Lesson Planning with English World

Posted on August 21, 2012 by

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The English World series makes lesson planning very easy, but there are a few potential challenges you will face when lesson planning with English World in Georgia:

1. The lesson plans provided in the Teachers’s Book might not match the curriculum at your school.
2. The lesson plans provided in the Teacher’s Book are incomplete frameworks for a lesson.
3. You might not have access to the Teacher’s Book.

This post addresses how to meet these challenges and use the English World series to your advantage in lesson planning.

English World Structure and Course Curriculum

Each English World level begins with an introductory “Welcome Unit” (WU). The WU contains sixteen pages of material that is supposed to be review – however, you cannot take for granted that your students will know the material in their WU and you may have to create lesson plans to teach, rather than simply review, the WU material. For example, the WU for English World 1 (EW1) contains the alphabet, numbers, colors, and very basic introductory dialogues – and the EW1 TB explicitly mentions that students are expected to have learned this material in kindergarten – but in practice Georgian students will come into their first English class without knowing any of this material. The Teacher’s Book (TB) does not contain lesson plans for the WU – only review exercises – so if you need to teach WU material you will need to plan entire lessons from scratch.

After the WU there are twelve units divided into five or six sections (depending on the EW level) each meant to exercise a particular skill – reading, writing, listening, speaking, vocabulary, grammar, etc. The TB divides each unit into eight lessons, containing individual activities and exercises, each meant to be given in a different class session. In practice, you may not have eight sessions per unit – depending on how often your class meets and how ambitious your school’s curriculum is, you may only have four to six sessions per unit. If this is the case, you will not be able to use English World’s suggested lesson structure and you will have to find, with your coteacher, an effective way to teach the material at a different pace.

Generally your coteacher will have some idea of how many classroom sessions you will have for each unit and of how much material you will have to go through by the end of the year. For instance, last year my school’s first graders were expected to go through only half of EW1.

Lesson Planning With the Teacher’s Book

The Teacher’s Book can be an excellent tool to help plan your lessons. It contains warm-ups, activities, games, and exercises using the other EW materials.

More importantly, the TB explicitly lists the target language for each section of the book – this provides insight into what, specifically, each page is trying to accomplish. Once you have this target language in mind you can supplement the TB lessons effectively. The TB calls the target language for each lesson “key language”, “key structures”, and “key words” or “key vocabulary” – as found in the Summary Box in each lesson plan.

(It’s important to note that for vocabulary, the specific target words are not listed in each lesson, but compiled in a single Word List organized by unit. In the lesson plan itself it will say something like “Key words: Vocabulary for Unit 2”.)

However, there are many disadvantages to the EW lesson plans. First, they are mostly oriented around practice, and contain little in the way of presentation or production. They contain no provision for assessment.

Second, the activities can be of limited interest. Not all of the songs and chants are good. There are usually no games in the lessons – games are listed in a separate page at the end of the TB – and no activities that involve movement. To engage young learners, and kinaesthetic learning, you will need to add games and movement activities, either from the back of the TB or from your own research and creativity. Finding popular children’s songs that employ the target language you want to teach will also engage you and the students more than the repeating the chants constructed specifically for English World – although many of the EW chants are also valuable, so finding the right balance is also important.

Third, the EW lesson plans do not contain time allotments. There are no real guidelines as to how much actual time to devote to a particular activity or exercise (although there is a general framework – in the form of a pie chart – as to how to divide the class time overall). Decide in advance how much time, in minutes, you want to devote to each activity.

Fourth, the EW lesson plans do not assign roles to you or your coteacher. Last semester I taught with a coteacher who followed the EW lesson plans to the letter – her class was disciplined, her teaching was effective, and I did nothing but mark homework for her once in a while. Don’t fall into that trap – design your lessons around having two teachers.

Lesson Planning Without the Teacher’s Book

If you do not have access to the TB, lesson planning will be a little more work. The Pupil’s Book (PB) and Workbook (W) have plenty of exercises, but you will have to find and prepare the target language and create all of the different activities and warmers to use in your lessons.

Luckily, the first pages in the PB are the “Scope and Sequence” – a list of each unit along with a summary or examples of the target language for each section in the unit. For instance, in EW3, Unit 3 lists “trades and professions” as the target vocabulary (under the heading “Lexis”). You will need to look in the unit itself to see the actual words (plumber, carpenter, etc.) that you will be teaching. It also lists the following target grammar: “The helicopter is fast. The plane is faster. The sun is hotter than the moon.” From this you can infer that the target grammar is comparative adjectives, and you can look in the unit for more examples.

The PB and W often do not contain adequate instructions for use of the material, because they are written with the assumption that the teaching team will have the TB available. That’s why if you don’t have the TB it’s especially important to go over each exercise in advance and make sure you understand exactly what the exercise is asking and what the acceptable answers are. Ideally, this should be done with your coteacher so that you both agree on the exercise’s meaning and answers in advance of the class.

General English World Tips

– Many English World lessons come with listening sections. Figure out how to manage these in advance: will you have a CD player ready? Will you and your coteacher read them out loud? Will you work around them?

– Teachers often wish to supplement the grammar examples in English World with additional examples. Plan for these and devise examples in advance!

– English World lessons include both Pupil’s Book and Workbook exercises to be done in class. However, teachers will often wish to give Workbook exercises as homework instead. Keep in mind that these exercises will not work as practice unless they are understood, completed, checked, and corrected. Set aside time during the lesson to go over homework with the class, or collect the workbooks regularly to check for completion and accuracy.

– Follow our previous lesson planning tips! Prepare materials in advance, review target language with your coteacher, create a step-by-step schedule of each activity and what you and your coteacher will be doing, and keep track of what works and what doesn’t work with your class.

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This concludes our Summer Lesson Planning Series. Check back soon for example lesson plans and English World lesson planning resources: word lists, grammar examples, games, and exercises!

Previous: How Do I Make A Great Lesson Plan? (Part II: Step By Step)

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