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  • 1. Masaryk University in Brno Pedagogical Fakulty Department of English Teaching Grammar at The Basic Schools according to The Framework Educational Programme Bachelor Thesis Brno 2006Supervisor: Author:PhDr. Helena Havlíčková Jarmila Šabatová
  • 2. I. THEORETICAL PART1. Introduction2. The Framework Educational Programme2.1 The Framework Educational Programme in the Czech Republic2.2 Language communication2.3 Key competences2.4 Expected results in the language communication3. Grammar and the language curriculum3.1 Curriculum and communication3.2 The centrality of language3.3 The grammar- centred curriculum4. Identifying grammar4.1 What is grammar4.2 Grammar in language teaching5. Presenting and testing grammar5.1 Presenting grammatical items5.2 Discovery techniques5.2 Practice techniques5.3 Testing grammar5.4 My own conclusion of presenting grammarII. PRACTICAL PART6. The Framework Educational Programme and the SchoolEducational Programme6.1 Making the School Educational Programme6.2 The School Educational Programme for 6th class7. Grammatical units taken from the School EducationalProgramme7.1 The list of grammatical units7.2 Lesson plans for the main units 2
  • 3. 8. Teaching process8.1 Hypotheses about each lesson plan8.2 Evaluation and experience from the lesson9. Checking and testing knowledge9.1 Test for students9.2 Anticipation of possible problems9.3 Evaluation of the tests10. Conclusion10.1 Advantages and disadvantages of using the School EducationalProgramme 3
  • 4. 1. Introduction I have been teaching English at the basic school for ten years. My students are at theage from ten to fifteen. Basic education in the Czech Republic has been organized byseveral state educational and curriculum documents during the period that I have beenteaching. Two years ago, in 2004, a new educational document for basic schools has beenpublished. It is called the Framework Educational Programme. It offers a new view onour educational system. Main stress is put on results and competences not on subjectmatter during the process of education. It is obligatory for schools to make their SchoolEducational Programmes. A school year 2007-8 has been established as the first year forrealizing these new School Educational Programmes. Now it is the time for making them.This thesis solves this problem in connection with teaching grammar in English. Themain aim of the thesis is to show how grammar could be taught. Theoretical part engages in this new document which is described here in details. Thengrammar is characterized as a part of language teaching. Main types of presenting andtesting grammar are mentioned here. Relationship between teaching grammar andlanguage curriculum as a whole is explained in theoretical part too. Practical part firstly describes the process of making a new School EducationalProgramme. Then attention is put on the 6th class only. There is a table of subject matterdeveloped from the School Educational Programme. Two lesson plans of maingrammatical units are chosen for presenting grammar. There are hypotheses andevaluation for each lesson. In the last part there are tests for learners. Anticipations ofpossible problems are presented here, then evaluation of each test. Conclusion of thisthesis comes out the advantages and disadvantages of the Framework EducationalProgramme for teachers and students. 4
  • 5. 2.1 The Framework Educational Programme in the CzechRepublic The national curriculum (also called the Educational Framework or the FrameworkEducational Programme) is the national educational document which was edited by “VÚP”in Prague in 2004. This document consists four parts. Part A specifies the national educational programme for the basic schools. PartB characterizes generally the basic education in the Czech Republic. Part Ccontains the key competences which are devided into some educational areas.There are ten main educational areas in part C. Teaching English language belongs to the part which is called Language andLanguage Communication. This chapter contains two parts; Czech language andliterature and foreign languages. 2.2 Language and language communication The educational part called Language and language communication is taken asto one of the most important part in the educational programme. A high level oflanguage culture belongs to the basic items of general education. Languagelearning supplies knowledge and skills that provide possibilities to receive severalmessages , it makes pupils understand these messages, it makes them express newthings properly. Students should be able to use and enforce the results of theirknowledge. Foreign and the second foreign language contribute to understandingand discovering the realities that are above the experience brought by mothertongue. These realities provide the basis of language communication andassumptions for communication in a scope of integrated Europe and the world. The language acquisition helps to reduce a language barrier. It is useful forimproving the mobility of the individuals both in their personal life and in theirnext professional carrier. The language acquisition enables pupils to know thedifferences of the traditions in foreign country. It intensifies the view ofimportance of reciprocal understanding and tolerance between countries. Itfacilitates cooperation between schools in the international projects. The 5
  • 6. requirements in foreign language education, that were formulated in The National Curriculum of Basic Education in the Czech Republic, are based on the Common Europe Referential Scope for Languages (Společný evropský referenční rámec pro jazyky). This scope describes different levels of the language acquisition. 2.3 The aims of the language communication The education in this area points to these key competences: pupils are expected: ● to receive language as a historical and cultural fact ● to know the historical and cultural development of the country and nation ● to make a positive view of mother tongue ● to use the language for receiving the information ● to require the main structures of communication between people ● to make a positive view of foreign language in a scope of multicultural communication ● to require the self confidence for presenting in public ● to be able to read the literary texts ● to make a positive view of the classic literature and other arts ● to require an emotional and esthetic cognition2.4 The expected results Level 1, the beginners, 1st period RECEPTIVE, PRODUCTIVE AND INTERACTIVE SKILLS A pupil ▪ pronounces correctly, reads with proper pronunciation 6
