Language learning requires the systematic development of various language proficiencies. One can see that development of four language skills (LSRW) significant in language class room. In case of a level fifth grad English classroom requires different learning steps. This learning strategy considers cognitive considerations, psychomotor considerations, neurological considerations, Linguistic considerations and affective considerations. Reflection and follow- up activities promote academic qualities. The lesson plan is based on the biography of George Washington and it includes different activities for the development of language proficiency.
The critical period hypothesis
Researchers have often reported that the ultimate aim of language learning is the systematic development of various language skills such as listening, speaking, reading, and writing (LSRW). Existing system of language learning often avoids the nurturing of language proficiency among the students. The process of language acquisition is a complex process and it includes number of factors such as, linguistic consideration, development of psychomotor considerations, cognitive functions, and neurological considerations. Through an effective instructional strategy one can improve the standard of student’s language learning. Instructional objectives constitutes an elaborate learning strategy in the classroom. The following instructional objectives satisfy a grade fifth language learner’s language proficiency needs and it promotes numerous classroom activities. Major instructional objectives are as follows:
- Develop basic learning skills such as listening, speaking, reading and writing.
- To improve the awareness about duties and responsibilities of the students.
- To know about the political, cultural and historic traditions of the United States.
- Make the students more cooperative and helpful members of the community
Instructional objectives constitute an elaborate learning process in the classroom. The following instructional objectives satisfy student’s academic demands and it promotes numerous classroom activities.
Major instructional objectives are as follows:
Understand more about George Washington, First American President and improve student’s existing knowledge about the content.
Develop the skill of data collection and analysis
To know about the personal, political and social life of George Washington.
Discuss and conclude the political, social, and cultural background of America in Washington’s time. Increase the student qualities such as national integration, political awareness, hardworking mentality, and social duties and responsibilities.
Develop language skills such as listening, speaking, reading and writing and other classroom activities. Know profile writing, group discussion, peer discussion and classroom magazines.
The teacher asks some prerequisite questions about the life of former American Presidents. Then teacher shows the pictures of persons and events. Students actively participates the discussion.
- Who is the first President of the United States?
- Do you know about George Washington?
- Name the historical figures participated American freedom fights?
Instructional materials or tools
Teacher uses blackboard and LCD projectors in the classroom. Pictures, photographs, journals, biographies about American Presidents and internet also uses.
Teacher introduces the biography of George Washington. Teacher gives an introduction about former American Presidents. After a brief discussion teacher declares the name and the topic of the lesson.
As it is an elite part in the educational system, the teaching of biographies and autobiographies in an English classroom assumes greater significance. Though the learning of biography is ‘boring’ to students, one is sure of the fact that the learning of it can bring out some good qualities in the students as they have the right opportunity to imbibe many things from the lives of the great personalities. So, it should be noted that the strategies implemented for the teaching of biographies for English leaner should be well planned and accurate aiming the comprehensive level of students. To achieve the desired effect of teaching biographies, it would be better to adopt the strategies of teaching biographies and autobiographies through direct instruction and by proposing self-directed learning methods.
In her online article, How to Teach Biographies Using Puppets, lynnmargaret, writer of books related to alleviate educational stress, proposes some strategies for teaching biographies in easier. (Lynnmargaret, 2010).
The instructions of lynnmargaret are as follows:
- One of the difficulties that students feel regarding the biographies is that they feel as descriptive. Here the teachers have the important role of conforming students that biographies are the stories of real persons that one is supposed to imprint in his life. A teacher should be capable of explaining the main differences between biography and autobiography, as the first is the story of a person written by others and the latter are the stories about people written by the exact people.
- Teachers can provide the students some preliminary questions and ask them to write mini biographies of their parents or relatives.
- The next step involves a homework assignment for the students to interview family members and note down the responses.
- After the first sections are over the teacher should insist his/her students to make some models or funny practical works by writing the details of the person they interviewed and sticking it on their lunch bags.
- Other possible self-directed learning involves the instructions given to students to collect maps and pictures of the period in which the persons of the biographies provided for their studies.
- It is also possible for the teachers to show the photographs of different personalities before the commencement of the class which enable students to get a clear picture of the period.
Teacher says about George Washington and shows the photographs of Washington.Here the study focuses on brief report about American Presidents. George Washington was the first President of The United States and also the chief of the Continental Army. George Washington was born at Westmoreland County on 1732 (George Washington, n.d.).
Through his first military encounter at Fort Le Boeulf Washington caught the attention of his superiors. Washington has earned an enormous status and the people noticed him as a man of extreme integrity and excessive efficiency in political dealings. Washington successfully practiced the trial and error policy in the battle. Washington passed away in 1799 at his MounGeorge Washington.
Teacher explains the difference between biography and autobiography. Teacher and students discuss the major events of Georg Washington’s life. G Then gives them proper helps in reading. Teacher asks the students to answer the above given questions.
Opportunity to practice activity
Activities for improving writing skills: Teacher asks the students to prepare assignments about George Washington. Here teacher gives more writing activities. This helps the students to develop their psychomotor functions. The journal article titled ‘The importance of Writing and Benefits of Learning to Write’ remarks that; “writing in various content areas helps students to learn that content” (The importance of writing and benefits of learning to write, n.d, para.3). Students will engage in various skills such as rational thinking, remembering, writing, listing, organizing and effective planning. All these activities follow the principles of Ten Commandments for good Language learning.
