Monday First Lesson: Negotiating content
• I made three posters and pinned them
around the room.
• I started by asking my students what
they wanted to study, what they needed
to learn and what they didn’t find
• They got up and moved around the
room, adding their comments to the
• They discussed their future selves.
• What would they use the English for?
• Who would they be speaking to?
• How proficient would they expect to
• A short written description followed.
• We looked at the units of the
coursebook to see what elements
would match their requirements.
• We made a note of the units of
interest and a plan of action for the
next 3 weeks, according to logical
progression and importance of
Mapping the Journey
• We used the information to draw
up 3 weekly plans, leaving Friday
open in each week. This will allow
me to review the week, add new
ingredients, or redo anything that
might be needed.
Mapping the Journey 2
• So now we have the outline of a
plan, with clear weekly, and end of
• The chart goes on the wall, on the
Tuesday, for everyone to see,
however it is still flexible and can
Keeping the vision alive
• We decided to visit the local lavender farm
together on Wednesday afternoon.
• There is a tour, where visitors are expected
to ask questions about the process of
turning the plant into oils and perfumes.
• We prepared lots of ideas pre-visit and
the activity involved lots of their newly-
learnt language, thus motivating them to
use it naturally, and with confidence.
The First Friday
• I prepared an end of week checklist
so that students could measure
their feelings of progress, and I
could determine what, if anything,
needed to be revisited.
• There will be one for next week
Sharing the Vision
• I will be in Budapest, at the Besig
conference, during the second week.
• The class explained our plan to the teacher
who will be taking my class next week,
which he is more than happy to adhere to.
• The students are going on an island tour
together on Sunday, so we have been using
the end of each lesson to investigate the
topics they find interesting and would like
to learn more about. This means that they
are doing the speaking they asked for, and
it is all relevant.
• On my return, the students have promised
me a project showing what they found out
about the island on their tour.
• We have started a class blog to showcase
their efforts, which I hope will motivate
them to keep it up in the future and which
should give them an opportunity to
practice their English once back at home.
This is easily something which can transfer to classes in the
future. It isn’t often that I have closed groups such as this, but it
happens a few times in the year, and the benefits have already
been felt by this group