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Grammar

Grammar and Vocabulary in English Lesson Plans Essay

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Demonstration of the activity as part of an overall plan for student work

Lesson plan 1

The theme of the lesson: Traveling. The Most Exciting Things and Places

Duration of the lesson: 60 minutes

Language level: intermediate

Number of students: 15

Aims of the lesson:

  • to develop students’ speaking skills on the topic,
  • to enhance students’ knowledge of the vocabulary on the theme,
  • to practice students’ reading skills,
  • to enhance students’ knowledge of the formation and use of comparative and superlative adjectives

Intended outcomes:

  • students will demonstrate the understanding of the vocabulary on the topic,
  • students will be able to enrich their spoken and written language with the help of grammatical rules learned at the lesson,
  • students will demonstrate listening skills and the ability to discern specific parts of speech (adjectives) from a piece of a video recording.

Relationship of the lesson with other lessons: the theme of the previous lesson was “Traveling. Countries of the World”; the theme of the next lesson will be “Traveling. Difficulties. Learning how to make a complaint.” The lesson fits in this sequence as it expands the students’ skills and knowledge obtained at the previous lesson and prepares them for a better understanding of the material that will be presented at the next lesson.

Resources and materials: a laptop, wi-fi connection, board (to write the date and mark the groups’ points in a game)

Activities at the lesson:

  1. Warming-up (4 minutes). Teacher asks questions about the previous lesson and the students answer them (e.g. “What is the biggest city in Australia?”).
  2. Reading and speaking (12 minutes). Students read a short text about the Sidney Opera House. Then, the teacher instructs them to ask and answer each other questions about visiting opera or theater and their best or worst impressions (e.g. “Do you enjoy going to the theater or opera?”, “What is your favorite show?”, “If you hate visiting the theater, can you explain why?”).
  3. Listening (10 minutes). The teacher shows students the video “Comparatives grammar animation – mosaic” (OUPSpain 2014). Students are instructed to raise their hands when they hear adjectives (“faster,” “better,” “more surprising”). The teacher asks the students what kind of adjectives they are. The expected answer, taking into consideration the students’ level, is “comparative and superlative.” The teacher continues showing the video and the students either recollect or get acquainted with the rules of formation of comparative and superlative adjectives.
  4. Speaking (10 minutes). Integrating cultural context. The teacher invites students to make sentences about their first impression of Australia using the superlative adjectives (e.g. “When I first came to Australia, … seemed the biggest problem,” “… is the smallest market in my neighborhood,” “I found … the most exciting”).
  5. Dialogue speaking. Practicing grammar material (12 minutes). Students are instructed to create dialogues about the most exciting place they have visited or the one they want to see. A specific requirement is to use comparative and superlative adjectives. One pair of students roleplay their dialogue, and the rest of the students analyze the adjectives and correctness of their use. The rest of the students are instructed to make the necessary amendments based on the analysis and present their dialogues at the next lesson.
  6. Speaking. Group work (9 minutes). Students are divided into two groups to play a game. There are two parts to the game. The first one is aimed at practicing comparative adjectives. In turn, the groups are to suggest statements about some countries, cities, or travel sights (e.g. “Paris is bigger than New York,” “Africa is greener than Australia”). The competitors are to choose whether the statements are true or false.

The second part is aimed at practicing the superlative adjectives. The task is similar: teams are to make statements with superlative adjectives, and their rivals have to guess whether they are true or false (e.g. “Niagara Falls is one of the most popular natural attractions in the US,” “Sydney Opera House is the biggest in Australia”).

  1. Summing up the lesson (3 minutes). The teacher evaluates students’ achievements, notes the problematic issues, and gives the home task. Apart from the dialogues, the students need to prepare a short speech “The most memorable event in my life.”

Evaluation of students’ outcomes: the success of the lesson’s objectives will be judged by the students’ adequate response to the tasks and activities of the lesson.