Topic: George Washington was an effective politician and a skillful administrator.
- Assessment: As it is the study of biography, it is better to apply a formative assessment of the lesson plan which will enable both teachers and students to understand at a point when timely adjustments can be made. By applying formative assessment it is possible to identify whether the lesson plan fulfills most of the precisions referred in the instructional method. To make the study more effective, teachers can adopt the help of maps and other visual aids like photographs. It is possible to asses the role of different strategies applied in this lesson plan. The assessment should also evaluate the relationship of the instructional objectives and content to the national/state/district standards. This is a best method to prepare the students to set personal goals in their life.
- Show the picture or photographs and ask them to write captions for the given pictures. Teacher evaluates the captions and gives remedial measures.
- Show the photographs of English poets and writers and motivate them to write biographies. This helps the students to gain self confidence.
- Teacher can ask one group to prepare short note about a writer. This ensures the quality of cooperative learning. Students can share their views and they can develop neighboring qualities.
This is an important activity for students to develop the skill of writing. Teacher show a material or thing and ask the students to make sentences. Then teacher ask the students to find the mistakes in their writing. This will promote the process of error feedback.
Activities for reading
Both teacher and students enter the second phase of the classroom. Teacher arranges the classroom for various classroom activities. Teacher can divide the students in to different groups and give them small passages for reading students. The journal article entitled Importance of Reading comments that; “Good readers can understand the individual sentences and the organizational structure of a piece of writing”. (The importance of reading, 2007, para.3). They think about various linguistic features of English language such as phonetics, semantics, syntax, and punctuations. Reading is considered as one of the most important skill in language learning and it requires basic awareness in phonetics features, linguistic characteristics and syntax. Effective reading activities can develop reading skill among the students. The following activities help the learner to improve reading. Reading activities needs the effective functioning of vein and it promotes strengthening neurological functioning of a student. While reading student analyses various features such as spelling, pronunciation, syntax, sentence type, phonetically transcriptions and linguistic features.
Teacher shows only the titles and subtitles and divisions with the text and asks to the students to identify the content and read further information. Gives necessary suggestions and helps to the students.
Shows them pictures, maps, photographs and diagrams and their captions and ask them to read. Then change the picture and captions and motivate them to read fast.
Reviewing the grammatical structures and vocabulary patterns of the sentences and give them simple sentences for reading and discussion.
Introduce the student different phonetic symbols and ask them to read. These help the students to avoid fear and the nurturing of risk taking mentality.
Introduce words with same pronunciation and different spelling and motivate them to read. “We challenge the students to find all the phonemes in English (46, including three glides) talk about how speech sounds are produced, and introduce distinctive –feature analysis”. (Honda, O’ Neil, & Pippin, 2004, p.2). This activity promotes linguistic awareness and phonemic features.
Activities for students improving speaking skills
- Divide the students in different groups and ask them to prepare short notes about an eminent person and ask them to present a speech.
- Ask the students to say about daily experience in their life and connect that experience with the classroom topics.
- Teacher shows the photograph of Washington and asks the students to say five or six sentences about the photograph. This helps the students to practice intuition.
- Conduct small seminars about particular topics and guide the students to organize it.
- Conducting elocution competitions is another important activity for students for improving speaking skills.
Teacher concludes the process by summarizing various s points which discussed in the classrooms. Teacher writes the main points on the blackboard. Then reads it and the students listen it carefully.
Gorge Washington was the first President of America. He was an effective ruler and a skillful politician. Washington has participated number of battles he has worked as the leader of Continental Army. Washington introduces many laws and administrative reforms in America. Washington had died on 1977.
Reflection and follow up activities
- The following table explore the reflections of the given classroom strategy. One can feel that the lesson plan satisfy most of the language needs of the students. It includes various activities which promotes the development of various language proficiencies.
|Criteria||2 basic||3 proficient||4 advanced||score|
1. To realize the earlier life of George Washington.
2. To verify and evaluate the role of George Washington in achieving freedom to the people of America.
3. To examine the main contributions of George Washington as a president.
|1. This objective contains few activities. |
2. This objective satisfies some of the objectives in the Blooms taxonomy of educational objectives.
3. This objective is measurable to some extent.
|1. most of the objectives give some activities |
2. Most of these objectives satisfy some of the objectives in the Blooms objectives.
3. Most of the objectives are measurable.
|1. Objective is clearly stated and appropriately aligned to the activities. |
2. The objectives are written utilizing Bloom’s taxonomy.
3. The objectives are measurable.
It is more impressive if it would give more time and space in different activities. And another suggestion is that a group discussion about the topic is highly relevant in this classroom.
- The teacher asks the students to arrange various events of George Washington’s life. Gives them post reading questions and evaluate their answer. The teacher asks the students to write short notes about major historical events in American independence.
Honda, M., O’ Neil, W., & Pippin, D. (2004). Linguistics in the english classroom: The view from room 202: Phonology 101. Web.
Lynnmargaret. (2010). How to teach biographies using puppets. Ehow. Web.
The importance of reading. (2007). Paul Shoebottom. Web.
The importance of writing and benefits of learning to write. (n.d.). Marmara Elt/Efl Resources. 2010. Web.