Parameters within a limited time frame

On the 10th of December 2013 I attended Irina Buchinska’s lesson in form 11 (lesson duration: 10.35-11.15)

As far as I understood the thinking aim was students to be able to come up with the parameters within a limited time period. They were also supposed to link their parameters with their aims within the task.

Materials used: texts of Salinger and Castaneda, computers

2. Lesson / task description – after

Procedures (how they worked: time, organisation, etc.)

Teacher’s role (what the teacher actually did and how)

Learners’ response and outputs (how they responded to the task and what they actually did in the lesson)

Defining the problems



T asked Ls what they had done last Tuesday and what problems they had faced. She collected Ls’s responses on the screen.

Ls’s responses:

They had problems with the content and more specifically with the number of parameters. Their major problem was that they couldn’t come up with a big number of ideas within a limited period of time.

Setting the limits



T asked Ls what number of parameters to consider appropriate and how long limited period should last. She collected Ls’s responses on the screen.

Several answers were given but they agreed on 4-5 parameters to produce. Three students spoke about the limitations of the period: 10 min, 15 min and 20 min. But it was agreed on 15 min (that is 3 min per parameter)

Comparing two texts


Teacher-class Individual work

T asked Ls to compare two texts they had read previously (Salinger and Castaneda) and to tell which text is better. They were asked to come up with 5 parameters to compare. When Ls asked about limitations, T aroused a discussion. After that T monitored and commented on some works.

When Ls got the task, one of them asked about limitations (i.e. “in what way should the text be better?”) After a brief discussion they realised that these limits depend on their aim. So the learners started doing their task with putting down their aim. After that Ls proceeded with doing the task set.

During their individual work, the following ideas were collected:

The most frequent aim: to improve my English skills

The most frequent parameters: to find new information, main idea, my life connection, my interests, to understand the content, to do some exercises based on the text, for working at the lessons, usage in the analysis.



Individual work


T asked Ls to put down what difficulties they had faced when doing the task. Then she put down some of the problems.

Some of Ls’s responses:

- values don’t have similar meaning;

-to find parameters;

-to find values for the parameters;

-to come up with ideas.


Checking connection with the aim



T asked some Ls to name the parameters they had come up with and to check their connection with their aims. She asked Ls to think whether their aims were specific enough. After each response there was a discussion of the correspondence of the parameters with the Ls’s aim.

L1’s response:

Aim: good for learning English at school


-aim of the text;


-content (learn from the text);

L2’s response:

Aim: the same


-aim; -size; -conclusions; -vocabulary; -topicality.

After each response there was a discussion of the correspondence of the parameters with the Ls’s aim.


3. Overall reflection on the lesson / task

  • The aim was partly achieved because although Ls managed to produce a number of parameters, the parameters were not really relevant because they didn’t have the correspondence with the Ls’s aims.
  • Tasks & materials aspect: first, Ls identified their problem; then, they discussed the means of solving the problem; after that they tried to apply their ideas when doing a practical task; finally, they reflected upon the difficulties they had faced and on the quality of their work.
  • Questions / conclusions for the future:

How to work with making the aim specific? How to decide whether the aim is specific enough?

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