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A Guide for Foreign Teachers of Thailand Basic Education Schools
English Language Institute, under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Basic Education Commission, Ministry of Education, has the responsibility of developing and enhancing English language teaching in all government schools and providing guidelines and training for all teachers involved.
This handbook has been published to guide and help all foreign teachers and key personnel in local Educational Service Area Offices in Thailand. It is intended to be used as a reference guide that provides information on life in Thai schools which is useful both for experienced teachers and teachers who may be new to Thailand. Also, the knowledge and information which appears in this handbook can be used as it appears or partly adapted to be used for orientation and other related processes.
In addition we have included a brief outline of supplementary lesson activity ideas and a list of language functions which are expected to be taught in our schools at every level. As well as this, a variety of learning websites and other resources have been provided in this handbook including a short list of Thai language phrases which we hope will help you in both the classroom and in your daily life.
English Language Institute
Office of the Basic Education
Ministry of Education
Introduction and Acknowledgements
For many of you, this is your first experience as teachers in Thailand. Welcome to the other side of the classroom.
Naturally there will be times when you look back on your own schooling to come up with ideas for teaching techniques, classroom management, and anything else to help you in your new role. Keep in mind that there are some important differences between Thai schools and foreign schools. Consider this opportunity as a challenge, learn from the experience and try to have a lot of fun along the way.
This handbook has been created to give you an introduction to the rules and social norms which come with this position at Thailand Basic Education schools. Please read it thoroughly and remember that you are now a professional, with new responsibilities and new adventures.
We at Office of the Basic Education Commission sincerely hope this handbook will help you in every aspect of your teaching career here in Thailand which will serve as your handy mobile friend. We wish you all the best.
Office of the Basic Education Commission
Table of Contents
Introduction and Acknowledgement B
Table of contents C
Expectation for the teachers 3
VII. Principles of Language Teaching 15
VIII. Suggested Classroom Activities 81
5. Flashcards Activities 85
IX. Language Teaching Resources 88
X. Samples of Language Teaching Activities 101
XI. Documents for Educational Service Area Office 117
Editorial Committees 125
I. As a teacher at Thai Schools
1.1. Respect for the School
As a teacher you must realize that you are working for the school. This brings with it a certain amount of accountability and responsibility. Be conscious of the fact that while you might not recognize the students or their parents outside of school, they will likely recognize you. Be careful not to tarnish the reputation or name of school by acting irresponsibly.
1.2 Respect for fellow teachers
You should do a “wai” to senior teachers . Do a “wai” the first time you see them in the day.
No tobacco, alcohol or chewing gum on school compound.
Often English teachers will be asked to tutor students after school hours. This can be a good way to earn extra cash. Ask the head of your department for details.
4. Time off
4.1 Holidays: The school observes all major Buddhist / Thai holidays.
Note: Christmas is not observed. School is open as usual.
4.2 Sick leave/Business leave: If you are ill, or unable to come to work for any reason. There are no “substitute” teachers. Contact the head of your department in advance if you have to be absent from work. Also arrange lesson plans before hand, or contact the teacher who will cover for you to give ideas for activities. It’s a good idea to get your supervisors cell number early on!
5. Health care & Insurance
Part time teachers are not covered with health care and insurance. If you need to see a doctor in case of illnesses, please contact the person in charged in your school for details, but this will be at your own expense.
6. Special Excursions/Activities
If you are invited by the school to go away on a trip or excursion, realize that this is a special opportunity. It would be inappropriate to bring along a guest or friend. Dress on such occasions would be more casual than school wear but still remember to dress conservatively.
II. Dress Code
At all times, the professional staff will set a positive example for the students by dressing in appropriate clothes. Any unusual mode of dress that calls for undue attention is discouraged. Remember to dress modestly and appropriately for your role as a teacher. The following guidelines should be adhered to:
Must have a strap across the back, or full back
Shouldn’t be too short or too tight.
