Ministerio de Educación Pública Dirección Regional de Educación de Liberia Departamento de Desarrollo Educativo Asesoría Regional de Inglés Max Arias Segura Asesor Regional de Inglés PLANNING WORKSHOP
In order to achieve this goal, we are going to analyze some specific features related to Didactic Planning in the teaching of English as a Foreign Language (E.F.L). Basically, we are going to focus on:
Its concept, importance, and main characteristics.
The different levels, elements and components, according to the National Syllabus.
The process to put it into practice, in order to prepare English lessons.
WHAT DOES PEDAGOGICAL MEDIATION MEANS? It is understood as the actions the teacher takes to facilitate the learning processes of the students.
The pedagogical mediation takes into account two main elements:
Constitutes the guiding principle Provides the purpose of English in our educational system Describes the basic structure of the subject matter (formal, functional, cultural) Tells the general guidelines for the mediation of learning Explains the methodological approach, learning strategies, learning styles, multiple intelligences, and general assessment principles
SIX COMMON MISTAKES 1. The objective of the lesson does not specify what the student will actually do that can be observed. 2. The lesson assessment is disconnected from the linguistic behavior indicated in the objective. An assessment in a lesson plan is simply a description of how the teacher will determine whether the objective has been accomplished. It must be based on the same behavior that is incorporated in the objective. Anything else is flawed.
3. The prerequisites are not specified or are inconsistent with what is actually required to succeed with the lesson. It is a statement of what a student needs to know or be able to do to succeed and accomplish the lesson objective. 4. The materials specified in the lesson are extraneous to the actual described learning activities. This means keep the list of materials in line with what you actually plan to do. 5. The instruction in which the teacher will engage is not efficient for the level of intended student learning. 6. The student activities described in the lesson plan do not contribute in a direct and effective way to the lesson objective.
GUIDELINES FOR PLANNING LESSONS 1. Consider the content that is to be taught for a given class day. That means themes, cultural contexts, functional tasks, grammar and vocabulary. 2.Consider what students should be able to do at the end of the class period. Plan activities that will help students reach linguistic objectives. Make activities student-centered rather than teacher-centered. Remember that the focus is on learners and their learning. 3. Prepare an outline of what you intend to do during the class period (daily plan or weekly plan). Estimate your time for each activity so that the lesson flows at a reasonable pace.
4. Check for flow and integration among activities and materials from step to step. Try to make each activity a logical continuation of the one before. 5. Provide variety in classroom activities. Have students work on pairs, small groups, as a whole group, role-plays, interviews, games. 6. Evaluate your plan after the class is over. It is important to develop awareness on the processes so that you realize what work and what did not work. And then think of an action plan to overcome the possible problems.
PLANNING PRINCIPLES Variety means involving students in a number of different types of activities and where possible introducing students to a wide selection of materials. Also, it means that learning is fun activity and not a monotonous process. Things you can do to present variety in you classes are: simulations, role-plays, interviews, games, information gap, drama activities, talk shows, problem-solving activities, etc. Flexibility means the ability to use a number of different techniques and not be a slave to one methodology. It is also when dealing with the plan in the classroom: for many reasons what the teacher planned may not be appropriate for that class on that particular day. A flexible teacher is able to make modifications to the plan under specific circumstances, a flexible teacher an adaptable teacher, a flexible teacher believes in variety.
What a teacher should know The Profession : a well prepared teacher needs to know a lot about his or her job before starting to plan lessons. It means that you must manage information on methodology, didactics, classroom management, second language acquisition among others. The School: a teacher needs to know about the institution where he or she is going to work. Things to consider are: time, physical conditions, schedule, syllabus, localization. The Community: every teacher needs to know a lot about the community so that he or she can have an idea of elements such as literacy level, economic level, social status, culture, traditions, beliefs. The Students: the teacher needs to ask questions such as the following and many other too: Who the students are? , What are the student’s needs and interests? , their language skills.
Choose the appropriate teaching methods according to the needs of the students.
Prepare the necessary activities and to order sequencing from easy to difficult, from the known to the unknown.
Take into account time.
See types of students and their needs, which may emerge in class during the process.
Collect and organize the most suitable materials.
Didactic Planning: Conditions Realistic: Adequate for the possibilities and limitations of the students, group, school and community. Concrete: The objectives and the steps to achieve them have to show precision and quality. United and coherent: It has to reflect the educational principles of the country. Graded: The objectives and goals have to be organized in sequential order. Articulated: Teachers should plan taking into account correspondence among each group, grade, and level. Dynamic and hypothetical: It is not possible to make a definite plan, not even for the whole year. Planning is subject to permanent changes and adaptations. Flexible: Although planning is based on permanent established endings, the teacher should adapt it to individual differences among students and specific situations that are not taken into consideration and may occur during the teaching and learning process.
White, (1985) considers that there are five aspects every language teacher should take into account before planning the lessons:
What language and behavior students will be able to perform by the end of the lesson?
How well will they be able to perform these things?
