prepared well before the class starts. Activities often move from more controlled (repetition) to rather a free format (interviewing each other). They also should be diverse both in type (group, paired and so on) and modality (speaking, writing and so on) (Cal.org., 2018, p. II-29).
Lesson 1/Teaching practice 1
The teaching practice took place in an orthodox co-educational school in Adelaide at EAL class. The teaching was accomplished for grade 8 comprising 5 international students (4 boys and 1 girl). The age range of students varied between 13 and 16 years old. English language level of students was ranging from pre-intermediate to advanced. The students in EAL class were from a different cultural, education and language knowledge background. Some students were more advanced in English language than others in the classroom, nevertheless, majority of the students were highly developed young people, who had a good knowledge of general topics and expressed a healthy curiosity in many subjects, as was noticed during the observation of the class earlier.
The teaching aims were the following abilities that students were supposed to acquire: to develop creativity as learners imagine a future profession and life; to practice the ways of speaking about future, using phrases like “will” and “going to”; to develop learners’ communication skills; to develop learners’ writing skills.
The lesson plan and materials that were created and used during the practice delivery are provided in the appendix (p. 7-14). The lesson started with the introduction to a new lesson (10 min). Students were told to prepare their imagination for thinking and talking about themselves in 2035. For that purpose, they were going to learn how to use “will” and “going to” when speaking about the future. The presentation of a new information was accomplished through the power point. Going forward, students were asked whether they knew the terms like “arrangement”, “prediction” and other words that would seem unfamiliar for them.
Must be mentioned that the new vocabulary was taught through the top-down method. When the students were supposed to use the prior knowledge of the context and situation in order to make sense of the newly listened words and sentences (Nunan, 2002). Part of the lesson plan was asking students to give examples with the new words (wasn’t realised sufficiently). Then the practice part followed (15 min) – students were told to think about the future professions that could be popular in 2035 in their view and some studies around changes in professions were shared to them through the power point presentation. Afterwards, they were asked to think about the types of transportation that would most probably be popular or invented. As a teacher I tried to make everybody speak, especially the silent ones.
The spoken language for the activity can be distinguished as a talk as a transaction. As the focus of the interaction between the students and me was on understanding of the topic and the new information rather than the social interaction between the participants (Richards, 2009, p. 24). As the extended and diverse part of the practice stage Task 1 (see appendix) was delivered (15 min), and that was provided in form of the student worksheets with 10 open questions. The writing task was topical, organised around “future” theme (Raimes, 2002). Before handing out the worksheets, the class was explained what is expected from the students and as a teacher I went through the questions in order to make sure they understood what to write in each section.
Consequently, the meaning of unknown words in the worksheets: “valuable” and “possession” was explained. The task was supposed to encourage them to build up a fantasy future self, get them to think about their family, where they want to live, what vehicles they want to own, places they want to visit, their most valuable possession. The students had to complete the information individually. Initial time limit was 10 minutes, then the class was given another 5 minutes for finishing up the exercise. During the time the class was working I went around and made sure they answered properly and helped the ones who needed some aid. The following stage was the evaluation (5 min).
The last stage was conducted through getting answers to the following questions: Had all students worked out their new age, professions and told me? Did the brief discussion of the answers show the understanding and acquisition of new knowledge by the students? Additional collection and analyses of all the worksheets gave more opportunities for evaluation.
Overall, the practicum lesson was accomplished successfully and the class was involved in all the discussions. In addition, every student answered to the questions in the student worksheet.
Anticipated challenge from the teaching experience was keeping the students interested. Thus, after a careful consideration I chose a particular topic and activities which kept the students involved and turned on their imagination. In order to make sure that the worksheets were understandable enough I had a change to hand them to the students from higher grade in the same school, which had students with lower level of English language proficiency and they completed the work successfully. Worth mentioning that I was very anxious at the beginning, but became more confident as the lesson went on. Power point helped a lot with the consistency and flow of the lesson, advice that was received by the experienced teacher. I tried to make all the students speak, but not all of them spoke sufficiently I thought. The students were highly involved and showed their interest in the topic.
The outcomes of this teaching practice were some anticipated and faced problems mentioned by observers: two out of 5 students who were from the same cultural background had the lowest level of English language skills among the classmates. This and the tendency to sit together encouraged them to talk to each other in their first language. Thus, the best solution in this situation would be to separate them from each other and make them talk more during speaking activities as mostly these particular students preferred to keep silent suppressed by activeness of more knowledgeable students. Additionally, one of observers expressed the opinion that the topic was not authentic.
