Leave time to review at the end
Many teachers forget how important it is to leave time at the end of a lesson for a quick review of the new material and an opportunity for any questions. It often seems that students have understood the concepts but a well planned review session at the end of a lesson may show otherwise. Using the feedback and questions from the review, teachers can plan a better follow up lesson.
The basic lesson plan may include:
1. Warm-up-5 minutes
2. Homework check(review)-10 minutes
3. Introduction of the new material-5-10 minutes
4. Practice of the new material-5-20 minutes
5. Assigning homework-2-3 minutes
6. Wrap-up-3-5 minutes
In a warm-up the teacher gets children ready for the lesson. Warm-ups are quick, easy and enjoyable. After the warm-up the teacher checks the homework. Next comes the introduction of the new material. It could be vocabulary, dialogs, listening material, grammar. When the new material is introduced, it should be first introduced orally with the books closed. Children need to hear as much comprehensible English in class, as possible, because they hear almost none outside the classroom. Cards, realia, animals, role-play are excellent ways to introduce the new material.
After the new material is introduced, children open the books and see the material in another context and listen to the classroom tape. All the children should be involved all the time.
Students may repeat, point to vocabulary items or pictures, repeat, check boxes, circle an item. After the practice is finished, it is a good time to introduce songs or chants. While working logically with language, the children were using the left side of their brains. Right brain activity is a good change. After a song or a chant the teacher gives homework. Children must know before they leave the classroom exactly how to do the homework. The wrap-up is an enjoyable activity that finishes the lesson. It might include consolidation of the new material or revision of the material learnt earlier.
The ideal primary foreign language classroom looks like:
- Children play with language
- Children are grouped
- A wide variety of instructional techniques
- Children cooperate to learn rather than compete with one another
- Topics are appropriate and of interest to children
- A great deal of input is made meaningful through abundant context
- Children are active processors of language, not passive
- Teacher trust and guidance
- Learning is holistic, not separate from the meaning it conveys
- Frequent teacher interaction
- Children’s learning styles are honored
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