Evaluation of the Lesson PlanGenerally, it is a well-organised lesson plan which supports form-focusedand meaning-focused instruction from different perspectives (Swain 1985). Both the linguistic form(e.g. activity 10) and the functional nature of language (e.g. activity 5) areadopted when designing the lesson. All activities designed in this lessonattempt to achieve the lesson’s aims and objectives (see Appendix I). Additionally,the design of the lesson plan is compliant with the principles of TBLT,A1 such asauthentic, learner-centred and interactive (Izadpanah, 2010).
During the ninety minute lesson, studentsare frequently asked to converse and interact with their partners in variousactivities. These interaction activities enhance students’ communicationabilities and also help to shift classroom language towards non-classroomlanguage (Hedge, 2000). Considering the authenticity of the lesson, it is noted that all of thelistening materials (i.e. the short public speech and movie clips) that are usedin this lesson are authentic rather than being specially designed for languageteaching (Hedge, 2000). The choice of natural resources provides students withthe chance to engage with authentic uses of the relevant language and tobenefit from realistic discourse(Larsen-Freeman 2002). To some degree, this provides learners with the chanceto utilise functional language and to regard language as a cohesive tool(Goodman & Freeman 1993). Furthermore, besides the material authenticity, Candlin andEdelhoff (1982) proposed that there should be procedural authenticity as well, meaningthat that procedures concerning student engagement with the text should also beauthentic.
In this case, the final procedure involving role-play activity isauthentic because it allows students to engage in real-life situations.Similarly, the process of using listening strategies is authentic as well,since students can use these strategies outside the classroom. Whilst authentic texts are perceived to be beneficial within the processof learning a language, their impact might not be at the optimum level if thecomplexity of the resources exceeds the students’ language ability (Guariento& Morley 2001). In terms of the current listening materials, each of thethree listening materials that I chose are at a normal speed.
Even though itseems that the short public speech is more understandable than the movie clips,they are all suitable for intermediate level students. Whilst certain unusualand unknown phrases or slang expressions are incorporated in the resources,these would not be restrictive in the learners comprehending the major aspectsof the text. This is because they are either model particles which do notpossess any overall meaning in reality or are idiomatic phrases that can beunderstood by considering the words accompanying each one.
Additionally, the planning of the lesson has been devised based on thepresumption that the relevant learners will be intermediate learners whopossess identical competence in language skills to ensure that it is moreviable. Realistically though, the proficiency of learners’ language mightdiffer because of a range of reasons.Nunan (1995) suggests that the language of ability of participants would havean impact upon how well particular activities are performed and to what extent.,meaning that the overall standard of the task might be below the desired levelbecause of differences in the individual ability of each student. Taking diverse interactive modes into account, individual, pair andgroup works are designed in this lesson plan so as to create cooperativelearning among students (Well, 2009). Group work is a beneficial teaching method by which studentscan interact regarding difficulties frequently encountered, exchange ideas anddevelop fresh ways of thinking (Forslund & Chiriac,2014). Considering that some introverted students may feel embarrassed and beunwilling to speak English in public (Song, 2013), small group activities canto some extent lighten a student’s psychological burden and maximise thelearning effect. Additionally, for some activities like checking answers, I usepair work instead of group work because it ensures the equal participationof each student and effectively avoids the “free rider” problemoccurring (Jiang, 2006).
When evaluating the main task in this lesson, we should remember Numan’s(1995) statement that thecommunicative practice can be neither predictable nor unpredictable. The use ofrole-play is intended to provide an accessible approach to a definen subjectmatter with task instructions whilst simultaneously providing sufficientflexibility for the learners to undertake the task. AsJiang (2016) states, role play maximally reflects real-life circumstances andcontributes to developing students’ extra linguistic knowledge via peer-to-peerdialogues. Through undertaking the role-play activity, students in this lessonare given a chance to tryout whatever they already know, thereby building their level of confidence (Ganta,2015). Furthermore, researchers like Thornbury and Slade (2006) have noted thatsufficient time should be allowed for role-play activity. In this lesson plan,15 minutes are allocated to the role-play activity which is seen as a properduration. Additionallyto the aforementioned aspects, there are some shortcomings that could berectified.
