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Contractions: Conversation in English as a Second Language


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Andrew Winters

Purdue University

EDCI 270: Case 1: Page:

Contractions: Conversation in English as a Second Language



A lesson for a 6th Grade Thailand English Class
Part A

Overview:

Part of learning a language is being able to have conversations in the language you are learning. When a person who is born learns his native language, verbal communication is the primary tool with which the knowledge of language is gained. The common knowledge of language communication should be remembered when teaching a new language. Recent reforms in requirement for English Language Education in Thailand focus on a learner centered classroom. (de Segovia, L., & Hardison, 154)

“A learner-centred environment is designed to provide learners with more

autonomy, with the goal of enhancing the learning process through

interaction to develop communicative competence. Therefore,

communicatively oriented pedagogic tasks involving authentic materials

are the mainstay of classroom activity.” (de Segovia, L., & Hardison, 155)

As stated above and as understood by common sense, conversation inside a language is vital to learn that language and make it useful. Therefore this lesson will focus on the proper use of contractions in the verbal communication of the English language.

Learning Objectives:

Before this lesson, it is expected that students will be unfamiliar with and unable to use common contractions in English language communication. This lesson will implement a worksheet, teacher instruction and examples, and verbal work between pairs. After the lesson students should be able to use and understand some common English contractions in verbal and written communication.

Teaching Standards:

The standard for an English classroom in Thailand is that of a learner centered classroom. Once again:

“A learner-centred environment is designed to provide learners with more

autonomy, with the goal of enhancing the learning process through

interaction to develop communicative competence. Therefore,

communicatively oriented pedagogic tasks involving authentic materials

are the mainstay of classroom activity.” (de Segovia, L., & Hardison, 155)



This is accomplished by focusing on the students’ needs under the following conditions:

“1- the role of learners in the learning process;

2- the social nature of learning as seen in the use of pair and group work

promoting interaction and cooperative learning;

3- the recognition of individual differences among learners;

4- an emphasis on meaning versus rote learning;

5- the presentation of language forms in context;

6- the role of teachers as facilitators of learning through active engagement of learners in the process.”

(de Segovia, L., & Hardison, 155)

Summarizing these objectives, in order for students to learn effectively the English language needs to be taught so that it is important for the students to both learn and understand the usefulness of the English language.

Required Materials:


  1. A chalkboard

  2. A computer with internet access and a printer.

  3. Enough printed worksheets for everyone in the class. (If paper or toner needs to be conserved, pairs of students can share 1 worksheet.) (English for Everyone Organization, 1)

  4. Any English song that is popular in Thailand, with a contraction in the lyrics. (i.e. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”) either a CD or mp3.

  5. Computer speakers or a boombox


Procedures:

  1. Once the students are in the class and are seated, start the song at a place close to the line with the English grammar contraction. Play through the selected lyric. Do not play the song too long past the English contraction; you want their attention and some excitement, but not chaos.

  2. Write the lyric with the contraction on the blackboard. Quiet the classroom. Ask if anyone will raise their hand to read the lyric.

  3. Once a student has read the line, circle the contracted word. Ask if anyone knows what the word means.

  4. Affirm or clarify the meaning and explain how the contracted word is two words joined together with an apostrophe. Make sure you label the contracted word as a “contraction”. Use the chalkboard to illustrate. Write out both non-contracted words, and show how they became contracted. (i.e: He + is = He’s )

  5. Explain how in English it is common for two words to be joined together with an apostrophe during conversation.

  6. Write, or have pre-written examples on the chalkboard. (I + am = I’m) (do + not = don’t) (they + will = they’ll) ect…

  7. Pass out the worksheet .

  8. Explain how the words in the tables can be combined together to form contracted words.

  9. Do the first 2-4 questions with students.

  10. Have the students pair up and each student make 2 of his own sentences using the contractions in the tables. Have the students write the new sentences on the worksheet paper. Say them out loud to the other student in the pair. Have the other student in the pair sign off the other student’s worksheet to show that there was participation.

  11. The students will then take the worksheet home, and turn in the worksheet as homework the next day.

Assessment:

The students will receive points based off the worksheet and pair partner’s signature. (1 point per question, and 2 points for the signature and created contraction sentence) Letter grades will be based off of the school’s grade percentage chart.

The students should now be able to use contractions in conversation and understand what they mean.

Part B

In order to obtain data about teaching English as a Second Language in Thailand I accessed Purdue’s online library system. I selected the ERIC scholarly article database and typed in "ESL AND Thailand". I scanned the results and came upon an article that was satisfactory. I read this article and used its information to come up with an idea of how to plan my lesson.

I also needed a worksheet, so I accessed an open source teaching material website gain access to a worksheet. I did not produce this worksheet on my own. It is the property of the English for Everyone Organization. However the lesson plan and implantation of how to teach contractions uses this lesson plan as tool, therefore this lesson plan is unique, but the worksheet not.

Citation:


de Segovia, L., & Hardison, D. (2009). Implementing Education Reform: EFL Teachers’ Perspectives. ELT Journal, 63(2), 154-162. Retrieved from http://eltj.oxfordjournals.org.ezproxy.lib.purdue.edu/content/63/2/154.full.pdf html
English for Everyone Organization. (n.d.). Contractions worksheet. Retrieved from http://www.englishforeveryone.org/PDFs/Contractions.pdf


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