Mandatory, no pants shall be worn.
Collared shirts are preferred.
Modest necklines, not too tight
T-shirt type material is inappropriate. Also, no stretch cotton.
Do not wear sleeveless to school
No bra is not allowed in school
Hair, Make-up, Jewelry
Should be modest and tasteful
Long hair should be pulled back
Hair should be dry and neat when coming to work.
Dress shoes, no sneakers
Dress pants, slacks, no jean materials
Dress shirts, polite color preferable with tie.
Hair should be neatly styled
3. General: the following policies apply to both sexes
No visible tattoos
No jean material
You may also be asked to wear coloured polos on certain days, such as pink polos every Tuesday (His Majesty the King’s colour).
Some school may ask the teachers to wears school uniform. Depend on school agreement with foreign teacher.
Colours have a special importance in Thai culture. Each day of the week is associated with a certain colour. You may notice Thais usually dress according to colours of the day. It is up to you whether you would like to do as well.
III. School Expectations
The key to a successful classroom management is being prepared for lessons, being consistent with expectations, administering fair treatment, using appropriate language and setting a positive example.
1. Expectations for the Teacher:
1.1 Be prepared for each class
1.2 Assign homework, and administer quizzes and tests at your own discretion, or in accordance with what has been decided by your ‘team’
1.3 Use the board. Remember that some of your students might have difficulty in understanding you when you speak. Do not rely on verbal instruction alone. Write all important information (test dates etc, assignments etc) on the board for clarification.
1.4 Remember to set a good example. Put in practice the behaviors you expect from your students.
1.5 Develop daily lesson plans in accordance with the curriculum and guidelines of the school. You may also be asked to develop long plans for a course.
1.6 Prepare assignments, activities, demonstrations, teaching aids, worksheets etc.
1.7 Determine teaching methods appropriate to students’ needs and capabilities, group size, topics and program objectives.
1.8 Evaluate and report pupil progress.
1.9 Sign in at the general affairs office upon arrival each day
1.10 Be sure to understand all concepts which you will teach before class time. There are grammar rules which you, as a native speaker, might have never been aware of (especially in upper Mathayom). Often we use certain grammar or vocabulary because it “sounds right”. How will you explain that to an EFL student? For example, what’s the difference between present simple, present continuous and present perfect? What is the past perfect and when do you use it in relation to the past simple? There will be times when you’ll have to teach yourself the lesson before you can expect to teach the students.
1.11 Working with a ‘team’. Most schools will have some teachers who will work with you to coordinate lesson plans and classroom activities. Meetings will be held periodically, in which you will likely plan lessons, determine the pace in which you will go through the units (when there will be a test etc.) and establish how marks will be collected.
1. Government regulation & hiring policy of foreign teachers is applied for teachers in the program.
2. Allowances paid to part-time English language teachers will be no more than 200 Baht/ period, 10,000 Baht in total/ month/ person.
3. Allowances paid to part-time teachers of other foreign languages will be no more than 200 Baht/ period, 5,000 Baht in total/ month/ person.
V. Law & Regulation Disciplinary
1. Documents under this project cannot be used to apply for or extend visas.
2. All foreign teachers should be aware of human right, children rights and any illegal activities.
3. Involving with unlawful activities, crimes, drugs are serious offence and all involve will be punished under Thai laws and automatically revoke of agreement.
VI. Social and Cultural Differences
What to expect in a Thai classroom
1. Course Content
Remember that you are here to teach English for encouraging the communicative environment for the students; it is not English class like you took in school. Most Thai children rarely have an opportunity to communicate in English in their everyday lives, so you as teachers, are providing them a unique and beneficial experience. So think more of varieties of activities for language classes and remember, if a student doesn’t speak English well it doesn’t mean they’re not a clever student.
Keep in mind that students do not have “passing periods” – no time to move from one class to another. So if the kids have to change rooms to get to your class, expect that they’ll be a little late.
