Date: 18.02.2013.

Teacher: Inna Petersone

Observer: Inessa Spelkova

Form 10

FUTURE FORMS

1. Lesson / task description - before

Aims

In terms of subject matter: to teach SS recognise future forms in the context

In terms of thinking: help learners find structures of future forms and build the rule for distinguishing 4 future forms using ENV.

Materials:  handouts with 16 sentences including different structures for expressing future (will, going to, Present Simple, Present Continuous)

2. Lesson / task description – after

Abbreviations: T - teacher, SS - students.

Step 1. T gives the SS handouts with utterances and asks to underline a subject and a predicate in each sentence (10 min.). SS do it individually, T. monitors.

T→S1, S2, S3.... checking (10-15 min.) the attention is drawn to the fact that they are speaking about the future.

Step 2. T asks the SS to sort out the subjects with predicates in groups (5 min.).

Step 3. Whole class discussion.

T: How many groups have you got?

S1: Three

S2: Four

S3: Five or six.

T: OK, let`s start with the fewer number of goups. How did you divide the sentences?

S1: ' will' , ' going to', ' do you finish'.

S1 cannot explain the 3rd group (' do you finish') , he has got only one utterance in this group.

T: You cannot put only one utterance into a group. Let`s have a look what other utterances are possible there.

The discussion took quite a lot time, and SS didn`t manage to find out the other groups.

3. Overall reflection on the lesson / task

During the lesson the SS worked on finding the subject and predicate of each sentence (though some were confused) and divided them  in different groups, giving their arguments for sorting out. The teacher was not dominant, while she managed the lesson quite successfully trying to get responces fronm SS.

At the next lesson the work will continue. The T is going to discuss the role of Present Simple and Present Continuous in expressing future and  work on creating ENV model.

# Alexander Sokol 2013-02-25 17:54
Inessa, thanks a lot for sharing. I think there are quite a few things we could discuss on the basis of these reflections. I'd just like to ask you to add the handout itself to the Materials section or just post a link to it if it's published elsewhere. Then it'd be easier to discuss more productively.

1. I think it's important to be more specific about the aim. I am sure students already know some structures used for the future, don't they? So, what was a specific aim re structures in this particular lesson? When the aim is clearly defined, it's much easier to choose the right way to respond to what's happening in the lesson.
Let me also point out that in an absolute majority of cases it is IMPOSSIBLE to make an ENV model on the difference as a result of a sorting task. Thus, it's not a valid aim for a sorting task.

2. Why was it necessary to ask students to underline the subject and the predicate in each sentence? Judging by the reflection, it only made the task more difficult for learners as they didn't really know what the subject and the predicate were, did they?

3. I am not sure I understand the teacher's remark about it being impossible to put one sentence in a group. Why is it impossible? As long as the task doesn't require students to put a certain number of sentences into groups, one sentence is a valid possibility, isn't it? In fact, the situation seems to have been a good opportunity to deal with the question of a good classification, ie what are the acceptable ways of grouping and why. Following this strand would have made it possible to clearly move through the steps of the Thinking Task Framework.

4. Why is the next lesson going to be dedicated to Present Simple and Present Continuous expressing future? How is it connected with the problems encountered at the lesson described?

5. An important aspect of any task is contextualisation, ie why students have to do this or that. Was the task you've described contextualised? Was it clear to the learners why they were doing the task? I am afraid this is the aspect we often forget about and as a result learning becomes very artificial to many of the learners.

Ok, this is probably enough for having some exchange on these issues. Looking forward to the colleagues' opinions.
# Irina Buchinska 2013-03-03 16:20
Hello, perhaps a little bit late, but anyway :).

1. Underlining the predicate is helpful to train students find the whole form, otherwise they miss some parts e.g. is going to- they may interprete as just 'is'. There must be other ways, of course, how to help students to see the whole form and for the teacher to understand if the students deal properly with a verb structure, so I understand why Inna did this.

2. Speaking about future is a pretty challenging theme in terms of building a model, you should speak here about the function/s of the structures not just about the time reference, and if students don't see the function of the grammar structure it will be twice more difficult for them. So I think, the teacher should be very careful when introducing this topic not to make the task too challenging for the students, what I mean is that you should split the process into smaller steps - e.g. the difference between 'will do' and 'am going to do' - for plans and intentions, or whatever you call that, so the sorting will be for these two forms and the model, in fact mini-model will be for these two forms, then to introduce ' am doing' to the model and work with features of the three forms. In fact the first thing for the teacher to do is to build their own ENV model for certain atructure and then to learn not to impose this model on students, but use it to help understand where the students will be stuck.

3. Though I agree with Alexander that it is impossible to build a model using a sorting exercise, it is possible to use the groups you have got after sorting as data/bank for further analysis

It would be easier for me to comment if you asked specific questions.
# Inessa Spelkova 2013-03-04 19:55
Hello!
Thanks for your comments. I`ll try to answer some questions. In terms of aims - I put down Inna`s aims. reflecting this lesson, I tried not to give any evaluation, but to describe it in details so that it is clear what the T and SS did during the lesson. As I am very inexperienced in the field of TA, it was difficult for me to analyse the lesson from this point of view. I think, Alexandr,your questions mosly refer to Inna. Hope, she will be able to explain everything.
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