  • 7. ▪ understands simple instructions, reacts on them ▪ recognizes written and spoken form of the word ▪ understands the meaning of simple, slow conversation ▪ uses alphabetical dictionary in a textbook RECEPTIVE SPEAKING SKILLS, 2nd period A pupil ▪ understands known words and simple sentences ▪ understands the meaning of simple authentic materials, uses them for his work ▪ reads loudly with proper pronunciation simple texts with known vocabulary ▪ finds out useful information in a simple text, makes the answer to the question ▪ uses dictionary PRODUCTIVE SPEAKING SKILLS A pupil ▪ forms grammatically correct written statement, short text, an answer to the statement ▪ products orally the context of simple text, writes simple text, products simple conversation ▪ changes short texts INTERACTIVE SPEAKING SKILLS A pupil ▪ reacts actively to the simple conversation, greets and says good bye to a friend,provides information 7
  • 8. Level 2, the intermediateRECEPTIVE SPEAKING SKILLSA pupil ▪ reads loudly, fluently with a proper pronunciation ▪ understands the meaning of simple texts in the textbooks and in the authenticmaterials, finds known words and phrases in the texts ▪ understands simple and clear speech and conversation ▪ finds the possible meaning of the new words from the context ▪ uses a dictionary and finds the meaning of the wordsPRODUCTIVE SPEAKING SKILLSA pupil ▪ builds simple (written and spoken) statement about situation in daily life, infamily, at school and in other topics ▪ writes grammatically correct sentences, changes sentences and short texts ▪ briefly retells the story or the text ▪ asks for simple informationINTERACTIVE SPEAKING SKILLSA pupil ▪ is able to speak in the common daily situations in a simple way 3. Grammar and the language curriculum It has been suggested that the design of any language - teaching curriculum isconceived as constituting the answers to three interrelated questions; “What is to be 8
  • 9. learned?” “How is learning to be undertaken and achieved?” “To what extent is theformer appropriate and the latter effective?” (Breen and Candlin 1980, p. 89). 3.1 Curriculum and communication There have been increasing efforts to bring curricular objectives into alignment withlanguage-functional aims and learner- behaviour specifications. It has been found thatthe goals of language-teaching programmes are often articulated in terms of“communicative competence”, and much discussed in the pedagogic research literatureare the so-called “communicative approaches” to language instruction. The fundamentalpremise of most such approaches is that the primary function of language is that of“communication”. Certainly, the viability of any “communicative curriculum” will needto be linked in important ways to the validity of this premise; yet the premise itselfrepresents a belief about language function. (William E. Rutherford, 1987, p. 147) One well-known researcher, F.Newmeyer, has this to say: Obviously, communication is a function of language-perhaps, according to someplausible but still undervised scale, its most important function. But communicationdoes not appear to be the only function of language. Language is used for thought, forproblem solving, for play, for dreaming, for displays of group solidarity, for deception,for certain specialized literary modes such as represented speech…,and possibly tofulfill an instinctive need for symbolic behaviour…; in fact, language plays an integralrole in virtually every conceivable human activity. Now one might, of course, choose tocall all these attributes and abilities “communication”. But doing so, it seems to me,takes from the word “communication” any meaning other than “acting human”. ( Newmeyer 1983, p. 100) According to William E. Rutherford there is nothing of intrinsic languageorganization that can be identified, isolated, and abstracted away for curricularrepresentation as the formal exponent of some set of “communicative functions”.Grammar is in no sense amenable to such procedures, and this is as true for product asfor process-oriented concepts of language form. These observations argue then against 9
  • 10. any centrality within the curriculum for systems of “communication” where decisionsconcerning grammatical focus are attendant upon “communicative” points of departure. 3.2 The centrality of language Letting language itself be at the centre of the pedagogical plan would seem at firstglance to represent nothing new. Possible difficulties in accepting the value of alanguage-centred pedagogical plan would very likely stem from what we already knowof so many such attempts in the past- attempts whose apparent failure to lead to desiredgoals has more recently, in the eyes of some language professionals, discredited thenotion of any kind of curricular prominence for language organization. William E. Rutherford says: “There are two prime assumptions that are usually identifiable throughout the historyof language-centred pedagogy. The first of these amounts to a belief about language, thesecond about teaching {learning}: 1. the essence of language is an assemblage of hierarchically-arranged constructs; 2. the essence of language teaching/learning is the direct imparting of thoseconstructs by teacher to learner.” 3.3 The grammar-centred curriculum We can say that the learner has to be exposed to the data from which hypotheses maybe formed and meaningful generalizations drawn. The exposure factor is a more crucialone than might be supposed; it becomes even more so where the classroom is the onlysource of target-language date. The need for making the data available to the learnertherefore places a special burden of responsibility upon the language curriculum andlanguage syllabus. The responsibility in curriculum planning has three parts to it : 1) some kinds of decision must be made as to what aspects of the grammaticalsystem are the major sources for data from which the learner may ascertain the mostformal generalizations (data identification) 10