Also teachers don’t always end their classes right on time, or they might hold certain students after class finished time.
This is to say, it’s important to be flexible. The kids might have a valid reason for being late, so don’t be too quick to get angry – but…at the same time…don’t let them dawdle.
3. Verbal and non-verbal communication
Smiles go a long way in Thailand. At times it’s the best way to overcome a language barrier or communication difficulties; there’s no mistaking the positive message sent by a smile.
One trick to improving communication is to use simpler words and words with literal meanings. Don’t just say the same thing but slower, think of a new way to say the same thing. Try to refrain from using idioms and slang if you are having a hard time communicating. Always annunciate and speak clearly, not too slowly, not too fast. It doesn’t take long to find a balance. You’ll quickly learn what works and what doesn’t. Remember, for many Thai students, English pronunciation is difficult to understand.
4. Punishment and Consequences for behavior
There isn’t a D-hall, or write up system like you might have had when you were in grade school. You might find it difficult to punish bad behavior. Each individual must decide on their own how to deal with unruliness.
5. Student involvement
Students may be more shy and quiet than what you may expect from foreign students. Give them some time to get to know you, then they’re likely to warm up significantly. Remember to have a sense of humor and be able to laugh at yourself. A positive rapport in the classroom will go a long way in creating a friendly environment where the students will feel comfortable speaking in a second language.
Students aren’t likely to argue or disagree with you, even if you are encouraging a debate, as this doesn’t fall in line with the ‘respect your teacher’ culture which is the norm in Thai schools.
6. Understanding your students
Remember to be flexible, tolerant, and not too quick to judge. If there is talking during a quiz, perhaps it’s because they don’t understand the directions. Keep directions short and to the point.
You’re likely to be surprised at how some students will copy their friend’s homework right in front of you in the middle of class. Don’t be afraid to take up their work and not tolerate the copying!
7. Practice of Buddhist society
Roughly 95% of Thai people practice Buddhism. It will be helpful if you familiarize yourself with Buddhist culture a bit before arriving. You are definitely welcome in Thailand, but realize and respect that this is a different culture. The following list will help acquaint you with some cultural differences.
Thailand: Cultural Background for ESL/EFL Teachers
Journal by Tuong Hung Nguyen, Ph.D.
Cuyahoga Community College
’Do good, receive good; do evil, receive evil’
The Kingdom of Thailand is situated in the center of Southeast Asia, bordering Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia. The country is shaped like the head of an elephant with the trunk pointing south. Covering a total area of 514,000 sq km (198,445 sq mi), Thailand is rich in agricultural and mineral resources, making it more prosperous than many other nations in the Far East. Thailand has a population of 64 million (2003), of which 75 percent are Thai – a Mongoloid subgroup with a light complexion. The largest minority is the Chinese (14%) and other minority groups include Malay, Khmer and Vietnamese inhabitants. The official national language, spoken by a large majority of the population, is Thai. Lao,Chinese, Malay and Khmer are also spoken in Thailand. English, a mandatory subject in secondary schools, is widely used in commerce and government, particularly in Bangkok and other major cities.
Although Thailand has an ancient civilization, with Bronze Age artifacts from as early as 4000 BC, it did not emerge as a kingdom until the 13th century under the first known King Mengrai. The country engaged in successive wars with Burma and Cambodia, and then was exposed to European powers, resulting in the loss of territory in the east to France (1893) and in the south to Britain (1909). In a bloodless coup d’etat in 1932, the absolute monarchy was replaced by a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentarian form of government. During World War II, the country was occupied by the Japanese. Over the next several decades, the political arena was very unstable with violent student demonstrations, rampant coups and intermittent military governments. Consequently, Thailand suffered at the hands of all these political upheavals. While the nation’s political situation has become more stable toward the end of the 20th century, Thailand has begun to face numerous social problems resulting from the rapid economic changes.
