TASK-BASED TEACHING: FREE LESSON PLANS TO DOWNLOAD
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NEW: Three lessons based on written texts at the intermediate level.
All of these lessons begin with a prediction task learners are given clues and are asked to predict the content of a story based on the clues. The lessons then go on to do some detailed language work.
Lesson 1: I’ve just jumped off the Empire State Building. (This lesson goes on to look at reflexive pronouns and the verbs that are commonly used with them)
Lesson 2: Brave Pensioner Foils Raid on Jewellery Store. (This shows the way –ing forms are used in English.
Lesson 3: Robbery in a Sweet Shop. (Verbs followed by the to-infinitive)
If you use these stories in class could you please do two things to help us?
- Email us to tell us how they went. We will be delighted if they go well, but we would also like to know if you have any problems.
- Tell your friends and colleagues about our website and about your work with task-based teaching and learning.
Download a FREE COPY of Dave’s 1990 publication The Lexical Syllabus.
Click here to download from Birmingham University website
LESSON 1: HOW STRICT WERE YOUR PARENTS?
This lesson at the intermediate level is taken from our book, Doing task-based teaching, but it is described in more detail here. It is based on an idea which was given us for the book by Tim Marchand, Director of Smith’s School, Kyoto, Japan. The lesson is built round a discussion. The question for discussion is: Whose parents were the strictest?
COMMENTARY 1: YOU HAVE THE SKILLS TO DO IT.
If you are a confident class teacher with a range of teaching techniques you can use those techniques to work successfully with task-based lessons. If you are a teacher in training these are the skills you are acquiring. Here we are going to offer a few guidelines on the structure of a task-based lesson with some notes on the teaching skills to be deployed.
LESSON 2: WHICH IS COLDER: THE NORTH POLE OR THE SOUTH POLE?
This is another intermediate lesson. It’s a discussion lesson leading up to a reading on the quesyion: Which is colder: the North Pole or the South Pole? This lesson is particularly useful for students who need to develop the language skiills they will need for academic discussion and reading.
COMMENTARY 2: MEANING BEFORE FORM
This commentary links to Lesson 2 and look at why TBL focuses on meaning, on tasks, before going on to look at language form.
LESSON 3: VAGUE LANGUAGE
One of the problems we have in the language classroom is finding tasks and topics to talk, write and read about. In Commentary 2 Meaning before Form I talked about a lesson which was based on an approach to language teaching know as CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) approach (see: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/methodology/clil.shtml) or content-based instruction. As in task-based teaching the belief behind CLIL and content-based instruction is that learners acquire language most efficiently when their attention is on content rather than form. In this case the content is to do with language. The serious study of language should be a central part of any language learning course. If sensibly treated it can contribute to learning by providing topics which are of real relevance and interest to learners. It also encourages learner independence by encouraging learners to investigate language for themselves.
COMMENTARY 3: GROUP WORK OR TEACHER LED?
Many teachers believe that grour or pair work is a necessary part of task-based learning, but this is not the case. In a language class, as in any other class the teacher may choose to operate in teacher led mode or to use group or pair work. And a teacher may choose to switch from one mode to the other within a single class. This Commentary looks at these possibilities and looks breifly at the advantage of one mode over another. For a more detailed discussion of this see pp. 158-161 in our book Doing Task-based Teaching (OUP 2007)