  • 11. 2) choice of language content must be such as to ensure the sufficiently timelyappearance of the grammatical aspects identified in 1 3) great care and sensibility must be exercised that the pedagogical instrumentsmaximize the probabilities for learner receptivity. The complexity of language means that if someone learns language, it requiressystematic direct contact with each of its possible constructions. It cannot be necessaryfor the learner to encounter the exhaustive set of target-language constructions. One ofthe primary responsibilities of the language-teaching curriculum would seem to becomeas close as possible an identification of the grammar properties of target-languagelexicon. It is considered of crucial importance for learner projection to well-formedgrammatical constructions. 4. Identifying grammar 4.1 What is grammar “The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines grammar as the rules bywhich words change their forms and are combined into sentences. There are two basicelements in this definition: the rules of grammar; and the study and practice of the rules.The rules of grammar are about how words change and how they are put together intosentences. The knowledge of grammar also tells the learner what to do if he wants to putthe some phrase into the sentence. Grammar should be called the way in which wordschange themselves and group together to make sentences.” (Jeremy Harmer, 1991, p. 1) 4.2 Grammar in language teaching Each teacher should think about these facts and try to answer these questions beforeteaching grammar: 1) Children do not learn grammar rules when they acquire their first language, so dothey need to learn the rules of grammar when they acquire the second language? 2) Pupils need or need not to be given details of grammar rules to study Englishsuccessfully. 11
  • 12. 3) Should pupils get enough chance to practice using a language or should they learngrammar? 4) Should students be aware of grammatical information about the language? A good teacher has several possibilities how to teach grammar. There is a number oftechniques for presenting and practicing grammar. According to J.Harmer thegrammatical information can be given to students in two major ways. The first onecould be extremely covert and the second will be made extremely overt. Covert grammar teaching means that grammatical facts are hidden from the students-even though they are learning the language. Students may be asked to do any activitywhere a new grammar is presented or introduced, but their attention will be drawn tothis activity not to the grammar. Overt grammar teaching means that the teacher actually provides the studentsgrammatical rules and explanations-the information is openly presented. With overt teaching grammatical rules are explicitly given to students, but withcovert teaching students are simply asked to work with new language to absorbgrammatical information which will help them to acquire the language as a whole. It is expected to do a lot of structures in teaching and practicing, and less really freecommunicative activity at the beginner level. The teaching of grammar is likely to befairly covert since the main aim is to get students to use language as much as possible.On the other hand students at intermediate levels should be involved in morecommunicative activities and should have less grammar teaching. The teachinggrammar would probably be more overt. Then advanced students can actively studygrammar in more overt ways. 5. Presenting and testing grammar 5.1 Presenting grammatical items Presentation means that students are introduced to the form, meaning and use of anew piece of language (e.g. did for past simple in questions). Students can learn how toput the new syntax, words and sounds together. They learn grammar that they will needfor their most important experience, applying it to themselves. It is useful to mention the 12
  • 13. personalization, which means using a piece of grammar to say things which really meansomething to learner. (e.g. using present simple to say what he does). Presentation cantake place using personalization immediately, teacher uses the students and their lives tointroduce a new language ( e.g. personal questions). Personalization can be the final partof a presentation which is done through the use of texts or pictures (e.g. using a situationin daily life, menu in a restaurant). J. Harmer speaks about some characteristics of a good presentation that should bementioned here: ► a good presentation should be clear ( no difficulties in understanding for learner) ► a good presentation should be efficient (students can manipulate the newlanguage) ► a good presentation should be lively and interesting (to get interest for students,their involving during a presentation) ► a good presentation should be appropriate (not put so much information) ► a good presentation should be productive (the introduced situation should allowstudents to make many sentences or questions with a new language) 5.2 Discovery techniques We have said that a good presentation should be clear, efficient, lively andinteresting, appropriate and productive. These can be fulfilled by many ways that aregiven to students by teacher. It is only up to teacher how he, she introduces the newgrammatical item. Then students repeat and use this new item. Discovery techniques arepossible ways where students are given examples of language and then asked to find outhow they work, it means to discover the grammar rules. Students find out how grammaris used in a text and they are actually acquiring a grammar rule. By this students’involving in the task of grammar acquisition teacher makes sure that they areconcentrating fully, using their cognitive powers. Discovery techniques are not just theteacher telling what the grammar is. Students are actually discovering information forthemselves. 5.3 Practice techniques 13
  • 14. There are various ways of doing practice techniques, which means that pupils doexercise through the techniques which get them to practice grammatical item. There willbe mentioned four different types of oral practice and written practice too, which aredescribed by J.Harmer. 1) Drills are often done with the whole class, students are given sentence with a newgrammatical item and they are asked for right repetition. It is practiced as long as it isnecessary for students to be able to say this structure in a proper way. The aim of drill isto give students rapid practice in using a structural item. Advantage is that the teachercan correct any mistakes, can encourage pupils to concentrate on difficulties. But thisway is not very creative. 2) Interaction activities are the ways of language practicing which are moremeaningful and more enjoyable. Pupils often work together in pairs or in groups. Theyexchange information in the purposeful and interesting way. They are given somematerials (text, picture, map) and asked for some tasks when they use the grammaticalitem that is introduced. Disadvantage should be that the teacher has no control over allstudents. He, she can’t be sure that all students understood the grammar. 3) Involving the personality is the way when pupils do the exercise and at the sametime talk about themselves. They are asked to discuss things that involve theirpersonality and to use this subject matter as a focus for grammar practice. Chain drill isone way of making a practice drill. It is closely drill but in more funny and enjoyableway. It is more interesting than usual, because students are asked for speaking aboutthemselves. 4) Games are surely the most interesting and the most favourite way how to practicegrammar. Games are very useful for grammar work. Students are given a newgrammatical item through the game, which is exactly the most natural way especiallyfor children. There are several types of grammar games that will be mentioned later inthis work. These were oral activities for practicing grammar. But there are some writtenactivities too. Since grammar practice is often done through writing, it is very usefultoo. Some types of written practices will be mentioned here. These are fill-ins, writtendrills, word order, parallel writing. Generally speaking, students need to practice their 14