Evaluation of my teaching: teaching may be considered effective if all or the majority of students cope with the tasks. Lesson procedures should not be too easy or too difficult for the learners’ level. If most of the students produce good results, teaching methods may be regarded as successful.

Evaluation of the course: the lesson is well-built in the sequence of lessons. It is connected both with the previous topic and the next one. One of the considerable drawbacks is the absence of direct writing activities. However, at several stages of the lesson, students are required to write while preparing their dialogues or statements. The next lesson will be more specifically writing-oriented.

Lesson plan 2

The theme of the lesson: Traveling. Difficulties. Learning How to Make a Complaint

Duration of the lesson: 60 minutes

Language level: intermediate

Number of students: 15

Aims of the lesson:

  • to develop students’ speaking skills on the topic,
  • to enhance students’ knowledge of the vocabulary on the theme,
  • to practice students’ writing skills,
  • to enhance students’ knowledge of the formation and use of connectives.

Intended outcomes:

  • students will demonstrate the understanding of the vocabulary on the topic,
  • students will be able to enrich their spoken and written language with the help of grammatical rules learned at the lesson,
  • students will develop writing skills and the ability to use connectives in their writing.

Relationship of the lesson with other lessons: the theme of the previous lesson was “Traveling. The Most Exciting Things and Places”; the theme of the next lesson will be “Traveling. Types of Transport.” The lesson fits in this sequence as it expands the students’ skills and knowledge obtained at the previous lesson and prepares them for a better understanding of the material that will be presented in the next lesson.

Resources and materials: a laptop, wi-fi connection, board (to write the date), handouts with a list of connectives, and a letter of complaint

Activities at the lesson:

  1. Warming-up (4 minutes). To practice grammar material taught in the previous lesson, the teacher tells an adjective, and the chosen student has to produce comparative and superlative forms.
  2. Speaking. Pair and individual work (10 minutes). Students present the dialogues prepared at the previous lesson and polished at home and the short speeches.
  3. Listening and speaking (5 minutes). The students listen to and watch a short video “Complaints at the hotel room” (EnglishWorks Sequoia 2013). When they stop watching, the teacher asks them whether they have ever had any similar or other problems while traveling.
  4. Reading and speaking: grammar practice (10 minutes). The teacher gives students the handouts with the list of connectives and explains the importance of connectives in spoken and written language. The students read the list and identify which of the words from the list they are acquainted with and which of them are new. Then, they try to make sentences incorporating the connectives in them.
  5. Reading for specific purposes and writing. Pair work (8 minutes). The teacher gives students the handouts of a letter of complaint. The students have to underline the connectives in the text. Then, in pairs, they are to compose an answer to that letter using as many connectives as possible from the list.
  6. Speaking. Revising the material (3 minutes). The teacher asks students to recollect the situations in which they might need to complain about bad service while traveling.
  7. Pair work and roleplaying (16 minutes). The students prepare and roleplay dialogues where one of them is a customer dissatisfied with the service, and another is the member of personnel responsible for customer satisfaction.
  8. Summing up the lesson (4 minutes). The teacher evaluates students’ achievements, notes the problematic issues, and gives the home task. The students need to write a two-page letter of complaint to the local authorities concerning the environmental issues in the area.

Evaluation of students’ outcomes: the success of the lesson’s objectives will be judged by the students’ positive response to the language and grammar material presented at the lesson.

Evaluation of my teaching: teaching will be considered effective if all or the majority of students understand the assignments and cope with the tasks. If the lesson activities correspond to the students’ level of English and if the learners demonstrate a high level of perception and understanding, teaching may be considered successful (Lightbown & Spada 2013).

Evaluation of the course: the lesson is well-built in the sequence of lessons. It is connected both with the previous topic and the next one. Unlike the previous lesson, this one involves the engagement of all basic skills: reading, speaking, writing, and listening. Special attention is paid to pair work and practicing the grammar material.