Thais are very proud of their nation - the only country in Southeast Asia that has never felt the yoke of foreign domination or colonialism throughout its long history. To this effect, Siam (as it was known to the world until 1939) was renamed Prathet Thai or ‘Thailand’ meaning ‘Land of the Free.’ Briefly, the main elements that have molded Thailand’s cultural identity can be stated in the unswerving allegiance to independence, the sagacity of diplomacy, the loyalty to the monarchy, the deep-rooted belief in Buddhism and the love of family.
Buddhism, the national religion of Thailand, is the professed faith of 95 percent of the population. The rest of the population embraces other religions, such as Islam, Christianity and Hinduism. The basic tenets of Buddhism can be summarized as follows:
Thai culture is closely associated with Buddhist teachings. One is expected to do tum bun ‘good deeds’ or make merit in one way or another. Thais are apt to support charities and social activities. Many Thai men spend several months as monks in their life for this purpose. Thais have been known to be very good-natured and easy-going. When something unfortunate happens, a Thai usually says mai pen rai, a phrase meaning ‘no problem’ or ‘it doesn’t matter.’ This comes from Buddhist ideals of peace and harmony, of avoiding conflict or displays of emotion. It is true that smiling comes easily to most Thai people. That is why they have nicknamed their country Muang Yim - ‘Land of Smiles.’
Like most other Asian cultures, Thai values are more or less influenced by Confucianism. They are chiefly: filial piety, respect for age, seniority and hierarchy, face, deference, dignity, honor, true friendship, dislike of pomposity and arrogance, interest in learning, and belief in moderation.
Family ties and filial piety play an important role in Thai society. Several generations may live in the same household and take good care of one another. Thais have a very high respect for parents and the elderly. Children are taught from childhood to follow the advice of their elders. They are not taught to talk back or voice contrasting views. Ancestor veneration is a hyphen between the dead and the living and a strong tie between members of the same ancestry. Familial respect and respectability is extended to respect for authority and status in Thai hierarchical society. For example, it would be very offensive to make a joke about the King and Queen or to lick a stamp with the King’s picture. These respectful attitudes are evident in linguistic behavior. Thai abounds in kinship terms that can show the right degree of respect, deference and intimacy.
Thais highly value friendship and tend to seek friendships of a permanent nature. They distinguish between ‘eating friends’ who only appear when in good times and ‘friends to death’ who are always there in good or bad times. Good friends for Thais are reliable and tried-and-true friends. To perpetuate friendship, Thais use kinship terms (e.g., older brother, younger sister depending on age) to address each other, as if they were blood siblings. Specifically, Thai friends of mine are gracious, sensitive and considerate of others’ feelings while still respecting each other’s privacy.
As is true of most Asian cultures, public displays of male-female affection are not common among Thais, although members of the same sex may touch or hold hands with each other. The traditional and most usual form of greeting is the wai - each person puts the palms together, with fingers at the chest, and bows slightly to the other person. The higher the wai and the lower the head, the more respect is shown. The wai can mean not only ‘hello’, but also ‘thank you,’ ‘good-bye’ or even ‘I’m sorry.’ However, those who come in contact with Western culture have become accustomed to the handshake. Touching someone’s head or pointing at something with the feet is a taboo. Beckoning should be done with the palm down while pointing at someone is considered rude.
Since education is free and compulsory for all children between the ages of 7 and 15, Thailand has a high literacy rate of 94 percent, compared to that of most other countries of Southeast Asia. Children go to either public primary schools or those operated by Buddhist monasteries. Nowadays, many people can afford to study at American high schools, colleges and universities on their own or through teacher and student exchange programs.