  • 15. grammar a lot, but it is only up to the teacher how they will do it. A good teacher shouldremember that students would do the tasks with pleasure not only as a necessity. 5.4 Testing grammar It has been said that pupils would do the exercises with pleasure and in a funny way.But it is quite difficult to test grammar in the same way. However it is difficult, it ispossible. There are several types of tests. Teacher can test students’ ability to speak orwrite, his reading or listening skills. Of course, written tests take less time and they areeasier to administer. That’s why most tests are based on written skills. This could causesome problems, because so much teaching in the classroom is based on oral work.Teacher should remember this fact and try to make the tests suitable for students. Goodtest shows both teacher and learner how well they are all doing. Teacher who writestests should bear in mind the rules that are offered by J.Hamer: ► do not test what you have not taught ► do not test general knowledge ► do not introduce new techniques in tests ► do not just test accuracy ► do not forget to test the test 5.4 Own conclusion of presenting grammar All grammar teaching should not be covert. Teacher should not always drawstudents’ attention to grammatical facts and rules. Sometimes pupils should discoverfacts about grammar through problem –solving activities and sometimes throughpracticing grammar. Teacher should not think that the only best kind of grammarpractice is written grammar practice. Teacher should remember that it is not good to testgrammar only with accuracy. The main point in teaching grammar is based on the factthat children do not learn grammar when they acquire first language, so it could workwhen they learn the second language. 15
  • 16. II. PRACTICAL PART 6. The Framework Educational Programme and The School Educational Programme 6.1 Making The School Educational Programme The Framework Educational Programme has been done generally for all basic schoolsin our republic. It has been developed as an educational document by the Institute ofEducation in Prague. This document is obligatory direction for making the own schoolprogramme. Each school in the Czech Republic has to make its own School EducationalProgramme, which will come from the national form of the document. Each SchoolEducational Programme is expected to be a little different. Firstly, the headmaster puts together several groups of teachers according to their qualification. It means that teachers who belong to the same educational area will work together. Teaching English belongs to the educational area which is called “Language and Language Communication”. That’s why the teachers of Czech, English, German, Russian and other foreign languages will work on this area together. Each group of teachers is asked to solve several problems. They should evaluate the position of a school, its advantages and disadvantages, its offers, its educational aims, projects etc. Then the teachers make the list of expected school results and knowledge, which has to come from the Framework Educational Programme and its key competences. They are free in choosing the subject matter. This will be set up according to the expected school results. At the end they make a table for each form, which will contain all these points. This is a very hard work for teachers, if they want to do it the best way. It takes a lot of their free time. The final product should be used as an educational programme for this specific area. 16
  • 17. 6.2 The School Educational Programme – 6th class According to The School Educational Programme there is a table of educationalcontents for 6th class, English language. (appendix n. 1) This table functions both as an educational and a time plan for each teacher at school.It should be binding for teachers. It is only a part of the School Educational Programmebut it is the most useful part for teachers of English. This table consists five columns: ►expected results and the key competences according to the Framework Educational Programme - the key competences are characterized here, some of the expected results taken from FEP are put here. ► expected results according to the School Educational Programme - the specific results are described here, these results were made by the teachers and they are the most important part of this document, they are binding for teachers and teaching. ►subject matter coming from expected results - there is a list of grammatical units that should be taught and the list of topics that should be solved during a school year, the subject matter is optional for each school. ►evaluation, it is optional - it is prepared for teacher’s notes, experience, evaluative points for the next work, there could be mentioned a student’s and teacher’s portfolio. ►notes, it is optional too - there are methods and forms of work described, this is the place for noting and realizing relationship between the subjects, subjects should fade into one another. 7. Grammatical units taken from the School Educational Programme 7.1 The list of grammatical units There is solved and described teaching grammar according to the FrameworkEducational Programme in this thesis. Each school has to respect FEP and each 17
