Lesson Plans

These are imported feeds of lesson plans and classroom activities.  This is not an archive, these entries are here for only a few weeks.

What is Task-Based Language Teaching?

Task-based language teaching (TBLT) is a type of instruction that relies on the use of authentic target language to do meaningful tasks. TBLT is also referred to as task-based instruction (TBI) and can be considered a branch of communicative language teaching (CLT). The notion of tasks is central to this type of instruction. The assessment of learning is mainly based on task outcome and not only on the accurate use of the target language. For this reason, TBLT is believed to be effective in learning target language fluency and developing student confidence.

Theoretical foundations

The following are some of the most important theoretical premises of TBL according to Richards & Rodgers (2001, p. 227-229).

Theory of language Language is primarily a means of making meaning: TBLT considers meaning as a central focal point in language teaching. The approach is concerned with the outcome of tasks. Multiple models of language inform task-based instruction: Structural, functional and interactional models influence TBLT adherents. Lexical units are central in language use and language learning: TBLT considers vocabulary items to include not only individual words but also phrases, sentence frames, collocations and prefabricated routines. “Conversation” is the central focus of language and the keystone of language acquisition: Learners are required to produce and understand communicative messages. That is exchanging information is crucial to language acquisition. Theory of learning Tasks provide both the input and output processing necessary for language acquisition: If Krashen stresses the importance of comprehensible input, TBLT advocates have argued that comprehensible output is also of equal importance. Task activity and achievement are motivational: Tasks appeal to learners' learning styles and may involve physical activity, collaboration, and partnership. Learning difficulty can be negotiated and fine-tuned for a particular pedagogical purpose: Tasks may be designed in such a way that they meet learners' level of proficiency. That is, providing the [...]
Sun, Feb 25, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Levels of writing (how to teach writing)
How to teach writing?

One of the headaches that the teachers of English in EFL and ESL classrooms face is how to teach writing. It is one of the skills that require from the students not only to be equipped with the necessary skills but also to be motivated. For most people writing is a painful process. It necessitates a training and patience.

This article is an attempt to cover the knowledge required in how to teach writing.

What is writing?

Before dealing with how to teach writing, let's first see what is meant by ‘writing'. In this article, writing is seen as :

a purposeful human activity whereby the writer intends to communicate content – represented with conventional signs and symbols – to an audience (i.e. reader).

In the above definition five elements are of paramount importance:

The writer (who) The content (what) The purpose (why) The audience (for whom) The medium (signs and symbols)

In addition to the above elements, writing involves many processes, including, the generation and organization of ideas, drafting, revising and editing.

Writing as a communicative skill

Writing is a skill that is highly required nowadays. Written communication, for example, is the most common form of business communication. Emails and formal letters fulfill conversational-like purposes that the students have to master if they were to integrate today's job market.

Writing serves not only communicative purposes in professional activities but also in social ones. In our every day lives, we write or reply to invitation letters, thank-you letters, text messages, etc. Even journals carry a social communicative load. Journal writers try to communicate their thoughts and feelings to themselves.

As a communicative skill, sometimes we initiate the need to write. Other times, we respond to someone else's initiation. When you write an invitation letter, you are the initiators of the conversation. Replying to the invitation, by accepting or declining it, is the [...]

Fri, Feb 02, 2018, Continue reading at the source
The differences between Situational Language Teaching, Direct Method, and Audio-Lingual Method

What are the differences between the SLT, Direct Method, and Audiolingual Method?

The audiolingual method and situational language teaching

Before looking at the differences between the SLT, Direct Method, and Audiolingual Method, let's deal some similarities.

Both the audiolingual method and SLT rely on the same theories of language and learning, namely:

Structuralism: language as a system consisting of interrelated structures. Behaviorism: language learning as habit-formation.

This overlap between the SLT and the audiolingual method led to the adoption of similar teaching principles that rely on an emphasis on accuracy and habit formation.

The difference

Although they share the same theoretical foundations, the audiolingual method and SLT differ in some techniques and procedures. The SLT focuses on the situational presentation of new sentence patterns. That is, while the audiolingual method relies on the repetition and practice of language in isolation, learning in SLT occurs thanks to the presentation of new language in situations. For example, the instructor may teach English vocabulary and sentence patterns in frequent situations through books, learning materials, photos, body language, fictitious scenarios, etc. It should be emphasized, though, that situations in this sense are different from the meaningful contextual use of language in the contemporary sense where contextualization is intended to be the meaningful use of language for real communicative purposes.

Another difference between the two methods lies in the weight given to the teaching of language skills. While aiming at mastering the four basic skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing), SLT also seeks to enhance the aptitude to respond quickly and accurately in different speech situations through an automatic control of basic structures and sentence patterns. It is worthwhile noting that although the audiolingual method also stresses the importance of accurate production of speech, the focus is mainly on reading aloud [...]

Thu, Jan 11, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Teaching reading strategies

It is of paramount importance that teachers help learners develop reading strategies and skills so that they can cope with any type of texts. Teaching reading is not testing reading. It is not helpful to assign a text for students to read and answer the comprehension questions. What they really need is training them to be able to read any type of texts using specific strategies. The aim is that they become skilled fluent readers.

Reading skills VS reading strategies

There are fundamental differences between reading strategies and reading skills.

“Reading strategies are deliberate, goal-directed attempts to control and modify the reader's efforts to decode text, understand words, and construct meanings of text. Reading skills are automatic actions that result in decoding and comprehension with speed, efficiency, and fluency and usually occur without awareness of the components or control involved.”
Afflerbach et al. (2008)

A skill is an unconscious ability or proficiency. It works without the reader's intentional control and operates automatically. Strategies, on the other hand, are conscious plans or deliberately chosen tactics that help readers solve a reading problem. Being aware of the processes involved in the reading task means that readers select an intended objective, the means to attain that objectives and the processes used to achieve it. To use a metaphor, it is helpful to see the skills as the target and the strategies as the journey or the process towards that target.

Skill strategy Unconscious ability/proficiency Automatic Reading skills operate without the reader's deliberate control or conscious awareness. The target Conscious plan Tactics Awareness helps the reader select an intended path, the means to the goal, and the processes used to achieve the goal. The journey Reading strategies

As mentioned above, instead of focusing on testing SS comprehension, as teachers, we should first and foremost teach learners the skills and strategies they need to tackle different [...]

Thu, Dec 14, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Confidence in the Classroom

Schools and teachers must listen carefully to students, and then articulately communicate or institute change. When feedback gets turned into action, the relationship between businesses and customers is strengthened. Unfortunately, despite the best intentions of companies, nearly half of all consumers don't believe businesses work towards retaining their loyalty, and this includes language schools too. So what should schools do to improve customer loyalty?


Mon, Jul 24, 2017, Continue reading at the source