Listening & Speaking Thematic Unit

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LISTENING & SPEAKING THEMATIC UNIT 1 Listening and Speaking Thematic Unit: Colorado State University Kathleen Hamel

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Thematic unit for ESP course.

Transcript of Listening & Speaking Thematic Unit


    Listening and Speaking Thematic Unit:

    Colorado State University

    Kathleen Hamel


    Description of classroom setting:

    The lesson plans for this thematic unit are for a classroom that consists of six adult

    learners of English. All six students are employed by Colorado State University in positions that

    range from working in the dining halls to cleaning the dorm rooms. They are enrolled in a

    Workplace English program through INTO at CSU. The class meets twice a week on Tuesday

    and Thursday from 3:15-4:15pm for a ten-week period in the fall of 2014, with the option of

    reenrolling in the class in the spring of 2015. The program is voluntary to these students; some

    even get paid from the university (their employer) to attend these classes. The learners first

    languages were Spanish and Uzbek, with 5 of the students originally from Mexico and the other

    from Uzbekistan. The learners range in all four of their skills, listening, speaking, reading and

    writing, but for the purpose of this thematic unit, the focus will be on listening and speaking. The

    highest-level student, according to the ACTFL (2012) proficiency guidelines, would be

    intermediate-mid with the lowest considered to be novice-mid, with most students falling into


    Course Description:

    The purpose of this program is to focus on three areas to improve their English: health

    and emergencies, workplace vocabulary and social day-to-day interactions, allowing an ease of

    transition into thematic units. Based upon these needs this thematic unit will focus on health for

    5 one-hour class sessions and will be the second out of three thematic units for the class. This

    applies directly to the needs of the students since these situations are ones occur in their life.

    In addition, with the requirements we need to fulfill as directed by the program, we also

    receive input from students. We give a needs assessment on the very first day of class, to see

    what the student struggles with and what theyd like to learn, we do this by a free response from


    the students; its important that they are able to express their needs in whatever detail they deem

    necessary. Then at the end of week five, we again distribute another needs assessment. We ask

    them questions about what theyve learned in the class so far and what theyd still like to learn

    (in their own opinion).

    The goals of this class coincide with the thematic units that the class will cover. A student

    should be able to learn the different language needed based upon the setting that arises in their

    daily lives; this unit will focus on work experiences with additional information about health and

    emergencies and various social dialogues. The objectives within those course goals include:

    recognizing the types of dialogue one can encounter in day-to-day experiences and how to carry

    oneself while in those conversations whether it be talking to a manager about requesting time off

    or fulfilling a prescription. Therefore, based off these goals and objectives, the syllabus adopts

    task-based and situational characteristics.

    Within the syllabus of the course, homework is given to these students on a weekly basis.

    However, it is not always expected that these students will return it to you or even remember that

    homework was assigned. The purpose of this homework is to strengthen skills they have been

    practicing in class; however, due to ties with their employer, who essentially has a direct say in

    this program, homework is a requirement for those purposes. As you can see in the When Im

    sick homework from lesson one (found in Lesson 1 Activities), there is a place for an

    employees signature (a coworker); we encourage having them engage with native speakers in

    their workplace since the purpose of this program is to better their workplace English and the

    requirement of the signature ensures reliability on the part of the student.

    Language skills that will be focused on this thematic unit will include: simple past

    (regular and irregular verbs) and the pronunciation of /ed/, /id/ and /t/ in reference to past tense


    verbs. Students will also learn how to pronounce and identify key vocabulary in reference to

    body parts and their symptoms (Lesson 1, Activity 1). From this activity following

    pronunciation, students will be able to develop their listening skills in order to identify

    symptoms. Students will also analyze information across texts (Lesson 2, Activity 1) and be able

    to synthesize patterns within those texts. And for speaking skills, students will be able to produce

    spoken discourse on a specific topic (Lesson 1, Activity 3). Past the two lessons planned, the

    next two lessons students will learn to be able to use the simple future and the differences

    between ordinal and cardinal numbers and when to use each. The goals of these lessons integrate

    with the language skills to learn: how to talk with a doctor at an appointment, how to describe

    the types of pain you feel and how to be able to talk in the past tense.

    Theoretical foundations

    Aligning with the goals of the workplace program, its imperative that students develop

    the capability to be communicative in the three content-focused areas. The use of the content-

    focused areas, health and emergencies, workplace vocabulary and social day-to-day interactions,

    allow students to see the relevance in developing these communicative skills. In order for these

    adult learners to be able to do this, their input is necessary. If we do not know what our students

    possible day-to-day interactions include, then the students must assess their own needs in those

    situations. Once their needs have been analyzed, the methods for teaching will include the use of

    repetition and total physical response, so that learning is being fostered in a relaxing setting,

    which can be hard to accomplish with adult learners who may be more reserved about their

    English capabilities.


    The learning of a language should be done with communicative intent (Larsen-Freeman

    & Anderson, 2011, p.122)

    The physical activation of the students in the classroom allows for a fast, non-stressful

    environment of learning a language- in line of thought with TPR (Larsen-Freeman &

    Anderson, 2011, p.104).

