Personality Traits - Teachers' Notes


Level: Advanced
Topic: General
Grammar Topic: General
Type: Lesson Plans
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Published: 1st Sep 2007

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© 2005


Personality Traits- Teachers’ Notes 

I.  General goals of this set of supplementary materials   

1.  To provide a natural context for language learning. 
2.  To expose learners to target language by going through different tasks. 
3.  To increase learners’ opportunities to use target language. 
4.  To focus on fluency more than accuracy. 
5.  To increase students’ confidence with communication in target language. 
6.  To motivate learners to use target language. 
7.  To prepare students for real communication in real world. 
8.  To help learners to use prior knowledge to reinforce what they are learning. 

II.  Approximate task timings 


Task 1: Questionnaire of birth order and personality traits: 5 minutes 
Task 2: Questionnaire of your partner’s birth order and personality traits: 10 
Task 3: Taiwanese celebrities’ birth order and their personality traits: 5 minutes 
Task 4: Listen to teacher’s reading: 5 minutes   
Task 5: Read on your own: 20 minutes 
Task 6: Reading comprehension: 15 minutes 
Task 7: Clarifying the meanings and grouping: 15 minutes 
Task 8: Grouping-synonym and antonym: 10 minutes 
Task 9: Share in words/expressions grouping work: 5 minutes 
Task 10: Learners’ note: 10 minutes 
Task 11: Lexical-Grammar discovery: 15 minutes 
Task 12: How about your student: 15 minutes 
Task 13: Describe your student: 15 minutes 

III. Objectives of tasks 

1.  Pre-tasks: The pre-task phase is the shortest stage in this set of supplementary 

materials. It aims to introduce the topics, identify target language, create 
learners’ interests, give task instructions and prepare learners for the next 
stage-task cycle. Task 1 aims to raise students’ awareness of the topic and key 
vocabulary by asking them to complete a questionnaire about birth order and 
personality traits. In task 2, using turn-taking pattern to involve learners in 
ideas exchange in pairs. This pair work gives individuals more chances to talk 
and use target language and interact with peers.    Task 3 is designed to 
introduce the following tasks by asking students to guess Taiwanese 
celebrities’ birth order and they need to read in the following tasks to solve the 
problems in task 3. 

2.  In-task: At this stage, task 4 and 5 are both further introductory tasks which 

aim to assist learners to explore the text by noting the points of interests when 
listening and comprehending and reinforcing the target language when reading. 
Task 6 is a problem-solving task, reading comprehension. This task is 
designed for learners to compare what they read and the situations the 
questions offered and find the answers. This task helps learners to reflect on 

Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 




© 2005



what they have heard and read in task 4 and 5. In task 7 and 8, sorting 
vocabulary, synonyms and antonym grouping and the categorizing personality 
traits, helps consolidate the target language. Task 9 is a task to help learners to 
cooperate pairs’ lists with their own. Task 10 aims to train students to be 
autonomous learners and develop their learning strategies, such as taking and 
organizing their notes. They need to report what they have learned so far and 
take records. Overall, this stage is to help learners to have more exposure to 
target language by using different tasks and learners interact and learn by 
completing tasks. 

3.  Post-task: This stage is language focus stage. The first task of this stage, task 

11, is to draw learners’ attention to language data, to analyse them, discover 
lexical and grammatical learning points and formulate the points they discover.   
It is a consciousness-raising task which is very different from traditional 
lexical and grammatical learning. This also creates a new view of grammar 
and vocabulary learning. In task 12, learners need to draw on the vocabulary 
and expressions they have learned in the previous two stages to complete this 
task. It also stimulates students to brainstorm and generate the ideas about the 
subject they are going to describe. Task 13, the last task, focuses learners on 
reviewing learning points, synthesizing what they have learned and produce 
target language by producing their writing. 



IV. Cultural aspects 
In pre-task stage, this set of materials illustrates four Taiwanese celebrities. 
They are Mr. Jay Chou, a pop singer, Mr. Yong-Chin Wang, a successful and 
influential entrepreneur, Mr. Takeshi Kaneshiro, an international actor, and Mr. Ang 
Lee, internationally famous film director. Teachers might be familiar with some of 
them. If more information about them is needed, here are some links which provide 
teachers with more information about these four Taiwanese celebrities.

V.  Answer keys 
Notice: Task 1 to task 3 belongs to personal information exchange. Students offer 
different answers according to the facts about their birth order and personality traits. 
Therefore, there are not optional answers provided here. Task 4 to 5 is listening to the 
text and text reading only and no answer keys are available for these two tasks.   
Task 6Reading comprehension   


Mr. Jay Chou 

Mr. Wang 

Mr. Takeshi 

Mr. Ang Lee 

Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 




© 2005



Birth order 

The only child 

First-born child 

The youngest child 

Middle child 


2. Jennifer could be first-born child because she is the supporter of order and law. 
3. Alan could be first-born or only-born child because he is organized. 
4. Jennifer could be first-born child because she is punctual. 
5. Melissa could be last-born child because she is inattentive and self-centred. 
6. Martin could be middle-born because he is indecisive. 
7. Nick could be middle-born child because he is friendly and get along with other 
children well. 
Task 7: Sorting positive, negative and neutral personality traits 
Please note that the answers for grouping positive, negative or neutral personality 
traits are only for reference because the answers to grouping are probably subjective 
because of individual differences. Any positive personality trait can be negative if it is 








