ENGLISH ALIVE Course Proposals
Daily and Weekly Organisation.Each day is divided into 5 lessons. Each lesson will concentrate mainly, but not exclusively, on one language area.
Lesson 1: Speaking
Lesson 2: Vocabulary
Lesson 3: Fluency
Lesson 4: Pronunciation
Lesson 5: Listening
The programme for the students is chosen on the basis of English language level, age and interests.
Description of Individual SessionsLesson 1: Speaking
We use a wide variety of stimuli to promote speaking in the classroom. Among them will be questionnaires, dictated chats, discussions, ranking exercises, role plays, information gap exercises and picture cards. In order to give confidence to reticent speakers, we provide guidance into the task so that students will know more or less exactly what kind of thing they will need to express before the task. We use student thinking time and visualisation techniques as pre-processing stages and our task-based learning approach will provide an opportunity for a second attempt at the task so that all students will perceive improvement in their performance. There is a final stage in which very successful language as well as errors will be highlighted. The teacher will often give the natural native-speaker version of the utterance in preference to a correction. At all times successful communication will be more important than structural accuracy in these sessions.
Lessons 2: Vocabulary
Generally, the topics for vocabulary will be those of the theme of the day. Materials will be provided for clear contexts and staged practice of the target language in varied ways. We will not simply be providing word lists for the students but will concentrate on giving students a way of talking about the topic. We will therefore include phrases, collocations and frequent utterances used in the topic.
Lesson 3: Fluency
Students work on a series of communication activities involving a variety of different interactions. The activities are often based around a topic (eg, holidays) or a language function (eg, describing location) and can include discussions, questionnaires, interviews, narrative building and information gaps. The students often find out about each other or about the teacher and lessons usually involve some discovery of new expressions or natural ways of phrasing things. In each lesson, some students will succeed in communicating something new, others will express a familiar idea more easily or more naturally.
Lesson 4: PronunciationThe aim here will be to raise the students' awareness of many different elements of English phonology and produce via practise, an improvement in their clarity of speech. We will concentrate on two areas; first, word level phonology in which word stress and phoneme discrimination will be highlighted and second, utterance level phonology where we will look at elements of connected speech like schwas, sentence stress, intonation and rhythm. Games, dialogue analysis and practice and sounds matching will feature in the techniques used. Commonly problematic areas will be focused on.
Lesson 5: Listening
We will use a range of texts with both dialogues and monologues including informal and fairly formal social contexts. Sessions will begin with a lead-in to the situations, usually spoken, which will allow students to build up expectation of content and language used. There will be a two or three phase comprehension section starting from gist or superficial understanding and progressing to deeper, intensive listening. Frequently, there will be a language extraction phase where the students will be invited to notice particularly useful ways of expressing an idea from the text. The lesson will conclude with a follow up or extension activity, usually involving speaking. Last of all, we will round up what we have covered and learned during the whole day.