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April 29, 2006

Lesson Planning - Beefing up the ESL Textbook

Hello Lesson Planners,

One thing I really like doing here is taking a basic lesson from a book and beefing it up. For example I was teaching Middle school aged learners at a winter camp a few weeks ago. We were following a text book that was very grammar centric and contained many exercises. Rather than only do what was written in the teachers guide I tried many different activities that were related to what we were studying.

When we did the unit on “did” I had them . . .

. . . write their own questions on a piece of blank scrap paper I provided. They worked with a partner and came up with questions to ask their other classmates. Then once they made three or four I split them up and had them move around the class asking their questions to others. The moving around gets them out of the routine and I slowly add more aspects, as they are ready for it. I don’t want to overwhelm them.

After they can do simple “yes/no” questions I have them do another where they practice looking down at the paper then looking up at their partner and speaking to their face. I find it improves their intonation and makes their speaking sound different then if they just read something off a page. Also I have them write the partner’s name who says yes and if they are advanced enough we incorporate follow-up questions.

Besides these various “Find someone who” type activities I have also done things like make menus in teams and roleplay ordering at a restaurant to actually use the count/noncount nouns in a realistic situation. The final concept I used was taking a comic strip that was in the back of the book and have the students make their own stories with a partner. I encouraged them to use characters they know and each team only did a third of the story. One group wrote the beginning with three panels then passed it to another group to write the middle. Finally the last team finished it and we taped it up on the class wall.

Has this lesson plan been of any help for you? If so, please let me know in the comment box below!

Thanks,

Kevin Landry
April 2006 Guest-Writer for ESLemployment

Looking for more articles about lesson planning for the ESL classroom? Click HERE!

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About the author of this entry:
Kevin Landry, a Canadian native-speaker, spent ten years abroad teaching English I Korea since 1996. He has earned a Masters of Arts in Linguistics (TESOL) from the University of Surrey, England. He has a certificate in TES/FL from St. Mary's University Halifax, Canada. He has been teaching English in Korea at Universities and Graduate schools as well as private institutes. He has experience teaching TOEIC, TOEFL, Reading, Writing, Listening, Grammar and Conversation classes. He has developed syllabuses for intensive classes and language camps. His dissertation was in syllabus design and action research. He is on the national council of Korea TESOL as the Nominations and Elections chair and is the Teacher Education & Development Facilitator. He is also the National Conference Webmaster. He is on the editorial committee for Asian EFL Journal. He has a making comic books website and is especially interested in the pragmatics of dialogue between characters and their actions. Look for his posts on the ESL-Lesson-Plan web log!

Posted by ESL Lesson Plan at April 29, 2006 01:49 AM

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