Discussion and analysis

Acquisition of a second language presents several challenges for students as well as teachers. While at the initial stages of learning English as an additional language children receive help from a bilingual teacher, at further levels, their classroom teachers combine the responsibility both for learning the subjects and the development of language skills (Gibbons 2015). Kong (2009) and Huang (2011) discuss the significance of content-based instruction in ESL lessons. However, many scholars defend the importance of context in language learning. For instance, Breen (2001) emphasizes that it is practically impossible to master a language in a pure classroom environment and states that context-learning is crucial. Kayi-Aydar (2013) also notes that scaffolding greatly enhances teaching instructions and learning outcomes. In the study by El-Dakhs (2015), the importance of appropriate instructions in the classroom is emphasized. Turner (2013) agrees that the context approach is important in teaching English in Australia. A teacher of English should have a large number of competencies and skills (Murray & Christenson 2011a, Murray & Christenson 2011b). Moreover, such teachers should do their best to develop these skills in their students (Harmer 2001).

The popularity of English all over the world has produced a term global Englishes to mark different variations of the language (Murata & Jenkins 2009). May (2014) investigates the necessity of coming up with productive approaches to multilingual education. In her investigation of the plurilingual teachers of ESL in Australia, Ellis (2013) emphasizes that these specialists consider language learning difficult but possible. However, scholars note that bilingual education may produce adverse outcomes both for the native language and the quality of the learners’ standard English (Lee et al. 2016). Thus, language socialization is a crucial aspect of ESL learning (Duff & Talmy 2011). Scholars remark on the positive impact of an ecological approach to language learning (Van Lier 2000). Teachers’ sociocultural identity plays an important role in the students’ socialization (Adjayi 2011; Luk 2012).

By the abovementioned approaches to context learning, I developed my lesson plans in a way that would allow the best accommodation of the students to the learning environment and the lessons’ objectives. Both of the presented lessons are well built in the sequence of lessons in the course. They are connected to the previous and the next lessons due to a similar topic and specific educational and cultural objectives. To put my aims into practice, I need to engage every student in active participation in the lessons. The evaluation of the lessons’ success will be based on the students’ ability to operate the skills and vocabulary presented in the lessons.

For planning their lessons of EAL in Australia, teachers use the companion for English as an additional language (Victorian curriculum and assessment authority 2012). The core stages of language development and curriculum are outlined in this curriculum.

I planned the lessons in this way because I am more or less aware of the students’ abilities and I know what areas they need to enhance. For instance, the little use of technological devices is explained by the fact that not all of the students feel comfortable while searching the internet or even using a laptop. However, I plan to include more technological tools in the future. The choice of the skills developed at each lesson is also associated with the students’ level of preparation. Janks (2004) remarks that it is up to the teacher what access to language students have. The author mentions that the more willing a teacher is to share the knowledge and provide access to the various aspects of English, the better outcomes his or her students will produce (Janks 2004). I want my students to achieve the best results, so I included each of the four core skills in the lessons: reading, speaking, listening, and writing.

Based on the Four Resources Model introduced by Luke and Freebody (1999), the reading task for the lessons expects the students to be meaning makers and text critics. Thus, I included a variety of texts for the students to use and practice their abilities. The importance of practicing speech and writing skills for language acquisition is emphasized by many scholars (Kramsch 1998; Gan 2012). It is noted that the lack of tasks focused on speaking disables the development of such necessary skills if ESL learners. Zhong (2013) remarks that to achieve students’ willingness to communicate in English, the teacher needs to combine such factors as learners’ beliefs, self-efficacy, and linguistic and sociocultural issues. The plan for my first lesson involves many activities focused on the development of speaking skills, as I feel that my students need to practice speaking a lot. The second lesson involves several writing tasks, and this is another crucial aspect that is not developed perfectly in my students yet.