Thai full names have the same order as Western names: given name + surname, with no middle name. Two typical names, for example, are Malee Amatayakul and Somchai Sookmahk. In addressing, Thai people use the given name or, more politely, a title plus the given name. In this case khun, meaning Mr., Mrs. or Miss, is put before the given name, e.g., Khun Somchai or Khun Malee. A kinship term (e.g., older brother or uncle) or professional term (e.g., Dr.) may also be placed before the given name in addressing when the relationship is clear. As a traditional practice, Thai wives take their husbands’ surnames, as do their children.
While Thai people still believe in Buddhist philosophy of life and Confucian values, many of the practices are changing as people are adopting new fashions, customs, and ways of living from the West. However, many Thais do not see this development as a need to change their religious and traditional values. For many Thais, to be westernized is not always complimentary.
In the United States, Thais make up a smaller community than those from other Southeast Asian countries. Thai immigration to America did not start until the Vietnam War, during which time the U.S. established army bases on Thai soil and Thais became aware of immigration possibilities to the U.S. Unlike people from other countries in Indochina, Thais did not come to America as refugees. The largest groups of Thai immigrants have settled in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C, Houston and New York City. One of the most common Thai businesses in the U.S. is their cuisine. Thai people who moved to America as adults often have trouble learning to speak English. A language problem often results when their children may not like to speak English at home and they do not speak English well enough. One of the biggest concerns facing Asian immigrants is the question of how to maintain their cultural identity as reflected in their way of life, behavior, customs and language while blending in mainstream American culture.
In the Classroom
As in most other Asian countries, traditional Thai culture places a very high value on learning. Because of this, teachers are highly respected and are typically considered as being knowledgeable and authoritative.
Out of respect, Thai students may not feel as comfortable asking questions and/or voicing their opinions as Western students. Don’t be frustrated at their unwillingness to participate in discussions or challenge your ideas. Eliciting a response can be difficult sometimes, but this should not be taken as non-cooperative on the part of the students.
A teacher of English can expect to find Thai learners admirably industrious and well behaved. They listen attentively and take notes very carefully.
Some basic knowledge of Thai history, language and culture is always useful in order to make your teaching more pleasant or at least to avoid certain faux pas. It may help you understand or predict your students’ problems or behavior.
A salient feature of Thai learning style is rote memorization. Students tend to spend considerable time memorizing grammar rules and vocabulary at the expense of oral practice. As a result, most Thai learners of English have better reading and writing skills than listening and speaking abilities. A more active communication-oriented method may help balance their performance.
Thai is a tonal language with five different tones. As such, the meaning of the same word may change depending on which tone is being used. Thai is written in the Thai alphabet (one derived from the Indian alphabet Devanagari) that runs across the page from left to right. Because English is taught in secondary schools, most Thais are familiar with the Roman alphabet.
Thai speakers learning English often have problems pronouncing /δ/, /θ/, /∫/, /z/, /ʒ/, and /v/ because these are absent in the first language. They often find it hard to pronounce the initial consonant clusters that do not occur in Thai, such as /dr/, /fl/, /fr/, /sl/, /sp/, /st/ and /sw/. In addition, Thai learners tend to drop final consonants (e.g., light is pronounced as lie) or reduce final consonant clusters (e.g., lunch becomes lun). English rhythm also presents another problem to Thai learners. Specifically, they have difficulty speaking English with correct stress patterns in polysyllabic words due to their tendency to give equal stress and timing to each syllable. More practice in the reduced or weak forms is also necessary.
Thai grammar is very different from that of English. Because Thai is an uninflected language, nouns and verbs do not change their forms for Number, Gender, Case or Person, but instead separate words are used for such purposes. Therefore, English inflections are generally confusing and cause frequent errors to Thai learners in terms of number, agreement, tenses, aspects, and irregular verbs. These differences should be taken into consideration when teaching classes of mixed nationalities.
Although Thai also has a Subject-Verb-Object structure, the subject and object are often left out within clear contexts. Thai learners often carry this pro-drop feature to English, wrongly producing subjectless or objectless sentences. The use or non-use of articles in English often confuses Thai learners since there are no articles in Thai noun phrases. Adjectives occur after the noun they modify. However, since many adjectives in Thai can behave like verbs, this can lead students to omit the copula be in English (e.g., *That book good).