    When learners perceive the relevance of their language use, they are motivated to learn

    (Larsen-Freeman & Anderson, 2011, p.138).

    The repetition of the language is important in the evaluation process to indicate what has

    and has not been learned (Larsen-Freeman & Anderson, 2011, p.155)

    The curriculum is not predetermined, however it is constantly being evolved based on

    students needs in their responses in the needs analysis (Larsen-Freeman & Anderson,

    2011, p.174)

    Lesson Plan 1

    Overview of lesson objectives for students:

    To be able to identify the throat, elbow, knee, wrist, and hips.

    To call in sick to work because of symptoms (sore throat, headache, backache. etc.) they

    are experiencing

    To be able to carry out a doctors office visit with appropriate communicative intent

    To be able to use creative thinking in order to create a dialogue

    To be able to actively listen to a dialogue

    Materials Needed:



    Dry erase markers

    Over-head projector

    Outline of a human body- projection sheet

    6 The Human Body handouts (same image as the projection)

    6 Whats the matter? grid

    Whats the matter? dialogue

    6 When Im sick homework assignments

    Warm up: Simon Says 5 minutes


    To be able to evaluate the students existing knowledge of different body parts.

    To allow the students to get motivated to learn by physically engaging them.

    To use TPR so that students have better recognition of the respective body parts


    Have all of the students stand up. Explain that we will start off class with a quick game called

    Simon Says. Start by explaining the rules of Simon Says while providing examples along the


    o When I say, Simon says touch your nose then touch your nose. So whatever

    body part I say is the body part that you should teach.

    o If I just say, Touch your nose and you touch your nose, then you have lost the

    game and must sit down.

    o If you do not know the body part that I say, then sit down.

    o Whoever is the last person standing, wins!


    Simon says touch your feet.

    Simon says touch your ears.

    Touch your lips.

    Simon says touch your elbow.

    Touch your hips.

    By this point in the activity, I would have assumed all if not most of the students would

    be sitting down at this point. I would ask the students if they had a guess at where your elbows or

    hips would be. I ask them why they think it would be useful to know body parts.

    Transition: One of the reasons to know your body parts is so you can describe where

    you are having pain, or what is known as symptoms.

    Activity 1: Introduce new vocabulary to be used in dialogue- 10 minutes


    To be identify body parts that the students already know with the addition of five new

    body parts and symptoms that occupy certain body parts


    Pass out The Human Body handout (adapted from Medical Library)

    Display The Human Body projection sheet on the whiteboard.

    Ask the students what body parts they know, as they say, label them on the whiteboard

    o When students answer with a body part, they must point to that body part.

    Point to the five highlighted body parts, ask the students if they know their names

    Ask the students if they know of aches, pains or symptoms they could have, and where

    they are located

    o As they are mentioned, display on the whiteboard


    Emphasize the differences of aches vs pains

    Transition: Its important to know how youre feeling and the symptoms that are

    associated in order to be able to tell your workplace that you wont be able to come into

    work or call the school where your child attends school to inform them that they are too

    sick to go to class.

    Activity 2: Whats the matter?- 15 minutes (adapted from Queens Library, Whats the Matter?)


    To identify vocabulary regarding symptoms through listening


    Pass out Whats the matter? grid

    Explain that five mini-dialogues will be read, twice.

    Indicate the symptoms that the person is describing by checking off the correct answer in

    the box that correlates with that conversation.

    Read each dialogue at a slow pace. (Under Lesson 1 Activities)

    Repeat dialogues after all have been read once but at a normal native speaker speed.

    Ask students to get into two groups of three to check answers.

    Go through answers as a whole class.

    Transition: If your symptoms get worse, you may have to go see the doctor. Do you

    usually tell doctors or your coworkers more specific parts about your symptoms (like

    how long youve had them)? What are the steps when visiting the doctor?

    Activity 3: A Doctors Visit: a dialogue- 20 minutes



    To practice real-life conversation in a health setting, specifically- the doctors office

    To have students use their creative productive skills in speaking

    Have students actively listening to a dialogue


    Pass out A Doctors Visit handout

    Go over the instructions with the students, encourage them to write a script down so they

    can use it when they present to the class

    Ask them what typically happens at a doctors appointment

    Pair them up & read directions

    Students create their dialogue & practice, about 10-15 minutes

    Have students present to their classmates, about 5-10 minutes

    Closure: 10 minutes


    To review learned body parts and symptoms; how we describe these symptoms to co

    workers and doctors

    Go over questions in HW assignment together

    HW Assignment:

    Complete the When Im Sick... homework, it will be due next class. (two days from

    present day)



    For this lesson students were evaluated on performance by their correctness in Whats

    the Matter? and by their production of A Doctors Visit.

    Progress in this lesson is measured by the students understanding and utilization of new

    vocabulary and informal feedback is provided when needed.

