Here's an example.
Topic: An interview
Language: The language of convincing and embellishment (note, these aspects of language don't only apply to being successful in a job or school interview. They could also apply to, say, selecting a mate (e.g., dating/marriage, and this could be your second topic, or what's known as the extended topic.)
Introduction: Use the info above to explain to the students the rationale, or reasons behind today's topic.
Investment: [Get the students thinking about the topic as well as using the English they already know about the topic]. For example, you could choose one or two, no more, of these activities to lead in to the main part of the lesson:
(A) Give the students a picture of someone in a job interview and in small groups or pairs have them predict what the person/people are saying. You could also give them a bundle of phrases to use to describe the picture, but make sure these are words they are familiar with or can ask the members in their groups. You don't want to pre-teach vocab at this stage.
(B) In pairs/small groups students discuss some of the questions that Chinese companies ask a prospective employee during a job interview. You could start if by giving them an example(s) from your culture.
(C) In pairs/small groups students list the top three questions asked in an interview. You could start of by giving an example of your first job interview.
(D) Write the word "interview" on the board and have the students in pairs/small groups brainstorm everything they know about that topic.Clarification: Have the students switch pairs/groups and compare their findings. This increases student interaction/communication and serves to reduce the amount of teacher talk time at the board. The whole point of an oral English course is to get the students using English quickly and as much as possible. Optimal: students speak 70% of the class time, teacher 30%. The teacher's percentage comes during the feedback sessions, which can be as little as 5 minutes and as much as 15 minutes.
Feedback: The teacher having monitored the pair/group findings, highlights and clarifies these at the board by focusing on good and bad uses of language. This helps the students see the "gaps" (errors) in their present language ability. The teacher needs to focus on vocab associated with the topic at hand. Going outside the topic (i.e., focusing on 'cosmetic errors' such as *I goed to the store") is an inefficient use of class time. Correct these errors during monitoring, and leave the feedback stage for students' common errors. !Focus them on a particular bundle of related language. The brain houses language this way.
Input: [Give the students an example of real English in use. Let them see/hear the kind of language that native speakers use to talk about the topic, interviews.] You could choose one of the following:
(A) A reading
(B) An Audio
(C) A VideoExample activities: [A minimum of three activities to help the students "own" the new lexis:
First activity [choose one]
1. Ss1 reads a paragraph, Ss2 listens and then retells. Then they switch roles: Ss2 reads the next paragraph, Ss1 listens and retells. This is best done back-to-back (a listening exercise). The teacher walks around monitoring for "gaps" (errors) in the student's retelling.
2. The teacher play the first part of an audio and has the students focus on (note down) all the words/phases associated with the topic. The idea here is to get the students to recognize words, then the larger phrases and sentences those words are housed in. Then the teacher plays the second part, and so on.
3. Ask the students to find the kind of language the speakers use to convince and embellish, and then have them add to it using what they already know.
Second activity [choose one]
1. Blank out phrases (chunks) inside the text. Ss1 reads, Ss2 tries to fill in the blanks. Note, at this point, the teacher should have the topic vocab on the board for the students to draw on and use. The purpose during the input stage is to help, guide students towards 'owning' the new vocab. It's not a test, so try to lead them to success.
2. Give the students the topic vocabulary and have them retell the article/audio. Have them switch groups and compare.
Third activity [choose one]
1. The teacher asks comprehension questions related to the text. Note, the purpose here isn't to see whether the students understand the text, bur rather whether they can use the topic vocabulary in answering the questions. Tell them this as it will help them focus that much more.
2. The students make up their own comprehension questions and ask these to their classmates by mixing and mingling around the room. The point again is to form questions that have their classmates having to use/draw on the topic vocabulary.Leading out: [Have the students use the topic lexis "without a net (i.e., a sheet to draw on). It's OK, and preferable, though, to keep the topic lexis on the board at all times during the lesson as the board is their note book.
Activities: [Choose one]
(A) Role play
(C) DebateExample Role play:
Part 1: [getting ready]
A is applying for a scholarship or enterance into a university and doesn't have the best grades or criteria to be a successful candidate. In groups, students brainstorm how to use the language of convincing and embellishment to help the student through the interview.
Part 2: [practice]
Ss1 is the interviewee, Ss2 and Ss3 are the interviewers. Ss1 must convince them s/he deserves the scholarship or enterance to the univeristy. (The same could be done with a job interview, a date, etc.)
Part 3: [Extending the role play]
Add emotion into the mix now, as research tells us that that helps the brain to solidify new language. Ss2 and Ss3 are still the interviewers, but Ss1 is changes role and becomes their surpervisor, the one who makes the final decision. Ss2 and Ss3 must convince their suprvisor either to accept or reject the candidates application. They must use language of convincing and embellishment.
That's the lesson, and it should take up to two hours, possibly even more because of all the feedback sessions after each activity.