Oct 17.

1. Lesson/task description before

  • Subject matter: Practice using Present Perfect & Present Perfect Continuous. 
  • Thinking: help learners to build and apply the model for new verb forms Present Perfect & Present Perfect Continuous.

Materials/tasks I am going to use

2. Lesson/task description – after
Procedures (how we worked: time, organisation, etc.)

The teacher reminded about one rule students came up with during the previous lesson: Action Completeness (Completed HAVE Ved and Not-completed HAVE BEEN Ving). The I asked which sentences from their hometask exercise support this rule. Students gave some examples (I’ve written to Auntie to wish her happy birthday. VS I’ve been writing my essays all morning). Then I asked what about other sentences from their exercise, how do they explain the choice of this or that verb form. There was silence. So I took one example from the exercise – Paula’s been leaving work late all this week. VS Paula’s left work early today to meet her uncle. So I asked how they imagine two these actions. Students tried to formulate their vision. Then I asked how many time does the action of leaving happen in the first sentence and how many in the second sentence. Students replied respectively, several times and once. Then I said if we can formulate the rule via ENV, what would be the parameter and values. So we agreed on calling it Action repetition: action repeated and not repeated. I asked for which other examples from the exercise they could apply this rule. Students gave some examples. We proceeded in the same way with all other parameters in the model. When the model was ready I asked students to do one exercise where they had to put the verb in the correct tense. They also had to explain their choice via their model. We checked the task together and their hometask was to do some exercises on Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continous. When the model was ready I also paid they attention to the fact that the difference between the Present Perfect/Present Perfect Continuous is the same as for Past Perfect/Past Perfect Continuous so they do not have to remember separate ‘rules’ because parameters and values in these cases are the same.

Learners’ response and outputs (how they responded to the task and what they actually did in the lesson)
Learners provided input from their exercise to build the rule. They also applied the model when doing the exercise.

Teacher’s role (what the teacher actually did and how)
The teacher extracted information from students to formulate together the rule via ENV model. The teacher also selected examples of sentences and asked students to analyse them.

3. Overall reflection on the lesson / task

Aim aspect (to what extent did we reach the aims?)

I would say that in general the aim was reached. The model was build with the help of students input. At the same time, the amount of analysis students made was too low and the level of teacher’s input was too high.

Tasks & materials aspect (how did we work on the tasks to reach the aim? Please make specific references to the steps of the thinking task framework)

As mentioned in the previous reflection on Speaking about the Past II, I did not have checking knowledge before offering students to build the model. At the same time, the challenge was present as students had to do exercise at home for which they did not have a full rule.
Step 2 was very much teacher controlled, the model was actually built by the teacher. Though students were asked to provide their input they did not provide much of it so I felt more ‘giving’ then ‘building together’. At the same time, as students are not used to this kind of work, probably, this is only natural that teacher’s input is much more than students’. What worries me more is that I do not provide enough possibility and control for model application. Though, students do exercises at home I believe I do not control how they apply and change their models as the result of working with the task. As I mentioned in one of my reflections or replies to comments, I need to insist on applying the model in a written form (do exercise and then provide explanation in a written form via ENV). This seems so natural but I arrived at this idea only now.
Another thing which bothers me as that I do not have any kind of reflection. I drop out model application, do not arrive at the introduction of the idea collecting banks and so there is obviously nothing to reflect on. These are aspects I have to work on.

During the next lesson we checked their exercise and every time I asked to explain their tense choice via ENV but I believe I have to provide more practice and control (collect written tasks) and somehow make students work on improving the model.
Students went on holidays and I am planning to sum up all past tenses via ENV (merge two models) to make students see a bigger system and then make them practice applying it and this time have more control of model application.

Questions / conclusions for the future

  • I need to control how I go through the system, I skip important elements (checking knowledge, enough model application practice, reflection);
  • Model application has to be better controlled, written tasks with explanation via ENV have to be offered. Probably, I also have to insist on putting down new examples under every rule. Need to figure out how to do it;
  • The idea of collecting banks is not used at all. I am not yet ready to work with it. I need to keep this in mind and try to introduce banks in my work.


# Alexander Sokol 2011-12-03 20:51
Renata, they key problem may be hiding behind the words 'control how I go through the system'. It should be they who are going through the system, not you. Do you think they feel they are? Are they aware that there are stages (parts of the system) and each of them has a purpose? I'd be planning improvement along these lines.
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