What activities will they do during the lesson?
How much time will you spend on each part of the lesson?
What materials and aids you will need.
Lesson Structure 1. Warm up 2. Pre-Activities (Presentation) 3. During-Activities (Practice) 4. Post-Activities (Production) 5. Evaluation of learning outcomes
Warm up It is a varied and motivating way of starting the lesson. The warm up can take different forms. On one hand, it is usually a brief lively session to welcome the students to their foreign language class. Also it can be used to catch students’ interest towards the new cognitive target. It may include games, songs, riddles, and jokes, among others. Students should be encouraged to participate and have fun.
The teacher introduces the class to the new theme and the new language components.
Both the content and the new grammatical and lexical items are emphasized in an integrated way. Getting meaning across is essential. Students receive considerable input from the teacher. They are allowed time to assimilate the language, to listen actively and to try to understand what the teacher is saying.
The teacher uses simple, but natural language through different techniques.
Basically, there are two elements the teacher does in this phase: introduction of the new vocabulary using different strategies to teach vocabulary and introduction of new structures (lexical items). For this the teacher uses different means to present the structure such as a dialogue, a conversation, a reading passage and others.
Soliciting students' knowledge about a specific point
Teacher centered explanation
The presentation should include the main "meat" of the lesson. For example: If you are working on phrasal verbs, make the presentation by providing a short reading extract peppered with phrasal verbs.
At this stage students put into practice the skill, vocabulary and structures being worked through the objective and the function.
Students are asked to incorporate their language acquisitions to their background knowledge to produce new situations, appropriate to their needs and interests.
The materials must promote meaningful and constant communication among the students while they are using them. The teacher should encourage students to use the target language as much as possible communicatively, because they will frequently want to use fragments of the foreign language while doing different tasks. This is a stage for playing around with the language for mastering the phonological and structural features of the language being studied.
The controlled practice section of the lesson provides students direct feedback on their comprehension of the task at hand.
Generally, controlled practice involves some type of exercise. Remember that an exercise doesn't necessarily mean dry, rote exercises, although these can be used as well.
Controlled practice should help the student focus on the main task and provide them with feedback - either by the teacher or other students.
Post-Activities (listening, speaking, reading, writing) In this final step, the students are encouraged to find original situations where their new linguistic acquisitions can be applied, for example dramatizations, original role-playing, simulations, etc. Also, the teacher points out what has been accomplished successfully and what remains to be improved which were introduced and practiced before. This is the time to comment on the students’ performance.
Production integrates the focus structure / vocabulary / functional language into students' overall language use. Free practice exercises often encourage students to use the target language structures in:
Small group discussions
Written work (paragraphs)
Longer listening comprehension practice
The most important aspect of free practice is that students should be encouraged to integrate language learned into larger structures. This requires more of a "stand-off" approach to teaching. It's often useful to circulate around the room and take notes on common mistakes. In other words, students should be allowed to make more mistakes during this part of the lesson.
Evaluation of Learning Outcomes The teacher chooses different tasks, which match both the objectives and the tasks from the plan that will be considered suitable for evaluating the students’ language skills. The Syllabus includes a list of the different criteria that can be used to assess students’ performance. It is necessary to select at least one criterion for each step or stage. Objectives: According to the Curricular Policy, the objectives are “the where” the students will get to as a result of instruction. They are stated in terms of what the students will do or achieve. They determine the activities, tasks and language skills that will be used. Objectives in this Syllabus are skill-based, being the oral and the listening skills, the main focus of this Curriculum.
Language: This element provides sample structures and vocabulary that serve as the vehicle to achieve the skill-based objectives. The task of the teacher is to choose the language and structure to present to the students. Also, it is important to emphasize that the selection of the language and the structures depends on the or goes in accordance to the function. The Syllabus provides some sample language. The teacher can add other linguistic patterns according to students’ interests and needs. Functions: William Littlewood (1990) states that functional meanings are the skills that learners develop by means of the learning situations that are given to them to find solutions or to make decisions. He says that foreign language learners need opportunities to develop skills to use the language, by being exposed to situations where the emphasis is on using the language for communicating as efficiently and economically as possible.
PRE-DURING-POST Checklist Use this form to check your lesson plan Listening PRE-DURING-POST Checklist Use this form to check your lesson plan Speaking PRE-DURING-POST Checklist Use this form to check your lesson plan Reading PRE-DURING-POST Checklist Use this form to check your lesson plan Writing CHECKLIST BY SKILLS
When lesson planning, consider how you will give instructions for tasks. For each activity or assignment, think to yourself “How can I convey this task clearly to the students? I find out it helpful to write down in my lesson plan what I will say and what materials and visuals I will use to help to clarify instructions.
Plan enough time in your lesson to deliver instructions thoroughly and to check student’s understanding. Do not deliver instructions hurriedly while the bell is ringing, students are grabbing books and backpacks and leaving the room.
Be sure you have all students’ attention when giving instructions – insist on this and never make exceptions.
