Monday, February 14, 2011

Benchmark Preliminary Scan

Lesson Types: Ana's lesson appears discovery based with discussions about grammar. Dietmar's lesson appears lexical with a vocabulary focus. Young hee was given a task-based email lesson.

Benchmark Preliminary Scan: The topic of this discovery lesson is twofold. First discussion is based on selecting preferred management feedback methods and the second is in identifying self-directed learning or needs for work related motivation. I like this kind of lesson because opinions-based activities assist students in having a reason to discuss target language, expressions or concepts without the stress upon grammar or vocabulary however their application is in the reading and expression of opinions.

For example, the first task compares students' own preferences to a limited and targeted range of responses which is much like reviewing survey results which limit responses in similar ways. This is exploratory.

The second task explores key concept "take aways" prior to beginning reading activity. I like when students know what they need to do and have the means to answer the questions set before them in this manner. The reading scan is ten progressive with purpose.

The next stage requires learners to identify the matching summary statement with each written advertisement for learning programs. This is followed by small training request forms completion and vocabulary round up. The grammar and vocabulary learning are somewhat embedded in the discovery activity.

Advantages: Real dialogues and opinions based speaking activities. Brief readings and short vocab gap fill. Self-analysis activities.

Disadvantages: Pair-based limits large group interactivity and frequent new speaking partners as in Linda's collocation activities. Limited number of possible responses and quite directed selections of choices to form opinions.

I would finish this lesson with a summary question/answer dialogue with a few minutes prep which allows to be unscripted. For example, "What did you learn in this lesson?" can be an interesting question to pose especially if you tell students to listen to each others responses to ensure no one gives me the same answer.


Alternatively I use a Business Communications Games book (OUP, Lloyd and Preier, 1996) with outside class speaking groups practice which is fully photocopiable and extends self-direction and discovery to group sessions. I like the idea that I am simply providing the materials and/or their location and students are on there own with it. In this way what they may learn is often completely unknown to me and somewhat random and free compared to classroom activities.

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