  • 18. teacher should respect the School Educational Programme. It has been said that theexpected results are obligatory and the subject matter is optional for teachers. Teachershave made these documents themselves, so it should be useful especially for them andtheir students. That’s why it is only up to teacher in what way grammar will bepresented. The sequence of presented grammar is free, too. Teacher can use severaltypes of methods, even though he can use several textbooks and authentic materials forhis work. He can choose different methods and materials but he has to reach students’expected results. The list of grammatical units taken from the School Educational ProgrammeExpected results Grammatical unitsA pupil is able to: NOUNS- use indefinite article a, an with the nouns - indefinite article a, an- recognize the single and plural form of the - plural of the nouns ( regular and irregularnouns forms)-posses things to the person - genitive of the nouns- put the adjectives correctly into the sentence ADJECTIVES - a position of adjectives in the sentence - give the personal pronouns to the PRONOUNS correct person - personal pronouns – subject and - use the object pronouns in the object form sentence - possessive pronouns - use the possessive pronouns instead of - interrogative pronouns genitive - demonstrative pronouns ( that, those, - ask with interrogative pronouns this, these) - count the things, animals and people NUMBERS-NUMERALS - numbers 0-100 - understand simple speech and VERBS conversation about personal details 18
  • 19. - ask for personal details - verb to be: statement, negative, question, short answer - describe the place, picture, photo - phrase there is/are - describe a person, animal, thing or a place in a simple sentence - verb to have got : statement, negative, question, short answer - ask for personal description - say what a person is / isn’t able to do - modal verb can,can’t - ask for permission- put the prepositions correctly into a sentence PREPOSITIONS - preposition of a place and the time - make simple sentence in present PRESENT SIMPLE TENSE simple - statement, negative statement ( don’t, - follow the form of English sentence doesn’t), questions ( do, does), short answers - use the auxiliary verbs correctly - make question in present simple - follow the form of English question - make the sentence in present cont. PRESENT CONTINUOUS TENSE - make the negative sentence in present - statement, negative statement, question cont. - make the question in present cont.-describe what happens frequently - present tenses : using and comparing- describe what is happening now 19
  • 20. According to the School Educational Programme teacher should proceed from theexpected results, these are the most important points in his work. This table shows howthe teacher makes a process. The results are done and the subject matter is chosen by theteacher. 7.2 Lesson plans for the main grammatical units 1) Lesson plan 1 is based on these expected results from the School EducationalProgramme: a pupil is able to describe a place, thing and a person, to understand the shorttext with description, to make sentence in present tense. The verb have got has been chosenas a subject matter. The expected results are used in a lesson plan as an aim of the lesson.Several methods of teaching were used there. The covert grammar teaching was used inpresenting grammatical unit by using the pictures and speaking about them. Drill was usedin a game “memory chain”. But it is covered in this game. The last part of the lesson isbased on children’s natural skill – drawing. Lesson plan 1, verb to have got. Aim: pupils will be able to use the verb in a sentence, they will be able to understandthe sentence with the verb in its two forms: have got, has got and negative formshaven’t got and hasn’t got. Age of students: 10 – 11 year-old children Material: a blue ball for teacher, two pictures on the plastic folio (a girl with a doll, aboy with a car), one picture for each child with known vocabulary, a piece of paper foreach pupil, stick gum. Time plan: 1. Introduction - teacher shows a ball and says: “ I have got a blue ball.” Then points to the first picture and says: “She has got a small doll.” Then points to the second picture and says: ” He has got a red car.” Then writes these three sentences under the pictures. 7 min. 2. Teacher asks children for repeating the sentences….. 3 min. 20
  • 21. 3. Each child gets a picture, it is asked to make its own sentence……. I have got an orange. 10 min. 4. Game: memory chain, teacher starts the game “I have got a blue ball” and points to Tom, he says ”You have got a blue ball and I have got an orange” Then the third person is speaking “She has got a …….he has got an …….and I have got a …………several children will be asked for repeating the whole sentence. It should not be very long. 7 min. 5. Piccasso dictation, teacher dictates the short text with the verb to have got about the monster and children are asked to draw it. 10 min. 6. Feedback, children put their paintings on the board and they check their work together, they repeat the short text about the monster. 8 min. The text for children: This is a nice monster. It has got a big head and a big body. It has got four long arms but it hasn’t got any legs. It has got lovely green eyes, long nose and a big mouth. It has got long pink hair. Its body is green too. Each arm has got five fingers. It is our friend. Its name is Fanny. (appendix n.2) 2) Lesson plan 2 respects these expected results, taken from the School EducationalProgramme: a pupil is able to make the question in present simple, to follow the form ofquestion in present simple, to use an auxiliary verb do. Again the aim of the lesson isbased on these results. The lead-in activity has been chosen as a revision from the lastlesson. The second reason is to introduce several verbs that will be used later inquestions. Coloured pieces of paper with auxiliary verb, personal pronouns and with fullverbs should help children to remember the structure of the question in present simple.The rule of making question will be given explicitly to students. The important point ismentioned in pair work, the same colours of the words. During the individual practicechildren can use the coloured pencils too. An important intention is specified in thislesson plan. The students will be working only with the auxiliary verb do and personalpronouns that belong to. Lesson plan 2, question in present simple 21