The anxiety was noticed by observers as well, and was explained as a lack of experience. In addition, the nervousness lead to too much talking. I also have to improve my cursive writing, as some letters were difficult to understand when I wrote the new terms on the white board. I need preciseness as well when teaching as I can go off the topic. However, I had a good ability to explain new vocabulary to the students, was in control of the lesson time and flow, showed a true interest in the students’ opinion, which kept them interested.
Lesson 2 /Teaching practice 2
The teaching practice was conducted in a co-educational school in Adelaide at EAL class. The class combined learners from grade 3 to 6 comprising 6 international students (1 boy and 5 girls). The age of the students varied from 10 to 13 years old. English language level of students was ranging from pre-intermediate to advanced. The EAL class contained the students from the same cultural background. The male student’s English language level was the lowest among the other students.
The teaching aims were: to improve spelling as learners think when answer the crossword questions and spell when write the answers; to learn the difference between carnivores, herbivores and omnivores; to develop learners’ communication and writing skills and vocabulary; to understand that animals have different diets.
The detailed lesson plan is provided in the appendix (p. 14-18). The teaching started with warming up activity. The students were told that they would recall what they did the day before. The crossword was already drawn on the white board. Each student was asked the question related to the Gruffalo book they studied before and wrote the answer on the white board (20 min). Then they were introduced to different types of animals based on the nutrition they have: Carnivores, omnivores and herbivores (10 min). The rest of the lesson followed by discussions and activities around the subject of the lesson (20 min).
The significant challenge that appeared during the teaching was insufficient number of activities. Based on the previous teaching practicum experience I chose respective number of activities for the second teaching practicum, but students in the second class accomplished the tasks much faster, thus I had to find out some new activities quickly to lead the lesson to the end, and I chose some colourful books with animals from the classroom cupboard and practiced classification of the animals based on the diet they followed. It is always important to prepare more tasks and activities than the lesson can contain. For the situations when the students have different level of language skills it is crucial to prepare additional activities for the high achieving students in order to keep them busy while the rest of the students are finishing their exercises. During the lesson high attention was provided to the student with the lowest language skills. However, the advanced students found some tasks not sophisticated enough to keep them busy the whole time that was assumed for some exercises.
Nevertheless, the practicum lesson was accomplished fully and the class was involved in all the discussions and every student answered to the questions in the student worksheet.
The reflection received from the observers were as follows: the students learned new things that their permanent teacher was going to introduce them in the future, thus, she was happy that the topic matched with her planned curriculum program, even though I was asked to choose any theme I preferred. The advice over the preventing the situation of running out of activities was to not only prepare more tasks that would perfectly fit the time slot of the lesson, but also use the already available working materials as a solution. For example, the student worksheets could be discussed in many ways after the main activity of fulfilling the papers was conducted.
One of the observers expressed the opinion that instead of printed pictures of animals I could use more authentic instruments, such as online videos, and could also provide the student worksheets with real photographs of animals rather than hand drawn pictures of the same. Some anxiety took place during the teaching as well, which lead to the fast speaking, but this time the anxiety disappeared faster. My cursive writing had improved a lot since the first lesson delivery.
Overall, the lessons provided were thin on grammar as a result of the environment and context of the language required by the particular learners. Since the language learning sees the grammar as a process of coping with remoteness. The further the learners from the English-speaking country the more grammar they need to embrace and absorb the language, while living in Australia, for example, allows to be more practical about the teaching and learning the local tongue (Thornbury, 2014). Observing, experiencing and understanding own experience as a teacher and integrating the relevant internal practise and knowledge into own developing model of effective teaching and learning is encouraged (Thornbury, 2014).
- Cal.org.(2018).[online].Available.at:http://www.cal.org/caela/tools/program_development/elltoolkit/Part2-29LessonPlanning.pdf [Accessed 19 Jul. 2008].
- Joyce. H.S. and Feez, S. (2012). Text based language and literacy education. Programming and Methodology. Putney NSW: Phoenix Education, pp. 83-111.
- Nunan, D. (1989). Designing units of work. In: Nunan, D. and Burton, J. New arrivals. N.S.W.: National Centre for English Language Teaching and Research, Macquarie University, pp. 17-27.
Nunan, D. (2002). Listening in Language Learning. In: Richards, J.
C. & Renandya, W.A. Methodology in Language Teaching. Cambridge University Press. Pp. 238-241.
- Raims, A. (2002). Ten Steps in Planning a Writing Course and Training Teachers of Writing. In J. Richards & W. Renandya (Eds.), Methodology in Language Teaching: An Anthology of Current Practice (Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching, pp. 306-314). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 306-314.
