For assignment four I have decided to use an authentic text from Brighton and hove’s tourist website https://www.visitbrighton.com/inspire-me/holidays/christmas-and-new-year. The lexis used in this text is more appropriate to the upper level, so I would design the lesson with the upper level class in mind. I think this text will be of interest to the students. They are all living in Brighton and most of them come from Christian countries where Christmas is celebrated. Even if they don’t celebrate Christmas there are some events and activities happening in Brighton over the holiday period which are not related to Christmas, and everyone should be able to find something that they enjoy in their free time.
It is important when developing a receptive lesson plan to include a “three-phase procedure involving, pre-, while and post-reading stages” (Hedge 2000 p209) During the pre-reading stage a variety of activities can be applied, these include making predictions about the text from either the pictures or the title, an agree/disagree game to a series of ideas, a quiz with relevance to the text, answering questions about the topic before reading or a brain-storm of things they know about the topic. Teachers can use a mixture of these ideas. The main purpose of this stage is to activate the students on the topic of the text and allow the teacher to learn how much they already know through monitoring. In my lesson I would do a wider lead-in of what students often do in their free time in winter, and then show the pictures see if the students can predict what the text is about. This is a type of “top-down” method (Scrivener 2011 p266-267) as it enables the students to draw on what they already know to foresee what the text might be about.
“Many learners approach reading texts expecting to read them thoroughly and to only stop when they have understood every word.” When learning a foreign language we often read intensively for detail and forget the multiple reading techniques we’ve learnt and regularly apply when we are reading in L1. Students often need to scan read for announcements at train stations and airports to determine their platform or gate. Not everything needs to be understood in detail and skim reading for gist in English would save students a lot of time. Giving students a time limit can help encourage them to read quicker.
It is important to set a task whilst reading because
My gist activity will consist of students reading each of the paragraphs for gist and matching them with the six descriptions found below:
a) Where we can purchase good presents
b) Traditional events hosted every year in Brighton
c) Where we can enjoy art at Christmas
d) Christmas beyond Brighton and Hove
e) Where we can enjoy a musical
f) A variety of activities we can do at night
I would PTV the words in bold. I would not PTV words in the text because give students practice in “authentic reading and listening for general understanding, then getting past words they do not understand is one of the skills they need to develop” (Harmer 2001, page 23) This task only requires a general understanding of each of the paragraphs and no specific information is required. I would give students six minutes to read through the paragraphs and match them to the descriptions. Students would then check their answers in pairs and discuss why they chose these answers. I would then do visual feedback on the board.
I would then give students a second reading task. This one would be more detail focused. I would give students the answers, they would then need to make questions using information they found in the reading.
What are the questions, read the text again and make the questions for these answers found below:
a) in Churchill square shopping Mall
b) a lantern parade and a big fire on the beach.
c) the classic Christmas tale The Snowman
d) with lots of lanterns and torches of fire.
e) the beautiful gardens of Wakehusrt
f) the Rocky Horror Show
g) at Komedia
h) the classic tale of Peter Pan
I would ptv the words in bold. I would choose this activity as it would include the two remaining types of reading, scanning for the key words in the answer, and intensive reading in the area around it to make the question. Students would pair check their answers before feedback
After students have read for gist and detail, I would include a post teaching stage where students would try to understand the words below in context, if they cannot I would also have visuals. “students are capable of guessing 60-80% of unknown words in a text if the density is not to high” (Hedge, 2000 p193)
twisting alleyways (1)
to mark (2)
don your fishnets (5)
This would also involve scan reading and reading for detail.
After students have finished with receptive tasks it is important that students do a productive task as per the “top down” method
This would be my productive task
Have been/ want to go (yes/no) My partner
Have been/ want to go (yes/no) My partner
What was it like?
big name shops
Christmas Open houses
The snowman exhibition
Pull a cracker
b) Choose one festival in your home country.
What types of activities does your hometown provide for the festival?
Does your home town have any unusual customs?
Would you like to try any of your parner’s hometown activities? Why? Why not?