Day Three, first 40-minute TPs

by celtaconfessions

In days 3 and 4, we had to give 40-minute lessons, but only a stage plan was required. That was a relief. My papers are all in a jumbled mess, so let’s see what I can put together.

Chris went first. Aim: to practise speaking and listening. Book reference: New Headway, Pre-Intermediate, p12

Next, Hatty: Aim: getting information (info-gap activity), to practise forming and responding to present simple questions. Book reference: as above, p16

Finally, Freya: Aim: to help students express likes and dislikes. Verb +-ing and grading.

Chris, Hatty & Freya by Chiew Pang; Copyright 2012

Photos not from the day; sorry!

Their grades for the lesson? No idea. You’ll have to ask them. In the feedback, we first discussed the lessons in pairs, focusing on these questions:

  • What did you like about your lesson?
  • What didn’t you like?
  • What would you change if you were to give the lesson again?
  • Were instructions given clearly? Did the students understand them?

I worked with Chris. Later, we discussed as a group with the tutor and here’s a summary of what came out of that session.

Giving instructions (be sure to read this post: The Ten Commandments)

  • Be clear and concise. Never say ‘You can talk to your partner if you want’. It’s better to say ‘You two, you two… Talk to your partner for 2 minutes…’.
  • Be bossy. Tell students exactly what to do. ‘I don’t want you to write. I want you only to speak.’
  • Grade language, speak slower.


  • Contextualise topic before starting the listening. Consider using images.
  • Before repeating listening, get students to confer – what have they understood from the previous listening?
  • Give students more time to read the comprehension questions before listening. Make sure they have understood them.


  • Make sure you include a reference to the source of your materials even if you’ve adapted them.
  • If students have different handouts from each other, consider using coloured paper for easier identification.
  • If students don’t get a handout and you’ve written useful information on the WB, ask them to copy it onto their notebooks.
  • Make your worksheets are student-friendly. Write the instructions even though you are giving them orally, too, and if students may be required to take notes (such as asking for information), be sure to leave space on the handout.

Group work

  • Be prepared. You may have an activity for an even number of students, but you have an odd number present. A quick and easy way is to go ‘1-2, 1-2… 1s work together, 2s work together’, the result being that there’ll be one group of 3 students.
  • Remember that to change pairs, it is sufficient to move a person from one end to the opposite extreme.

Teaching vocabulary

  • Consider using images if they make the work much easier, e.g. vacuuming, sweeping.
  • Use a cline for grading, e.g. hate, dislike, like, love. (Good one, Freya!)


  • If necessary, do some work on it. Model the right pronunciation/intonation and then get the students to repeat.
  • Show it on the WB. Use boxes for word stress; use arrows for intonation. (Great one, Hatty! Thought I’d say it anyway even though I know you don’t read me)
  • The best time for pronunciation work is before speaking practice.

Error correction

  • Reformulation (repeating what students say, but with the error corrected without overtly highlighting it) is often a good way. However, it is also good to show this later on the WB. (Another +, eh, Freya?)


  • Think of contexts which are relevant to students. For example, to work on likes/dislikes, it may be good to do a role-play activity where they interview prospective flatmates.

This has been a short post. I’ll try to continue the day on Part 2.

As a by-the-way, I’ve been getting quite a handful of hits from you Kiwis on the other side of the globe – it’d be nice if one of you could tell me from where you heard about this blog – is it on Facebook?