In their study, Yazdanpanah and Khanmohammad (2014) analyze the importance of developing listening comprehension in English lessons. When ESL learners can discern what a foreigner is saying, it means that they can react to the speaker and engage in conversation. That is why I paid particular attention to including listening tasks in the lesson plans. Teaching English grammar is another crucial aspect of learning English (Folse 2009). I am convinced that is necessary to incorporate grammar in absolutely every lesson in the curriculum, as grammar is the skeleton on which everything is based. Both of my lessons contain grammar activities that are not taught out of context but are combined with the vocabulary material and the theme of the lesson.

The use of a laptop at the lessons is a part of CALL (computer-assisted language learning (Warschauer 2004). However, I have to admit that my lessons lack the use of such productive tools as PowerPoint presentations and some others (Oommen 2012). Another effective means of improving the students’ grammar and writing skills, as outlined by Suthiwartnarueput and Wasanasomsithi (2012), is Facebook. In a couple of weeks, when I make sure that all of my students can use the Internet for searching the material and using social websites, I will incorporate these techniques in the lessons.

Reference List

Adjayi, L 2011, ‘How ESL teachers’ sociocultural identities mediate their teacher role identities in a diverse urban school setting’, The Urban Review, vol. 42, no. 4, pp. 654-680.

Breen, M 2001, ‘The social context for language learning’, in CN Candlin & N Mercer (eds), English language teaching in its social context: a reader, Routledge, New York, NY.

Duff, P & Talmy, S 2011, ‘Language socialization approaches to second language acquisition: social, cultural, and linguistic development in additional languages’, in D Atkinson (ed), Alternative approaches to second language acquisition, Routledge New York, NY, pp. 95-116.

El-Dakhs, DAS 2015, ‘The integration of form-focused instruction within communicative language teaching: instructional options’, Journal of Language Teaching and Research, vol. 6, no. 5, pp. 1125-1131.

Ellis, E 2013, ‘The ESL teacher as plurilingual: an Australian perspective”, TESOL Quarterly, vol. 47, no. 3, pp. 446-471.

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Folse, K 2009, Why K-12 teachers need to know about ESL grammar issues, Web.

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Huang, KM 2011, ‘Motivating lessons: a classroom-oriented investigation of the effects of content-based instruction on EFL young learners’ motivated behaviours and classroom verbal interaction’, System, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 186-201.

Janks, H 2004, ‘The access paradox’, English in Australia, vol. 139, pp. 33-42.

Kayi-Aydar, H 2013, ‘Scaffolding language learning in an academic ESL classroom’, ESL Journal, vol. 67, no. 3, pp. 324-335.

Kong, S 2009, ‘Content-based instruction: what can we learn from content-trained teachers’ and language-trained teachers’ pedagogy?’, The Canadian Modern Language Review, vol. 66, no. 2, pp. 233-267.

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Murata, K & Jenkins, J (eds.) 2009, Global Englishes in Asian contexts: current and future debates, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, NY.

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Oommen, A 2012, ‘Teaching English as a global language in smart classrooms with PowerPoint presentation’, English Language Teaching, vol. 5, no.12, pp. 54-61.

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Suthiwartnarueput, T & Wasanasomsithi, P 2012, ‘Effects of using Facebook as a medium for discussions of English grammar and writing of low-intermediate EFL students’, Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 194-214.

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Warschauer, M 2004, ‘Technological change and the future of CALL’, in S Fotos & SN Browne (eds), New perspectives on CALL for second language classrooms, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ.

Yazdanpanah, M & Khanmohammad, H 2014, ‘Sociocultural theory and listening comprehension: does the scaffolding of EFL learners improve their listening comprehension?’, Theory and Practice of Language Studies, vol. 4, no. 11, pp. 2389-2395.

Zhong, Q(M) 2013, ‘Understanding Chinese learners’ willingness to communicate in a New Zealand ESL classroom: a multiple case study drawing on the theory of planned behavior’, System, vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 740-751.

Handout 1. The list of connectives

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