Because having fun is an important part in Thai lifestyle, a ‘learning while having fun’ approach can be very effective to most Thai students.
To their annoyance, some teachers note that Asian students tend to help each other during tests or look over others’ shoulders. It is a good idea to give several variations of the test, give an open-book exam, or assign group work and grade them according to it.
Face is important in the classroom. Therefore, in classes of mixed ages, to make sure that older learners are not to be cornered or made to lose face, give them more opportunities and encouragement.
American people in general and teachers in particular are very friendly and helpful. Many students observe that American teachers are much more informal in the classroom with regard to addressing, dress, and even teaching style.
Some Thai learners feel more comfortable having everything written down on the board and having more structured lessons. Some think that American teachers speak too fast.
Some Thai students have difficulty adapting to a new environment. They are not used to the weather, food, social behavior, cultural customs, language, learning methods, laws, etc. They are often shocked by American freedom of speech, divorce rates, gun and crime issues.
One Thai student mentions that corporal punishment (e.g., whipping) can be used in Thai schools to discipline children and their parents support this. Because teachers are revered in their country, Thais don’t understand why students can be disrespectful to teachers.
* A first version of this paper appeared in a multicultural project at Northeast ABLE Resource Center (Ohio).
Axtell, Roger. 1991. Gestures: the Do’s and Taboos of Body Language around the World. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Brigham Young University and eMSTAR, Inc. 1999. Culturgram 2000: Kingdom of Thailand. Brigham Young University, UT: David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies.
Dresser, Norine. 1996. Multicultural Manners: New Rules of Etiquette for a Changing Society. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Fieg, John. 1989. A Common Core: Thais and Americans. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.
Microsoft. 2005. Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2005. CD-ROM.
Swan, Michael, and Smith, Bernard. (eds.) 1987. Learner English: A Teacher’s Guide to Interference and Other Problems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
VII. Principles of Language Teaching
Adapted from: http://www.nclrc.org
Structure the Lesson
A language lesson should include a variety of activities that combine different types of language input and output. Learners at all proficiency levels benefit from such variety; research has shown that it is more motivating and is more likely to result in effective language learning.
An effective lesson has five parts:
The five parts of a lesson may all take place in one class session or may extend over multiple sessions, depending on the nature of the topic and the activities.
The lesson plan should outline who will do what in each part of the lesson. The time allotted for preparation, presentation, and evaluation activities should be no more than 8-10 minutes each. Communication practice activities may run a little longer.
As the class begins, give students a broad outline of the day’s goals and activities so they know what to expect. Help them focus by eliciting their existing knowledge of the day’s topics.
Move from preparation into presentation of the linguistic and topical content of the lesson and relevant learning strategies. Present the strategy first if it will help students absorb the lesson content.
Presentation provides the language input that gives students the foundation for their knowledge of the language. Input comes from the instructor and from course textbooks. Language textbooks designed for students in U.S. universities usually provide input only in the form of examples; explanations and instructions are written in English. To increase the amount of input that students receive in the target language, instructors should use it as much as possible for all classroom communication purposes.
An important part of the presentation is structured output, in which students practice the form that the instructor has presented. In structured output, accuracy of performance is important. Structured output is designed to make learners comfortable producing specific language items recently introduced.
Structured output is a type of communication that is found only in language classrooms. Because production is limited to preselected items, structured output is not truly communicative.
In this part of the lesson, the focus shifts from the instructor as presenter to the students as completers of a designated task. Students work in pairs or small groups on a topic-based task with a specific outcome. Completion of the task may require the bridging of an information gap. The instructor observes the groups an acts as a resource when students have questions that they cannot resolve themselves.