Be well prepared, not only for verbal delivery of instructions, but also with instructions written in clear, concise, simple English on the board (or on a flip chart). This additional visual will catch students whose listening skills may take it challenging to follow verbal instructions.
Be simple and economical, verbally. Consider the following verbal instruction strands:
“ Ok, everybody, listen up. I want to tell you what we’re going to do next. What we’re going to do is … I want everybody to get together with the partners you were working on the peer editing with last week.
Model the task and always do an example together with the class, even for homework exercises. For in class task, rather than just telling students what is expected of them, show them as well. When assigning a task, physically DO the task yourself in front of the class. Show them with you body, gestures and facial expressions, exactly what you want the task to look like when they begin do it. With pair task, have the class watch while you model with another student. Check for understanding and model again if needed, or ask two students who seem to understand the task to model together.
When assigning a textbook activity or exercise, ask students to open the correct page in their textbooks and follow as log as you go over the task. Use your own textbook as a prop. Point to the exercise, check that all students are following and do the first questions together as an example.
Repeat instructions at least once with slightly different wording, if possible.
Give students time to write assignments down, insist that they do.
Break instructions down and deliver them in steps or chunks. When instructions include a series of steps, deliver the first step, wait, check for comprehension, and then deliver the next small chunk of instructions. This gives students time to digest smaller pieces of information at one time rather than to grasp what bits and pieces they can of a lengthy explanation.
Use pair work. Stop in the middle and at the end of instructions, and ask students to confirm the task with a partner. Often, this avoids the need for repetition by the teacher.
Use comprehension checks and involve students actively in the instructions process. Have students repeat assignments or instructions back to you. Ask, “Can anyone tell me what are you going to do next/for homework?” Open-ended comprehension checking questions (beginning with WH-words) such as “What is still unclear?” “What questions do you have?” “Who has a question about that?” are much more effective than “Any questions?” The former ask for a real feedback response from students while the latter allows students to shake their heads or not respond at all.
Inaccuracy response techniques – including encouraging peer correction.
Teach to different modalities VAKT (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile activities).
Use think/Pair/Share activities.
Get students to use eye-contact during pairwork.
Modeling – both teacher to student and student to student.
Give students solitary time to work and process information.
Monitoring – during pair and group work, with and without responding to inaccuracies.
Move around the room – both teacher and students.
Keep ratio of students talking time vs. teacher talking time high.
Pair work/group work – varying methods of pairing/grouping, switching partners, groups.
Use concept checking questions.
Give students time to write things down, copy from the board.
Get feedback from learners – ask for their feelings on a task, too easy? Too difficult? Just right? (Thumbs up, down, middle), ask students to share one thing they learned in the lesson before leaving.
Language Development Stages Sample Behaviors in the Classroom 1. Yes/No (Is the light on?) 2. Either/or Is this pen or a pencil? 3. One word responses (What am I holding in my hand?) 4. General questions which encourages list of words (What do you see in the picture?) 5. Two word responses Where did he go? To work) 1. Ask questions that can be answered by yes/no and either/or responses. 2. Models correct responses. 3. Ensures a supportive low anxiety environment. 4. Does not overtly call attention to grammar errors. 1. One or two word utterances. 2. Short phrases. Early-Production: students are “low beginners”. 1. Point to … 2. Find the … 3. Put the __ next to _ 4. Do you have the _? 5. Is this a ___? 6. Who wants the __? 7. Who has the __? 1. Gestures 2. Language focuses on conveying meaning and vocabulary meaning. 3. Repetition 4. Does not force students to speak. 1. Points to or provides other non verbal responses. 2. Actively listens 3. May be reluctant to speak 4. Understand more than can produce. Pre-Production: students are totally new to English. Questioning Techniques Sample teacher behavior Sample student behavior Stage/Level
1. What would you recommend or suggest? 2. How do you think this store will end? 3. What is the store mainly about? 4. What is you opinion about ___? 5. Describe and compare. 6. How are these similar or different? 7. What woulf happen if? 8. Which do you prefer? Why? 9. Create. 1. Fosters conceptual development and literacy through content. 2. Continues to make lesson comprehensible and interactive. 3. Teaches thinking and study skills. 4. Continues to be alert to individual differences in language and culture. 1. Participates in reading and writing activities to acquire more information. 2. May experience difficulties in abstract, cognitively demanding subjects at school, especially when high degree of literacy is required. Intermediate Fluency: students are high beginners, intermediate, or advanced. 1. Why? 2. How? 3. How is this like that? 4. Tell me about … 5. Talk about … 6. Describe … 7. How would you change this? 1. Focuses content on key concepts. 2. Provides frequent comprehension checks. 3. Uses performance based assessment. 4. Uses expanded vocabulary. 5. Asks open-ended questions that stimulate language production. 1. Participates in small group activities. 2. Demonstrates comprehension in a variety of ways. 2. Speaks in short phrases and sentences. 3. Begins to use language more freely. Speech Emergence: students are beginner.