In the initial schema building process, as the lesson plan has beencreated with the aim integrating an analysis of both the subject and languagestudies previously, there might be insufficient time remaining for students toconsider the knowledge that they have stimulated via the first activity(brainstorming) and the second one (listening practice). This type ofcontemplative task, as suggested by Nunan (2004), focuses students on theirapproach to learning and prepares them for upcoming activities. Goh and Burn’s (2012) reinforce the idea that studentsought to be provided with time to prepare for their learning approach by beingallowed to reflect individually.
Furthermore, the”liberty” concerning task-based learning (TBL) is additionally perceived to bea shortcoming as how a student actually performs in the activity might deviatefrom the desire of the teacher (Nunan 2004). This outlook is reinforced by Kumaravadivelu(1991) who suggests that the result of TBL is difficult to anticipate because ofthe contrasting differences that can arise as a result of varying language andcognitive understanding. Consequently, to overcome this shortcoming of TBL,efforts should be made to ensure that learners understand the core aspects andinstructions of the task so that they are able to undertake the workefficiently (Scrivener 2002) In fact, the TBL method adopted in this lesson plan might be consideredas an inappropriate way ofteaching second language communication in China. As Carless (2007: 596) said: “There is a need for more criticalscrutiny of the suitability of task-based approaches for schooling,particularly in Confucian-heritage culture context where task-based teachingmay prove to be in conflict with traditional educational norms”. Thisis seemingly due to TBLT being a western approach that incorporates westernmeans of teaching and learning, which might not easily translate to anotherculture (Ellis, 2003). The teachingmethod of utilising educational activities does not comply with Chinese societytypically where learning is not regarded as being an investigational and mutualprocess but rather one whereby the teacher leads the process of conveyingknowledge to the learners. In contrast, the origins of TBLT are based onWestern notions of education with students acquiring understanding bycompleting relevant tasks (Nunan, 2004).
Consequently, it is very significant to clarify the input of theteacher and the learners when providing the instructions for a task In contrastto Willis’s (1996) suggestion that the teacher is like a monitor, chairpersonand language advisor respectively at the three phases of the model, Nunan’sframework of TBLT does not explicitly indicate the role of the teacher withinthe six stages of the process. In my opinion, without the specification of theteacher’s role, the class may easily take over againA2 by the teacher. ConclusionIn conclusion,this assignment has rationalised and evaluated a lesson plan which is designed inaccordance with Nunan’s (2004) six pedagogicalsequence (i.e. schemabuilding, controlled practice, authentic listening, the focus on linguisticelements, freer activities, and the introduction of the pedagogical task) for introducing tasks. Additionally,the paper mentions Sociocultural theory, which guided the design of severalactivities and some TBL teaching principles such as active learning and the choice ofauthentic materials. In summary, the lesson plan provides variousmeans for learners to engage in authentic discussion via the methods oflistening and verbal activities and helps to maintain students’ comprehensionof using key terminology in authentic settings. The lesson plan still requiressome adaption at the instruction stage rather than regarding it as a rigidconcept.
Thedistinct element of this lesson plan is that it does not stipulate a rigid timefor the listening task to last. This relates with the suggestion of Rost andWilson (2013) thatlearners ought to have flexibility within their listening activities. Overall,the present lesson plan was founded on the comment from Willis (1996) that thefunction of instructors in TBL session will probably be as someone facilitatingways for students to appropriately use the language they are trying to learn. The use ofrole play appears to be a suitable means of allowing learners to utilise theirEnglish in a way creative.
Its intention is to enable the learner to practicetheir skills within the context of an authentic situation so that the studentscan enhance their ability at communication. A1Clarifywhat this stands for as this is the first time that you have mentioned it – youcan then use letters on subsequent mentions. A2Whatdo you mean by this?