  • 22. Aim: pupils will be able to make question in present simple, to use the verb do forspecific personal pronouns, to follow the form of the question in present simple Age: 10-11 year-old pupils Material: coloured card with an auxiliary verb DO (green), personal pronouns I, you,we, they (yellow), full verbs (pink), collections of words for making the questions,textbook – Project I, school exercise books, worksheets for pupils. Time plan: 1. lead in activity, brainstorming: revision from the last lesson, teacher puts pinkcards with verbs on the board and children read them, then children are asked formaking the statement about themselves in present simple with these verbs. Pupil saysthe sentence, puts the card on the board and writes the rest of a sentence. 7 min. 2. presenting a new grammatical item: teacher explains the form of the question in present simple with using coloured cards. Several examples are put on the board. 5 min. 3. then students are asked to make questions and write them on the board, they use all verbs from the lead activity 5 min. 4. pair work: each pair of pupils gets a collection of the words in the same coloures as were used for presenting, they are asked for making the questions in present simple 3 min. 5. checking the task, each pair reads its question loudly, the rest of a class corrects, all questions are put on one desk for checking together 5 min. 6. individual practice: children are asked for writing an exercise from their textbooks to their school exercise books. The task: complete the question according 22
  • 23. to a picture. Children can use coloured pencils. After writing the exercise they give it to the teacher for checking, teacher checks it and gives advice for correcting. 5 min. 7. feedback: children get worksheets with two exercises and try to do it themselves 7 min. 8. children change their worksheets and check them together, they correct themistakes and count the points, then put mark to a friend Materials for this lesson plan are presented as an appendix n. 4a 8. Teaching process 8.1 Hypotheses for each lesson Lesson 1 (according to lesson plan 1) The main result of this lesson is characterized as a pupil’s ability of describingsomething, ability for using the verb have got, ability of understanding a shortdescription. So it is expected that children will be able to use the verb at the end of alesson. The lesson seems to be enjoyable for children, because of a choice of activities.Pupils are expected to behave well and to be interested in the activities. I assume that alead in activity will start a good atmosphere in a class. A new grammatical unit will bepresented as a cover grammar teaching, which seems to be better way for this unit andfor young learners too. Drill, covered in a game, is expected to be done with pleasure.Teacher should anticipate some problems during this game. Especially weak learnersare expected to have problem with repeating the whole sentence. I will pay attention ofthese pupils and I will encourage them and help them. It seems to be helpful if childrenstand up and show their picture to everybody. Other children could remember thesentence easily with visual support. Piccasso dictation is expected to be funny andenjoyable for children, because they like drawing, monsters and mystery. This activityseems to be useful way how to fix the using of the verb have got. But for fulfilling theresults it is necessary to be very careful during this activity. Children have to workthemselves, so it would be better if children sit alone. Then the teacher can check their 23
  • 24. work fairly. Possible problems with using vocabulary should appear during thedictation, but it is good to help children with vocabulary. They will be able toconcentrate on understanding the forms of verb have got. Lesson 2(according to lesson plan 2) This grammatical unit is often difficult for children. That’s why I assume that not allthe children will be able to make the question in present simple surely. Some childrenare expected to need more time for practicing. I appreciate that the lead in activity isgoing to help children to connect the verbs of daily activities with using the presentsimple. Using the coloured cards, coloured collection of words and the worksheets withcoloured words is assumed to be helpful for children. The main intention is to fix thesecolours in children’s brains. Firstly, the big cards with the words will be stuck on theboard (first support), then children will make the questions with coloured small papers(second support), then the worksheets are prepared to use colours again (third support).I anticipate that most of the children will be able to do exercises in the worksheetscorrectly. 8.2 Experience and evaluation Lesson 1 The first part of a lesson has been taken naturally by children without any problems.They listened carefully and repeated the sentences well. Sometimes children did notpronounce well, so I corrected them and ask for repetition. After getting pictures in thenext part of the lesson, some children were confused with using a right word. It wouldbe better next time to name all the pictures together before making sentences. Animportant point discovered during this part. Children corrected the mistakes each otherwithout any bad intention. Children did not need a long explanation for the game. Theyhad known it from previous lessons. But as it had been assumed, weak learners had aproblem with repeating the whole sentences. I tried to choose these children at thebeginning of this activity so that they had not such a long sentence. Next importantpoint of this game was that children have to concentrate on the word order of the thingsin a chain not on the using of verb have got. They used a new grammatical item coveredin the game without specific concentration. The most enjoyable part was surely“Piccasso dictation”. Children did not take it as a dictation, but as a game again. Some 24
  • 25. of them tried to look around but I explained to them what it is about. Weak learners had a problem with vocabulary that they had not learnt before. Next time it could be better to do this activity in pairs, especially in this class because of several dyslectic children. They would be more concentrated on the grammar then on an unknown vocabulary. At the end of the last activity children wanted to put their paintings on the wall. They liked their monsters very much. I know that this type of activities is very interesting for children. Lesson 2 Lead in activity has been presented according to teacher’s expectation. Children wereable to use ten verbs in several statements. Sometimes they needed help with using theright prepositions. Then it was very useful that these verbs stayed on the board. Theywere used immediately for explaining the form of questions in present simple and thefunction of DO. I paid attention to colours. It was very helpful for children. They couldchange the cards on the board easily. Most children understood quickly. Then in pairwork there were no problem with completing the sentences. Children worked quickly andcarefully. But during individual work some problems came. Children made mistakes inusing right personal pronouns and in spelling. Those children who had problems wereasked for using colours again. Quite a big surprise came during the work on worksheets.There were twenty three children in a class and except two boys who are both dyslexicchildren and need more time for this task all children have done the tasks well. These twoboys were asked to finish it at home and bring it next time. I saw this lesson as a bigsuccess because there always had been problems with questions in present simple in eachclass. Next positive point is that children are prepared for using auxiliary verb does whichis coming next time. 9. Checking and testing the knowledge 9.1 Test for students Test 1, verb to have got, (appendix n.3a,3b, 5a,5b) 25