(  )Extrovert 
(  )Simple 
(  )Complicated 

(√)Excellent in    
academic and 
(√)High achiever 

(  )Serious 
(  )Supporter of 
law and order 
(  )A perfectionist 





(√)A negotiator 


(  )Uncomplicated 
(  )Precise 


(√)An effective 
team player 



(×)Shy and quiet 



(  )Competitive 

(√)A peace-maker 

(  )A 

(√)A great listener 



(  )Introvert 



Task 8 and 9:
 Grouping-synonym and antonym 
Note: The keys offered here is for reference and there should be more synonyms and 
antonyms can be found in the text and tasks. Please encourage your students to find as 
many as possible for further vocabulary development. 

Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 




© 2005




2. introvert 













1.shy and quiet 
2. introvert 



1. high achiever 
2.excellent in academic and 
professional achievements 
1. precise 
2.supporter of low and order 
2.disorganized (messy) 

Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 




© 2005


Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 




Task 10: Please encourage your students to build up their own vocabulary book. The 

example in the handouts is provided to simulate students to create or reorganize their 

own. If possible, teachers should encourage students to bring their own vocabulary 

notebooks and discuss. Share their vocabulary notebooks because peer learning is very 

effective and deserves encouragement. 


Task 11: Lexical grammar discovery 


Note: The example sentences keys provided to question 3 are for reference. Various 

answers are encouraged as long as they convey the meanings based on the forms 

students work out. 


1.  The phrase tend to’ means ‘to be likely to do something or to happen in a 

particular way because this is what often or usually happens. 


2.  Ask students to analyze the language data and they can excerpt some example 

sentences with the phrase ‘tend to’. Two examples are illustrated as follows.   


Example 1: They also tend to be bossy, perfectionists and overly-conscientious. 

Example 2: They also tend to blame themselves when others fail.   

Formulation: The phrase tend to’ is followed by ‘be verb + adjective’ or ‘an 

infinitive verb.’ 


3.  There are four sentences provided as models. 


a.  People tend to be polite when they talk to the older. 

b.  Students tend to be stressed when there are exams. 

c.  Shy and quiet students tend to stutter when they are asked to give 


d.  People say risk-takers tend to learn language better. 


Task 12 and 13: 



© 2005


Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 



Task 12 and 13 are designed for personal information exchange and individual language 

production. The answers to these two tasks are not available because their answers vary 




VI.  Optional task 


After finishing 13 tasks, there is an optional activity to involve learners more in 

describing people. Teachers group learners and every group is asked to choose a subject 

they are going to describe, for example, their other classmates, teachers or Taiwanese 

celebrities. Use the chart below to brainstorm and generate main ideas first. After that, 

they need to do group presentation and orally describe their group subject. The other 

groups need to guess who the subject is described. One example has done for learners. 


Brainstorming chart:   


Example: Describing a classmate 


Guess who is the subject? 

Personality trait 


1. high achiever 

She is a top student in our class. She is 

particularly skilled at language learning. 














      Answer: ________________ 


VII.  Tips for task-based teaching 



© 2005


Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 



1.  Pair work and group work are central features of task-based teaching. 

Teachers need to effectively group their learners. 

2.  Pair work tasks are more than group work task because this will increase 

individual use of target language. 

3.  In task 2, teachers need to help weaker students to speak. Sometimes 

using L1 to interview their partners is not really considered to be valid. 

However, target language use should be encouraged. 

4.  In task 3, teachers need to familiarize themselves with Taiwanese 

celebrities because teachers are also participants in task-based teaching. 

5.  In task 4, teachers need to read the text to whole class. Be sure to read it 

as fluently and clearly as possible. Some aural experience helps learners 

read more effectively. 

6.  Teachers are responsible for giving comments on learners’ utterances. 

7.  When learners are doing turn-taking activities, teachers need to monitor 

their progress.   

8.  Teachers need to be learners’ assistants and consultants.   

9.  This set of materials is goal-oriented and its goal is to help learners 

communicate in target language. Fluency is primarily focused and then 

accuracy is emphasized when it comes to the end of the whole unit. 

10. Help students to be independent learners by encouraging them to use 

dictionary or take notes. There is a checklist for learners to evaluate their 

learning. Please give out self-evaluating learning questionnaire at the end 

of class. This questionnaire contributes to learning autonomy 

development as well as better materials development for materials 


11. With consciousness-raising task for lexical and grammatical learning, 

there is not the expectation of immediate and accurate production. It 

takes time. 

12. Teachers need to adapt the materials when it is necessary. There is no 

one set of materials which fit all contexts. 



