This essay describes a lesson plan for a beginner English class for young learners. The class consists of ten learners of mixed gender; five girls and five boys. All learners are aged between six and eight. These learners are monolingual and their motivation for studying English is the desire of their parents for them to learn how to speak English. The lesson plan covers a one hour class for the learners. The lesson is the fifth, attended by these learners. In the previous four, the learners have already been introduced to the English language greetings, colors, numbers and animals. These learners are not familiar with the English alphabet and may be unable to read in their first language. They also lack basic reading skills in their first language. This explains the logic behind my carefully structured lesson plan.
The lessons main aim is to enable learners to comprehend and utilize lexis to describe family and friends. As the teacher, I will keep in mind three key aspects of the vocabulary I will be teaching that is meaning, form, and pronunciation (Yates, 2013). I will emphasize on concrete and countable words rather than abstract words. The secondary aims of the lesson include furthering the practice of vocabularies as well as practicing greetings and vocabularies learned during the lesson. I also aim to use this lesson for my learners to practice vocabularies learned in the previous three classes.
While developing the lesson plans, I analyzed the challenges that I was likely to meet during the class and I proposed how I will handle these challenges. The boisterous nature of the learners may hinder their capability to study. The learners may be too playful to fully focus on the learning. Some of the learners are shy are this may prevent them from practicing pronunciation and this may slow the development of their speaking skills. Setting up the classroom in a horseshoe shape encourages all learners to participate in class (Cole, 2008). As a teacher, I will be able to observe all the learners and this will ensure that they concentrate. Drilling the class members on the pronunciation of the new words, either individually or as a class, ensures that all learners participate in the class no matter how shy they are. Provision of contexts to convey meanings will ensure that the class remains interesting to all the learners. I will also use concept checking questions (CCQs) to assess if my learners comprehend what they are learning.
Materials such as flash cards, worksheets, and other supplementary materials will be used to enhance the capability of learners to learn. Flashcards will be used to convey the meanings of vocabularies and it will consist of one large flash card for the whole class and five small flash cards to be distributed among the five pairs of the learners. Ten worksheets will be provided each to one student. Colored pencils, pens, and papers will be provided to learners for them to draw and color their drawings. Due to the limitation of resources, tape recorder, DVD player, television and an interactive white board that would enhance the learning process, will not be available for use in class.
The class is scheduled to begin at 9.00am and end at 10.00pm. I will begin the class by warming it up. This is scheduled to happen between 9.00 and 9.05. As the teacher, I will individually welcome the student, greet them in English and then I will seat them in a horseshoe shape. The interaction in this session is a teacher to learner interaction. Warming the class using the teacher's model enables me to set up a friendly and orderly tone for the class and directing the attention of the learners towards me.
At 9.05-910 am, I will group the learners in closed pairs of two. The learner will be required to greet each of the student sitting next to them in English and they should also be able to learn the name of their colleague in English. This session will be a student to student interaction and my role as a teacher will be assessing if the learners are able to greet each other and introduce themselves in English. This session provides a great opportunity for learners to familiarize themselves with each other and review the greeting learned in initial classes. Interactions with their peers also enable the shy learners to speak out.
Between 9.10 and 9.30 I will present the vocabulary of family and friends using the large flash card. As a teacher, I will first model each word and then I will utilize choral drilling for the student to speak and repeat the word so that they get the correct pronunciation (Yates, 2013). We will go over a preplanned list of vocabularies and the context it is used in. I will also try to elicit answers from learners by for example pointing to picture of the mother and encouraging the student to say something about the picture. This session represents a teacher to learner interactions. I will utilize target language to introduce vocabulary for family and friends. Since I am dealing with beginners, I will ensure that I use a simple, clear and concise language to ensure that they totally comprehend what I am saying. I will also keep in mind the three forms of the vocabulary that include meaning, form, and pronunciation by ensuring that the learners understand the meaning of the vocabulary, the context in which it is used and its proper pronunciation.
Between 9.30 and 9.45, I will have learners randomly change their sitting position on the horseshoe. I will request the learners to learn the name of the new student sitting next to them using English. This will enable the learners to take a small break so that they can concentrate on the rest of the class. The movement will also enable stimulus variation to the class thus making it even more interesting (Cole, 2008). Using the new pairs of learners formed I will provide some dialogues in which the learners will read in the closed pairs. I will urge the learners to repeat the dialogue until their pronunciation becomes good. I will provide the learners with a worksheet consisting of images of family and friends and I will request them to color the images or draw their own images. The learners will then practice the vocabulary with their partners in the closed pairs. This will enhance learning through repetition and practice. Coloring and drawing encourages a further controlled practice in the target language.
From 9.45 to 9.55 I will elicit feedback from my learners. I will request the learners to individually hold up their drawings to the class and to recite the vocabularies. This will enable me to check if the learners have comprehended the new vocabulary and to review and to consolidate the use of the new vocabulary. As the teacher, I will use gestures to encourage my learners as they read the vocabularies such as cupping my ear to encourage a student to speak louder. This student to teacher model is very vital as it re-engages the learners in a group environment.
9.55 to 10.00 represent the cool down period. I will request the learners to pack down their pens and pencils neatly. Before leaving, I will ask the learners to say goodbye to each other by name and I then I will say goodbye them individually by name as they leave. The cooler activity enables the learners to be neat and tidy with their art and learning activities and reinforces greetings using a socially engaging method. It also creates a positive social environment among the learners as they converse with each other.
I would have incorporated a listening where learners listen from a tape player or a CD player and then repeat. According to Yates (2013), the use of tape player or CD player would have reduced the influence of the teachers voice and accent on the learners pronunciation. However, due to the limitation of resources in my classroom, we could not get the tape player.
If from my assessment I conclude that my teaching approach is not working, I will consider using the communicative approach. As Cole (2008) emphasizes, learners will not be expected to learn through a grammatical syllabus but the teacher will focus on maximizing the self-confidence of the student as he or she delivers a comprehensible input.
Cole, R. (2008). Educating everybody's children. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Yates, J. (2013). Pronounce it perfectly in English with Audio CDs. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series, Incorporated.
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