  • 26. The first test is put together so that it checks students’ skills and abilities that arecharacterized in these expected results: a pupil is able to describe a person, an animal, athing and place, to understand a simple description, to use the verb have got in simplesentences in all its forms, to work with a short text with this verb. The test has beenmade with known vocabulary, according to the topics that have been discussed duringlessons. Several topics were taught within the verb have got, that’s why the exercises inthe test use different topics (school subjects, days of a week, animals, colours andthings, personal details, parts of the body). The first exercise is based on using the verbto have got for the first and second person singular and plural only. Through theknowledge of the school subjects and the days of the week students should complete thesentences. The second exercise asks student for answering four questions about themselves. Theyshould write true sentences from their real life. The task of the third exercise is to fill in the conversation between two young girls.The main result is to understand this conversation clearly so that the phrase should beused in daily situation. Exercise number 4 finds out how children can make sentence with the verb to havegot. All the words are written in capital letters in order not to be recognizable whichword goes first. Exercise number 5 is based on translation either form Czech to English or fromEnglish to Czech. An easy vocabulary has been chosen, because the translation is oftenvery difficult for children. The main intention is to use the verb have got in a sentence,not to check the vocabulary. The last exercise is something like compensation for children. It has been made forpleasure so that the students will not be stressed so much during the test. At the end ofthe test children could paint the pictures of William and Wendy. (Taken from ProjectGrammar, mluvnická cvičení, Carolyn Barraclough, by OUP,2004) Children can reach maximum 44 points. Test 2, present simple, (appendix n. 4b,6a,6b) 26
  • 27. Test number 2 was made according to the result of students’ being able to make simplesentence in present simple tense, to follow the structure of question, to use auxiliaryverbs do and does correctly. Test is set up with using known vocabulary. The mainattention is put on working with the sentence in present simple. There are eightexercises in which pupils should present their knowledge of present simple tense. Inthose exercises several methods are used during the one topic, daily activities. The first exercise pays attention on using the verbs in statements. The knowledge ofadding –s in 3rd person sing. is expected. Exercise n. 2 is based on making questions in present simple. These questions comefrom the previous exercise. There is an example of a question so that students couldfollow it. Next two exercises are connected. Students should match two halves of thesesentences and rewrite them correctly with using our known colours. The fifth exercise is about using correct form of auxiliary verbs. It seems to be easierthan in ex. N. 2, because children can choose from two possibilities. As a visual supportthere are coloured subjects again.(yellow) Exercise n. 6 asks learners for using short or long answer. Students are expected to useshort forms of do not and does not, when it is possible. They should be able to make thewhole answer. Exercise n. 7 lets children find the correct words for filling in this table. They shoulduse auxiliary verbs do and does, right subject, full verbs and the rest of thesentence(time). Last exercise is based on finding out grammatical mistakes. The number of mistakes isdone so that it is easier for children. Children can reach maximum 57 points. 9.2 Anticipation of possible problems with the tests Test 1, verb to have got 27
  • 28. There are several topics used in the test, so it is possible that children will haveproblems with vocabulary. Exercise n.1 assumes knowledge of school subjects and thedays of the week. There could appear problems with pronouns too. The second exerciseis expected to be uneasy because of making whole answer. This type of exercise oftenrequires a clear explanation. Exercise n.3 is expected to be the most difficult from thetest. Children always have problems with filling in the conversations. On the other handthere is an easy vocabulary used and a suitable topic of dialogue for young learners. Thefourth exercise seems to be easy for children. The words are done and it is easier thanmaking the whole sentence. Possible problems might be with the position of adjectivesin sentences three and four. Translation is expected to be the most difficult. The mostfrequent mistakes are often being done in using definite and indefinite articles and in thestructure of the sentence and question. Next problem would appear with using personalpronouns in translation from Czech to English. Last exercise, which should be enjoyablefor children, could make problems with some new words, but with visual supportchildren could understand them correctly. Test 2, present simple An easy vocabulary concerning one topic is used in all exercises from the test. That’swhy it is not expected that students have problems with vocabulary. First exerciseshould bring problems with using correct form of the full verbs. Children often makemistakes in subject verb concord. They do not recognize clearly to which pronounsubject needs to be connected (her parents=they). I expect mistakes with using do, doesin exercise n. 2. Children often forget to put auxiliary verb into the question. The thirdand fourth exercises are expected to be well done because of using colours as in lessons.Possible problems with subject verb concord are assumed again in exercise n. 5. Nextmistakes should appear in using the right form of full verb, right prepositions and thetime in the sixth exercise. Children are going to make sentence without any help, that’swhy there could be some errors. The table in the next task should be made without anyproblems. The last task anticipates finding grammatical errors. Students could bedisappointed with these mistakes. Not all the mistakes will be found. The teacher shouldrespect these problems and will put attention on clear explanation. The teacher willnotice the importance of present simple and possible mistakes. Children should not lookfor other mistakes. 28
