Smith’s School of English Lesson Plan Narrative
Today’s first student was a middle-aged man who is red level. He has been coming to Smiths as a man to man student for a long time and enjoys a challenge in his lessons as well the opportunity to discuss and use his English freely.
ET B.9 – From Smith’s School of English One Point Series
As today was such a beautiful April morning we started by chatting about the weather and I introduced the phrase Just thinking of the summer makes me feel hot. He agreed and didn’t twig that this was his one point from the last class until I gently said “One point?” whereupon he realized that it was the phrase that he had learnt. He looked back in his notes and then made his own sentence based on the weather.
ROUTINE 13 The Meeting – From Smith’s School of English Routine Series
I had already written the L up on the board before the lesson as the Intermediate routines tend to be quite weighty and I don’t like to have the students having to look at the back of my head and sitting in silence for 4 minutes while I’m writing stuff on the board. I then explained that today’s story was quite difficult and being the keen student that is he has a pleased look on his face, ready to jump into the routine.
I proceeded to read the story to him and then got him to back chain the story, carefully correcting his grammar slips (of which in this routine there are many as it is a minefield of past perfects!). He enjoyed saying the full sentences without any mistakes and wanted to say each sentence group twice to make sure that was able to do entirely by himself without any slips.
I then dictated the questions and after having written them down I answered them one by one as he asked them to me. Next was his turn and he was able to answer the questions rather smoothly, except for question 2 and 10.
It was at this point that I wrote on the board the answers (I shouted back that I had been looking forward to seeing her/I asked her if she was ready). He wasn’t able to produce the answers for these by himself and lapsed into direct speech (rather than reported speech). So, after he finished the questions I wrote up on the board;
Gideon asked me, “Where do you live?”
Gideon asked me, “What do you do?”
Gideon asked me, “Are you hungry?”
Gideon asked me, “Will you go home after this class?”
I explained to him the difference between direct and reported speech e.g. the tense shift and also the change in register between direct/indirect speech. Notably that most of the time we use reported speech except for impact and if we want to sound like we are at primary school. I asked him to change the first sentence into reported speech and he had a problem with the sentence structure which I explained to him. Once he understood that swiftly did the next one and then once again we hit the yes/no Q where if/whether is required. After explaining the need of if/whether in the sentence I asked him to tell me about the conversation that he had just had in the lobby with Gavin. He realized that he had to use reported speech and he actually managed to do a pretty good job, only slipping up a few times.
I then moved on to the conversation that he had had at home that morning with his wife and he was gradually building confidence, making fewer and fewer mistakes, able to tell me everything in reported speech.
I always find teaching reported speech to be a very rewarding lesson for the students as they are 99% of the time able to catch on pretty quickly and at the end they can also quickly use this to talk about real things that they encountered (for example the conversation that they just had in the lobby). As mentioned earlier, this student enjoys a challenge and a thorough English workout for 45 minutes so at the end he felt satisfied that he had tackled a relatively meaty grammar point and succeeded and managed to retell the routine!
ONE POINT C.49 – From Smith’s School of English One Point Series
I put on the board the one point, apparently (C.49) and made a sentence of my own using this. Luckily, due to shortage of time, he was familiar with the phrase gave his own sentence.
With that we called it a day and he looked genuinely pleased with himself and I was pleased with him for having done all that was asked of him in this lesson.