Key words: English Language Teaching( ELT), conversation, Pronunciation drill, Vocabulary drill, Role Play, Introductions.
In order to remove Mother Tongue Influence (MTI) and instill the right kind of contextual knowledge about a language, it is very important to give the learners an opportunity to feel the target language. This happens only when the teacher exposes the learners to all competencies of the language and creates a life-like situation within a classroom session. In short, a language which is not the learners' mother tongue is best learnt when they get the same exposure to the target language as they got for their mother tongue.
Imagine a unit where you are teaching the children a lesson based on the famous poem Hiawatha written by H. W. Longfellow or on a story/passage from Robinson Crusoe/ Gulliver's Travels. In such units, children are introduced to various cultures/ places and or traditions which are different from their own way of life. In such cases one can interestingly remind them of familiar situations when they went on a visit to a new place during their holidays. They must have met and made new friends. Sometimes they would have hesitated to introduce themselves while in other cases they might have made some smooth small talk with someone sitting next to them in the bus/boat/train.
I am starting this series called Conversation for all occasions where I would like to discuss some activities based on very simple but often encountered real-life situations. The format of each session is going to be the same. We will begin with a Pronunciation Drill, then move to a Vocabulary drill , before we finally move on to the core activities involving all four competencies of the target language. In this case, it is ENGLISH. Teachers must remember that the use of mother tongue of the learners must be nil or if at all required, minimal.
Tell them that today they will play an activity wherein they have to imagine the time when they visited a new place and found themselves to be at a loss when it came to making friends with strangers. Also tell them the benefit of playing this activity would be that they could introduce themselves to some complete strangers who came to visit their school, city or nation. This way they could make some new friends and impress them with their confident speaking skills. Who knows, in future they could also become a successful tourist guide.
Try and tell me whether it works.
Lesson Plan 1: Introductions
Topic: Where are you from?
NOTE: The usage of a word is to be explained in such a manner that the learners understand its uniqueness when compared with any other word with the same function, i.e, it should be exclusively clear to the learner. For example: Look at these two sentences: 1. Aishwarya is beautiful. 2. Aishwarya is slim. The words beautiful and slim may mean the same thing to a learner if it is not explained why and how Aishwarya is beautiful and slim. So the correct way of framing these sentences to make them understand the words would be something like: Aishwarya is beautiful because she has good-looking features. Aishwarya is slim because her body is in shape.
Example: People speak German in Germany.
Also some common phrases which are used in various languages during introductions can be discussed. For Example: common words like: Hello, Pardon, Thank You, Good Bye, See you soon and so on.
Name of Country
One example is given below.