To set the context of travel, I will put the students in pairs and give each pair nine flashcards showing different pictures (the cut version of Appendix 1). I will tell them they need to find five photos with a frequent topic (travel). The images have been chosen in a way so that the answer is not too obvious for the students. Afterward, the students will do a peer check, and later there will be open class feedback.
Rationale: I am going to introduce the travel concepts with flashcards since the students are keen on kinaesthetic tasks. This activity will add the context, which the students are already familiar with because they recently studied a unit about travel. Also, it will engage them.
“If we can get the students engaged in the task, there is a much better chance that they will read or listen with commitment and concentration, whether or not they were interested in the topic to start with.” (Harmer, J., 2001, pg. 206).
What is more, working in pairs will allow the students to practice their speaking skills as well.
• Gist task
I will give the students the text on a handout and the initial receptive skills activity will be to ask the students to change the title of the book from “It was just a holiday, but it changed my life” to something new. The students will have to read the entire text and to get a general understanding to come up with a different title. This activity will help practice reading for gist. I do believe that there will be unfamiliar vocabulary in the text, but being intermediate level students they will be able to guess the meaning of the new words from the context, and this will not prevent them from completing the task successfully.
Examples of new vocabulary: apes, trivial, mad, keeper, ill-treated, blazing, tiny, the tube, delicious, applied for.
I will not pre-teach vocabulary at this stage since the students are only going to skim the text.
“If we want to give students practice in what it is like to tackle authentic reading and listening texts for general understanding, then getting past words they do not understand is one of the skills they need to develop. By giving them some or all of those words, we deny them that chance”. (Harmer, J., 2001, pg. 203)
After having found a new title for the text, I will ask the students to talk about their ideas in pairs so that they can practice some speaking. Next, open class feedback will take place.
• Scanning task
This activity requires reading for detail. This task aims to scan for specific information. Since most of the problematic words are in context, the students ought to find it easy to understand the meaning.
In this activity, I will give the students several statements (Appendix 2), and they must decide if they are true or false. Afterward, the students will do a peer check, which will allow them to compare/correct any mistakes they might have made before doing open class feedback. During the OCFB the words which the students did struggle with will be addressed. I will use pictures or mime to elicit the definition of the phrase. For instance, show pictures of apes, the keeper, the tube, etc. To convey the meaning of vocabulary such as ´ill-treated´ or ´applied for,´ I will revert to the context in the text and use CCQs.
Rationale: Since the students tend to get bored quickly, working in pairs will probably motivate them more. Besides, this way the students will practice both receptive (reading) and productive (speaking) skills. Also, the students will like working together as they have studied together for three months and get on well with each other. Apart from this, because the students are fond of kinesthetic activities, showing them pictures or miming the new vocabulary will help them retain the new words much faster.
As a post-reading task, the students will practice writing (productive skill) in the context of travel. The students will write a small paragraph about interesting sight tourists should see when visiting their country. However, they mustn´t mention either the name of the sight or the country where it can be found. Next, I will collect the information about the views and hang it on the walls. The students will walk around the classroom reading the info and guess in which country they can find each sight. We will have an open class discussion to find out the correct answers.
If there is any time left, I will do error correction on the board based on the mistakes the students have made in their written work.
Rationale: Since the students in this class can get bored easily, doing various tasks could help keep them motivated. Since they have already done the reading and speaking, a writing activity could be a good post-reading task. What is more, since the students in this class come from different countries, the function about sights people can find in their countries seems to be appropriate. Last but not least, the kinesthetic learners will like moving around the classroom.