VIII. Useful websites about this topic for further learning, teaching or tasks   




© 2005


Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 



Here are some useful websites about birth order and personality development for 

further discussion with learners. These websites also offer useful resources about 

this topic to inspire teachers to develop advanced tasks for students on this topic.,,163_559974,00.html



IX.  Checklist for learners to self-evaluate how much they learn 


Do you want to know how much you have learned? Please answer the following 

questions according to your learning. 



Do you understand the reading? 


Do you skim for general understanding? 


Do you scan for specific details? 


Do you use your prior knowledge to predict what you are going to read? 


Do you use dictionary when necessary? 


How many new words and phrases you have learned? 


Do you understand the meanings of new words in the text? 


Do you reorganize your vocabulary notebook after learning? 


Do you find any other good strategy to help you read? 

10.  Do you find any other good strategy to help you learn vocabulary? 



Checklist for students to evaluate the tasks 


Please answer the following questions according to your learning by utilizing this 

set of materials.   


Part I. Please grade your satisfaction with the materials. 


© 2005


Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 




Questions Answer 

1.  Do you agree that this topic is interesting? 


__ __ __ __ __   

2.  Do you agree that this topic is relevant to your studies? 


__ __ __ __ __   

3.  Do you agree that your field knowledge helps you 

understand the text or tasks better? 

__ __ __ __ __   

4.  Do you agree that this set of materials is too challenging 

for you? 

__ __ __ __ __   

5.  Do you agree that this set of materials is too easy for 


__ __ __ __ __   

6.  Do you agree that each instruction of task is easy to 


__ __ __ __ __   

7.  Do you agree that you have more chances to interact 

with classmates when doing tasks? 

__ __ __ __ __   

8.  Do you agree that this set of materials help you use 


__ __ __ __ __   

9.  Do you agree that this set of materials increase your 

confidence in using English? 

__ __ __ __ __   

10. Do you agree that this set of materials help you learn 


__ __ __ __ __   


Part II. Please say something about tasks in the materials. 



Questions Answer 

11. Which tasks are the most interesting? 



12. Which tasks are not so interesting to you? 



13. Which tasks are more difficult for you to complete? 



14. Which tasks help you learn more? 



15. Which tasks are not so helpful in learning? 



© 2005


Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 




16. Which tasks help you use English more? 




XI.  Checklist for teachers to evaluate the tasks 


Goals and rationale 

•  To what extent is the goal or goals of the tasks obvious a) to you, b) to your 


•  Is the task appropriate to the learners’ proficiency level? 
•  To what extent does the task reflect a real-world or pedagogic rationale? Is it 


•  Does the task encourage learners to apply classroom learning to the real world? 
•  What beliefs about the nature of language and learning are inherent in the task? 
•  Is the task likely to be interesting and motivating to the students? 


•  What form does the input take? 
•  Is it authentic? 
•  If not, is it appropriate to the goal(s) of the task? 


•  Are the procedures appropriate to the goal(s) of the task? 
•  If not, can they be modified to make them more appropriate? 
•  Is the task designed to stimulate students to use bottom-up or top-down 

processing skills? 

•  Is there an information gap or problem which might prompt a negotiation of 


•  Are the procedures appropriate to the input data? 
•  Are the procedures designed in a way which will allow learners to communicate 

and cooperate in groups? 

•  Is there a leaning strategies dimension, and is this made explicit to the learners? 
•  Is there a focus on form aspect and, if so, how is this realized? 


Roles and settings 

•  What learner and teacher roles are inherent in the task? 


© 2005


Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 



•  Are they appropriate? 
•  What levels of complexity are there in the classroom organization implicit in the 


•  Is the setting confined to the classroom? 




•  Does the task actually engage the learners’ interest? 
•  Do the procedures prompt genuine communicative interaction among students? 
•  To what extent are learners encouraged to negotiate meaning? 
•  Does anything unexpected occur as the task is being carried out? 
•  What type of language is actually stimulated by the task? 
•  Is this different from what might have been predicted? 



•  Is the task at the appropriate level of difficulty for the students? 
•  If not, is there any way in which the task might be modified in order to make it 

either easier or more challenging? 

•  Is the task structured so that it can be undertaken at different levels of difficulty? 



•  What are the principles upon which tasks are sequenced? 
•  Do tasks exhibit the ‘task continuity’ principle? 
•  Are a range of macroskills integrated into the sequence of tasks? 
•  If not, can you think of ways in which they might be integrated? 
•  At the level of the unit or lesson, are communicative tasks integrated with other 

activities and exercises designed to provide learners with mastery of the 

linguistic system? 

•  If not, are there ways in which such activities might be introduced? 
•  Do tasks incorporate exercises in learning-how-to-learn? 
•  If not, are there ways in which such exercises might be introduced? 


Assessment and evaluation 

•  What means exist for the teacher to determine how successfully the learners 

have performed? 


© 2005


•  Does the task have built into it some means whereby learners might judge how 

well they have performed? 

•  Is the task realistic in terms of the resources and teacher-expertise it demands? 


Note: This Checklist for teachers to evaluate the tasks is adopted from Nunan’s 

Task-Based Language Teaching (2004), Cambridge University Press. 



Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 



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