Foreign language lesson planning

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Foreign Language Lesson Planning SASLI: June 2007 Benjamin Rifkin Temple University b ri f k i n@ t e m p l e e d u How to Structure Lessons? • • • • • • Present new material Motivate students Prepare them to engage with the material Ensure they are ready to learn Balance of lecture and interactive practice Integration of language and culture Other Considerations • Balance of grammar and communicative practice • How and when (whether!) to correct errors • Correlation of lesson design and course design • Correlation of course design and curricular design Still More Considerations • External influences (literature or linguistics curriculum, preparation for study abroad) • Dialect choices • Heritage and foreign language learners • Availability of textbooks • Availability of technology Other Considerations? • Adolescent psychology: autonomy, competence • Performance anxiety • Unrealistic expectations Importance of Motivation • Heritage learners who have some modicum of communicative skills may have little interest in acquiring more language until you prove to them why they should so • Foreign language learners may have difficulty understanding why they need to learn a particular structure that seems so foreign Balance of Grammar and Communication • Multiple curricular tracks? • Grammatical competence of critical importance only at the superior level • If we ignore it at the beginning, students may never work to acquire it • Bearing in mind expectations for development of grammatical competence at all levels of instruction Interactive Learning • • • • Impact of imbalance of teacher talk How we learn to swim or drive Active learning in other disciplines Learning by doing in the American educational system • Performance in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines Curricular Design • • • • Proficiency Guidelines Learning Outcomes Research Number of hours of instruction Difficulty classification of your target language Course and Lesson Design • Krashen’s i + • Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development Lesson Design • • • • • Motivate students Prepare students Present to students Engage students in interactive practice Check that students have mastered the targeted language material, function, task • Follow-Up Overview • Explain briefly to the students what we are doing and why we are doing it • Keep this brief • Use target language if possible, use English if not • Overview may be written on the board, in the course syllabus, etc Prime and Preview • Provide students with opportunity to review language structures from previous lessons, structures they will need in today’s lesson, or preview something coming (e.g., pronunciation) • “Mind the gap!” • Receptive and productive review and preview Presentation • Teacher-guided or teacher-fronted • Remember i + • Make sure that language presented is meaningful for students • Do not ask students to perform until they are ready or risk enhanced anxiety Practice • Students use new language material to communicate meaningfully with one another • Information gap is essential • Information gap may be authentic or contrived • Students must be working in pairs or groups • Extended performance period Practice Do’s and Don’t’s • • • • • • • Do observe student performance Don’t participate in that performance Do observe student errors Don’t correct student errors Do coach Don’t impose, don’t intrude Do remember this is student-centered Accountability • Ask students to report singly or in groups • No need to ask all students to report, you can manage this as a random check • Make sure all students know they are going to be held accountable Accountability (2) • Don’t correct individual errors • Consider individual student errors as evidence of failure to master a particular point • After all groups you will check have presented, correct the most salient errors (choose carefully) • Ask for choral repetitions to reduce stigma and keep anxiety low Follow-Up • Another practice activity to show competence • Discussion of cultural implications • Analysis of strategy use (students share with one another) Suggested Lesson Plan Design • • • • • • Overview Prime and Preview Presentation Practice Accountability Follow-Up How Does It Work? • Three-four modules in one 50-minute lesson • Each module builds into the next • Each instructional unit (one to two weeks) has its own pattern with more grammar and vocabulary drill lessons in the beginning and more intensive comunication towards the end Your Questions? [...]... and Preview • Provide students with opportunity to review language structures from previous lessons, structures they will need in today’s lesson, or preview something coming (e.g., pronunciation) • “Mind the gap!” • Receptive and productive review and preview Presentation • Teacher-guided or teacher-fronted • Remember i + 1 • Make sure that language presented is meaningful for students • Do not ask.. .Lesson Design • • • • • Motivate students Prepare students Present to students Engage students in interactive practice Check that students have mastered the targeted language material, function, task • Follow-Up Overview • Explain briefly to the students what we are doing and why we are doing it • Keep this brief • Use target language if possible, use English if... use (students share with one another) Suggested Lesson Plan Design • • • • • • Overview Prime and Preview Presentation Practice Accountability Follow-Up How Does It Work? • Three-four modules in one 50-minute lesson • Each module builds into the next • Each instructional unit (one to two weeks) has its own pattern with more grammar and vocabulary drill lessons in the beginning and more intensive comunication... teacher-fronted • Remember i + 1 • Make sure that language presented is meaningful for students • Do not ask students to perform until they are ready or risk enhanced anxiety Practice • Students use new language material to communicate meaningfully with one another • Information gap is essential • Information gap may be authentic or contrived • Students must be working in pairs or groups • Extended performance
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