  • 29. 9.3 Evaluation of the tests The evaluation of the tests is presented in these four tables. The students could reach total score of 44 points for the first test and 57 points for the second one. Tables 1 and 3 show the evaluated data. Tables 2 and 4 present evaluation according to the school expected results. These tables show how teacher can evaluate the tests. This simple way is quick, well-arranged. It provides clear image about fulfilling of the expected results. Table n. 1(verb have got) Evaluative score (in points) Mark A number of students 44 – 40 1 2 39,5 – 32 2 11 31,5 – 20 3 3 19,5 – 10 4 3 9,5 – 0 5 3 2,70 22 According to this result the verb have got should have been practicing more during thelessons and then next short test should be offered to the children. The expected schoolresult of knowing the verb have got has been partially fulfilled. But more frequent mistakeshave been done in other grammatical units (personal pronouns, indefinite articles). Table n. 2(verb have got) Exercise n: More frequent errors Probable reasons Notes for next work Success (%) 1. -in the sentence before - it is the only one - practice more the the last one, using the sentence where should short forms 85% long form of the verb be used a long form have got instead of short form 2. - using the correct -two sentences use 2nd - mixed up the subjects subject in two last p.sing. in the sentences 60% sentences 3. - finding the correct - missing knowledge - more practice of this form of the verb have of the right 29
  • 30. 35% got forms(subject verb type of conversation concord) - using a short and a long forms of the verb4. - putting the indefinite - paying attention to a - revise indefinite articles to the right verb have got articles, their using and45% position in the position sentence5. - using the articles in a - less practice in the - practice the translation from lessons translation more often65% English - missing knowledge - revise personal - translation the of personal pronouns pronouns subjects ( pronouns) to Czech6. - using the short forms - less practice during - practice the negative of negative without the lessons, little space forms once more85% got for children’s writing Table n. 3 (present simple)Evaluative score (in points) Mark Number of students57-51 1 650,5-41 2 840,5-25 3 524,5-12 4 311,5-0 5 0 2,20 22 Table n. 4 (present simple)Exercise n: More frequent Probable reason Notes for the next mistakes workSuccess (%)1. - adding –s in 3rd p. - without coloures - practice with names 30
  • 31. sing. - difficult to recognize and different subject, the subject( Janet and not only with personal65% Jason) pronouns2. - sometimes with using - no visual support, the - practice with correct auxiliary verb sentences start with interrogative pronouns75% interrogative pronouns3. and 4. - are connected, if the - missing knowledge of - use the coloures in 3 child made mistake in using auxiliary verb too60% 3, it had to be made in 4 - visual support in 4 - missing any sentence helps them element in the sentence, incorrect auxiliary verb. - often in the fourth exercise children found out the mistake and correct it in ex.n.35. - only in sentence with - your is similar to you, - revise before the test your father and children the word children make singular and plural75% as subjects problems with forms of the nouns recognizing the singular or plural6. - only a few mistakes in - many sentences have - still pay more 3rd and 4th sentences( 3rd been done during the attention to 3rd p. sing.85% p. sing.) lessons, children are used of them7. - without grammatical - visual support, - continue with this mistakes, only in children are used of it, method95% spelling …great! it helps a lot8. - not recognizing the - no visual support, too - use the coloures in this mistakes in subject verb long for children, quite exercise,try it again,40% concord difficult choose shorter text This table presents the fact that children are able to use the present simple in differenttypes of exercise. They sometimes made mistakes, but the school result of knowing thepresent simple was almost fulfilled. It needs to be practised further in the lessons. It has 31
  • 32. appeared that the method of visual support is very helpful for children. That’s why it should continue. 10. Conclusion 10.1 Advantages and disadvantages of using the SchoolEducational Programme Several advantages have been found during this thesis. The Framework EducationalProgramme provides free and equal opportunity for each school in our republic to presentits aims, skills, intentions, position of school in a hierarchy of our state education. The factthat each School Educational Programme will be little bit different seems to be very goodfor future education. The parents could choose the suitable school for their children. Theschools could present themselves. They can offer several possibilities of teaching process.A fair competition between schools will start. The School Educational Programme offersseveral methods of teaching, the schools can choose various materials for their education,different titles of textbooks, different authentic materials. The teaching process seems to bemore free and enjoyable for children. Relationships between subjects appear as a bigadvantage, too. On the other hand there are several disadvantages, too. This process of making andrealizing the School Educational Programme takes a lot of teachers’ time, not only duringthe working time, but more often in their free time. It is very difficult to do this workduring the school year, during the teaching process. The teachers need to work together butit is often impossible during the teaching process. Next disadvantage is that we can see thefunction of the Framework Educational Programme in a few next years. It should beevaluated as a whole after one generation of students finish the basic school. Next problemsurely come if the family moves and a child has to change the school, because each schoolcan change the sequence of subject matters. All these advantages and disadvantages here are just my observations during studyingthe Framework Educational Programme and during making of the School Educational 32
  • 33. Programme. Of course, when this new educational document will be fully transferred intothe practical use it will surely bring other possible advantages and disadvantages. 33