- Rel.sagepub.com. (2018). Communicative Materials Design: Some Basic Principles-Michael P. Breen, Chrisopher Candlin, Alan Waters, 1979. [online] Available at: http://rel.sagepub.com/content/10/2/1.citation
- Richards, J. (2002). 30 Years of Tefl/Tesl: A Personal Reflection. RELC Journal, 33(2), pp. 1-35.
- Richards, J. (2009). Teaching Listening and Speaking. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1-44.
- Snow, D. (2006). Lesson Planning and Classroom Survival. In More than a native speaker. Alexandria, VA: Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages. Ch 5. pp. 61-73.
- Thornbury, S. (2014). Uncovering grammar. London: Macmillan Education, pp. 1-14.
Lesson 1/Teaching practice 1
Imaginary future life (2035).
To practice the ways of speaking about the future, using phrases like “will” and “going to”.
To develop learners’ communication skills
To develop learners’ writing skills
Year 8 (EAL) – from 13 to 16 years old.
This lesson takes a look at unfamiliar words related to the topic, light-hearted future professions and ideas about progress. Students invent future professions, fulfil the worksheet given to them and then discuss their points of view.
1. Introduction (10-15 min)
Start with Power point slides. Tell students that in today’s lesson they will use their imagination. Introduce “will” and “going to”, tell about the differences. Ask whether they know the words “arrangement”, “prediction”. Ask them to give examples with the new words.
2. Practice (10-15 min)
Ask students what they think will be popular profession and share with them the studies around changes in future professions. Ask them what sort of transportation will be popular or invented. Make everybody speak, especially the silent ones.
3. Task 1: Your future self (10-15)
Before handing out the worksheets, explain the class what is expected from them and go through the questions in order to make sure they understand what to write in each section.
Encourage them to build up a fantasy future self. Get them to think about their family, kids, where they live, what vehicles they own, places they have visited, their most valuable possession.
Hand out Worksheet and have students complete the
information individually. Set a time limit of 10 minutes, then give 5 min more if they haven’t finished yet. Explain what means “valuable”, “possession” if necessary. Go around and make sure they are working, help them.
4. Answers discussion (5 min)
Have all students work out their new age, professions and told me? Ask students why they chose one or another particular answer. Say thank you to them. Collect all the sheets in, making sure students have written their names on the papers.
Task 1: You in 2035
It is 2035. Complete this information about your life. Use your imagination!
What Job or business you have? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
How much you earn per month? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Children? How many?
Where (Country)? ____________________________________________________
Transport and travel
What transportation do you own? ________________________________________
Places visited? __________________________________________________________________________________
Most valuable possession? _____________________________________________
Good and bad things about future?
Lesson 2 /Teaching practice 2
Gruffalo book, animals.
To think and improve spelling as learners think when answer the crossword questions and spell when write the answers.
To learn the difference between carnivores, herbivores and omnivores.
To develop learners’ communication and writing skills and vocabulary.
To understand that animals have different diets.
Year 3-6 (EAL)
Student worksheet, whiteboard, printed pictures, books
Start a warming up activity reminding the last lesson students had in order to make them relaxed and help to remember what they learnt the last.
1. Lead-in (15-20 min)
Start with warming up activity. Tell students that in today’s lesson they will recall what they did yesterday a bit. The crossword is already drawn on the white board. Ask a question to every student and make them write their answer on the white board.
1)Who has black tongue and purple prickles all over his back? – Bella
2)Who can slide and his in the leaves? – Maggie
3)Who lives in an underground house? – Selina
4)Who lives in a treetop house? – Snowy
5)Who is very little and brown? – Bo Chang
6) Ask Alisa to read the praising phrase written by placed tiles on the board
2. Learning and discussion (10-15 min)
Now will try to understand what types of animals are heroes mentioned in the book depending on what they eat. All living animals can be divided into three types: Carnivores, omnivores and herbivores (write on the board). Then ask whether they know the meaning of these words.
Carnivore-an animal that eats other animals, that is not vegetarian. Ask for example from the book.
Omnivore-an animal or person who eats both plants and animals, ask for an example from the book.
Herbivore-someone who eats plants, ask for an example.
Then show the pictures of animals and ask which type of animal they are and what do they eat?
3. Task: (10-15)
Before handing out the worksheets, explain the class what is expected from them and go through the worksheet in order to make sure they understand what to write in each section.
Encourage them to ask questions if they don’t understand the words.
Hand out Worksheet and ask students to complete the
information individually. Set a time limit of 10 minutes, then give 5 min more if they haven’t finished yet. Go around and make sure they are all working, help them. Say thank you to them. Collect all the sheets in, making sure students have written their names on their papers.
Printed A4 pictures of the following animals were used:
- Fruit and Nut
Your Name: _____________________
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