In their work together, students move from structured output to communicative output, in which the main purpose is to complete the communication task. Language becomes a tool, rather than an end in itself. Learners have to use any or all of the language that they know along with varied communication strategies. The criterion of success is whether the learner gets the message across. Accuracy is not a consideration unless the lack of it interferes with the message.
Activities for the practice segment of the lesson may come from a textbook or be designed by the instructor.
When all students have completed the communication practice task, reconvene the class as a group to recap the lesson. Ask students to give examples of how they used the linguistic content and learning or communication strategies to carry out the communication task.
Evaluation is useful for four reasons:
Expansion activities allow students to apply the knowledge they have gained in the classroom to situations outside it. Expansion activities include out-of-class observation assignments, in which the instructor asks students to find examples of something or to use a strategy and then report back
Topic: Future Tense with Will
Objectives: By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
- ask and answer questions using the future tense
- discuss future events and possibilities with “will”
- discuss the future of their communities/parks/reserves
Time: 1 hours
Materials needed : Pictures of community
Paper, Markers, color pencils….
Presentation 1 :
Teacher tells a story about what she will do when shereturns to the United States. Then she asks the students some questions about the story and about what they will do when they return to their communities. Use a calendar to show that events will take place in the future. Teacher then presents the basic sentence structure:
I will + verb (action), You will visit....
Together the class and teacher create 5 sentences about the future of [community] by brainstorming, “what will [community] be like in 10 years?” Use the community where the course is currently taking place.
If students are getting this quickly, you can now introduce the contractions: I will = I’ll, You will = you’ll, He will = he’ll, etc.
Each student answers the question, “What will your town be like in 10 years?” They each write about 10 sentences. Then they present their responses to the class and discuss. They are encouraged to think about this in terms of conservation and tourism.
Teacher asks questions with will and solicits responses. Teacher has students repeat the questions, now that they know how to provide the responses.
Student interviews their friends using questions similar to the followings:
Students write the sentences from the interview on their own notebooks.
Follow up activity:
Students make poster of their community in 10 years and put up on displays.
- Observe students performance in asking and answering questions/ interviewing using the future tense.
- Observe students participation in group works and individual.
- Evaluate students work.
Adapted from: http://parksinperil.org/./d_1_l_08_sample_english_lesson_plan
Adapted from: http://www.nclrc.org
Listening is the language modality that is used most frequently. It has been estimated that adults spend almost half their communication time listening, and students may receive as much as 90% of their in-school information through listening to instructors and to one another. Often, however, language learners do not recognize the level of effort that goes into developing listening ability.
Far from passively receiving and recording aural input, listeners actively involve themselves in the interpretation of what they hear, bringing their own background knowledge and linguistic knowledge to bear on the information contained in the aural text. Not all listening is the same; casual greetings, for example, require a different sort of listening capability than do academic lectures. Language learning requires intentional listening that employs strategies for identifying sounds and making meaning from them.
Listening involves a sender (a person, radio, television), a message, and a receiver (the listener). Listeners often must process messages as they come, even if they are still processing what they have just heard, without backtracking or looking ahead. In addition, listeners must cope with the sender's choice of vocabulary, structure, and rate of delivery. The complexity of the listening process is magnified in second language contexts, where the receiver also has incomplete control of the language.
Given the importance of listening in language learning and teaching, it is essential for language teachers to help their students become effective listeners. In the communicative approach to language teaching, this means modeling listening strategies and providing listening practice in authentic situations: those that learners are likely to encounter when they use the language outside the classroom.
Goals and Techniques for Teaching Listening
Strategies for Developing Listening Skills
Developing Listening Activities
Using Textbook Listening Activities
Assessing Listening Proficiency
Material for this section was drawn from “Listening in a foreign language” by Ana Maria Schwartz, in Modules for the professional preparation of teaching assistants in foreign languages (Grace Stovall Burkart, ed.; Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics, 1998)