Date: October 31, 2013

Place: Rezekne Music secondary school

Students: Year 1 ( form 10)

Teacher: Inna Petersone

Observer: I. Bucinska

Grammar lesson

Language Theme: Speaking about general, present and pre-present

Thinking aim:  Concept questions – building a draft model

Background- the students worked with a system on “Speaking about past”, they had a model and wrote a test. During the previous lesson they wrote a diagnostic test on the topic   ‘Speaking about general, present and pre-present’ The results varied.  

Ttask 1 – find the structures in the text – there was the range of results from 5 to 15 out of 18;

Task 2 – fill in the gaps with one of the structures the result from 0 to 7 out of 10

Task 3 – write a text using all possible forms.  None of the students used all possible structures and made many mistakes.

The results showed the teacher and the students the necessity of working on the area. 

1. The teacher asked the students to refer to the previous work on the Past and they recalled that they talked about 2 parameters. Time: past/pre-past and length: long/short.

2. The teacher gives a handout with the task on different examples of

"Water boils,Water is boiling; Water has boiled; Water has been boiling" + 4 concept questions.

- What time is the speaker referring to?

-Does the speaker want to show that the action lasts?

-Does the speaker want to show when the action starts?

-Does the speaker want to show when the action ends?

Before the lesson we discussed with Inna the role and the meaning of the last 2 questions and couldn’t decide if we need them or not or at least the last one. At the end of the lesson it turned out that we needed.

3. The students translate the sentences  as a group and do the Concept question task individually.

4. The teacher asks to write the verb structure for every sentence on the handout with the task, again individually.

The result. The students gave their ideas and the teacher puts them on the Smart board

 Sentence 1 V1 ( he she it V1+S)

Sentence 2 am/is/are Ving

Sentence 3 Has/have + Ved – the question was if it is V2 or V3 – the teacher with one of the students gave the correct answer – V3

Sentence 4 have/has + been + Ving

The discussion.

Students give their answers and the teachers asks for several ideas and puts the common decision on the board

V1/s   Time of the action: Present general;  Length of the action: short

Is/am/are + Ving  - present; a long action + a time line + discusion and comparison of the time line for this form and Present Simple ( the previous)

Have/has V3 –   Students’ ideas about the time of the action: present;  past; The teacher started asking questions - Is it about now? Do we know when the water boiled? Is it about past? When did it happen?

The students pretty quickly came up with the answers before present – pre- present –as analogy of the pre-past  they already knew, and it was a good signal in my vision. Somebody offered the idea of 'past and present'  

The teacher asked them to give the names to the structures – Present Simple;  Present Continuous/ Present perfect simple/ presentperfect continuous. Actually this topic wasn't absolutely new for them, but the problem is that although they know the structures and the names, they still can't use them properly, or even sometime just find them in a text.

5. The teacher gave the students their diagnostic tests, the task where they had to  find verb structures and asked them to do this task one more time. I think it was a good idea as it connected the task they has just done, and which now was a tool  how to improve their tasks and correct mistakes.

I would advise Inna to encourage the students to ask more questions and not to hurry to put down the correct answer but to listen to more ideas with students’ explanation of their point of view.  

The first lesson of the two  is over.

Lesson 2.

The teacher ask after the long break when they came into the classroom: Have you eaten? ( meaning the break time) And a short discussion went on about the verb form chosen by the teacher. I think it was  good  that the teacher connects theory and real life situation.

1. Students continue the work started before the break- finding and underlining  structures from  the text of the diagnostic test. They are doing it on the interactive board after having done it on their worksheets. Some students still mix the forms – like 'a saving' vs 'am saving'; 'have some' vs' have', so the task seems to be useful. The teacher used the examples from the text to refer one more time to what verb form we use in Present Perfect - V2 or V3, now it was obvious taht V3.

The student has underlined – ‘their’ the teacher asks- what are we looking for? ‘verbs’ – Is ‘their’ a verb? – No. -  it’s a good step of the teacher to bring the students to focus on what they are doing.

The task took pretty much time, but I think it was worth doing it.

Advice – when there is a mistake don’t  talk only  to the student who has made it, involve other students as well.   

2. The teacher asks the students to compare all the verb structures. The teacher asks which forms we use to speak about the time “around present’. The students give the forms.

3. The teacher asks the students to compare the structures. The teacher asks ‘How can we compare?’ No answer. The teacher makes the task easier and asks “According to which parameters  can we compare the structures?’ Here the students give the parameters- Time, Length, Knowledge of when the action starts/ends.

4. The teacher draws a table with verb structures vertically and parameters horisontally on the board and asks the students to fill it in.  The students fill it in and then compare and discuss. In fact all at least agreed with the offered values.

 5. The students do the task on filling in the gaps with a correct verb structures, analysing the situation according to the model they have just made.  

The first sentence gives 2 variants of answers – have written/have been writing – reference to the model helped to make a choice. All the other sentences were also explained by the model. The problem was in the parameter ‘length’ – for the students it was pretty difficult as they see all actions as long. For me it is a problem as well, btw :)

Home task – to analyse and explain the use of the verb structures from the diagnostic test using the model and the context.

 I liked the lesson, I liked the atmosphere, I liked that all students were involved and participated in the discussion, of course some more some less, some quicker, some slower, but I think that each of them has taken the most important points of the lesson.




# Alexander Sokol 2013-10-31 23:22
Thanks, Irina and Inna. Could I ask you to add the links to the actual tasks and diagnostic tests you are referring to? It would be much easier to understand what was actually going on.
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