    Lesson 2

    Overview of lesson objectives: By the end of this lesson, students will:

    To be able to negotiate meaning through listening and speaking

    To be able to identify different verbs tense through listening and speaking

    To know that for regular simple past verbs, it is indicated by -ed

    To recognize the difference between regular and irregular past tense verbs

    To be able to identify and pronounce /ed/, /id/ and /t/

    Materials Needed:

    Four strips of paper, see Dictation Game under Lesson 2 activities



    Dry-erase markers

    6 of the How to read a prescription label handouts


    The Time I Was Sick projection sheet

    6 pronunciation chart sheets

    6 List of Irregular Past Tense Verbs


    Pronunciation of /t/, /id/ and /ed/ sheet

    Warm Up-Running Dictation- 10 minutes (adapted from Heyman, 2014, p.5)


    To physically engage the students in their learning.

    To practice vocabulary used last class

    To start introduction of past tense verbs


    Ask students what we learned about in the last class.

    Point to the four sentences that are taped on the wall and explain that we will be using

    them in a game.

    Pair the students up and ask them to get out a piece of paper and something to write with.

    Ask for a volunteer to present the demonstration: ask the student to sit down with the

    paper and pencil. I run to one of the sentences, remember as much as I can, run back to

    the student and tell them what I remembered while they write that information down.

    This continues until that sentence is finished. I continue to explain that they will take

    turns being the runner and the writer, so they each do two sentences on each task. I

    explain that you want to go as fast as you can, its a race, but its important to be accurate

    because the winner is whoever has the most sentences correct.

    They complete the exercise.

    Once theyre finished, have the students write their sentences on the board. After theyre

    up, read each sentence out loud while asking the class if they see any mistakes. If they

    arent noticing the problem, restate it with emphasis on where the problem is.


    Have students repeat sentences out loud together.

    Transition: Usually, you tell your family members or maybe even your friends that you

    were sick and went to the doctors office. When you tell someone something that happened, do

    you tell them in the present or the past tense? In what tense do you generally tell stories?

    Activity 1: Introduction of Simple Past: The Time I Was Sick- 20 minutes


    To introduce students how to recognize regular verbs in the simple past (-ed)

    To allow students to be able to differentiate regular vs irregular verbs


    Display The Time I Was Sick projection sheet (under Lesson 2 activities) on the


    Ask a student to start reading the first sentence. Explain that each student will read one

    sentence and then the person sitting to his or her left will read the next one.

    Ask students to pair up and to get out a sheet of paper.

    Ask them to identify all the verbs in the passage & write it down on their paper as a


    As a class go over their findings and display on board. Present verbs in two columns;

    ones with ed endings and the other with irregular verbs. Ask if they see a pattern in the

    verbs. Ask questions like: when is this story happening? Now? Or before today?

    Indicate that regular past tense verbs end with ed and the rest and considered to be


    Ask if they know of any more verbs in the past tense that were not discussed


    Transition: So weve talked about how -ed indicates regular verbs in the simple past tense.

    Have you noticed that -ed sounds differently depending on the word? (Emphasize the ending

    when pronouncing the next three words) Worked, lived, visited.

    Activity 2: Pronunciation of /ed/, /id/ and /t/- 10 minutes


    To learn the ability to tell the differences between the sounds /ed/, /id/ and /t/

    To be able to pronunciation the variations between the three


    Start off by writing Worked, Lived, Visited on the board in three columns

    Pronounce these words, emphasizing the -ed of the verbs; ask the students if they

    notice a difference in the way they sound

    Pass out Pronunciation charts (Lesson 2 activities) (adapted Elbaum, 2005, p.227)

    Write t under Worked, ed under Lived and id under Visited; explain that ed is

    pronounced three different ways when in reference to the past tense

    Go through the rules of when to use these different pronunciations as demonstrated in the

    second Pronunciation Chart under Lesson 2 activities (this chart indicates the information

    that the students will write down throughout this activity).

    o For coughed (under t)- emphasize that although the spelling of cough includes a

    gh the sound of the gh is f allowing for coughed to be pronounced with t

    Transition: Its important to know how to say these words in the past tense because its

    the way in which we tell stories, something we do all the time. So lets practice how to use these

    three different pronunciations to tell someone something that happened (emphasize ed).


    Activity 3: Practice of simple past & /ed/, /id/ and /t/- 10 minutes


    To practice using the past tense verbs with a focus on regular past tense verbs

    To allow for students to differentiate the pronunciation of /ed/, /id/ and /t/


    Ask for a student volunteer to come up front- go over the example in Pronunciation of

    /t/, /id/ and /ed/ (taken Azar & Hagen, 2006, p.224)(Lesson 2 Activities)

    Go through each example, using different students for different numbers and rotating

    them through after everyone has been once

    Closure: Once youve been to the doctors office... -10 minutes

    So weve practiced telling about what happened at the doctors office. And we now know

    how to pronounce a lot of those past tense verbs we use when telling the story of going to

    the doctor. Once he gives us a prescription though, whats next? Where do you go to fill

    that prescription? When we go to the pharmacy and the pharmacist give us drugs, its

    important to know how to take those medications.

    Explain the homework assignment, How to read a prescription label

    Distribute Irregular Past Tense Verbs (Elbaum, 2005, p. 239) I will introduce this

    piece of paper, showing students that these are a lot of irregular verbs that come up, I will

    not go over all of them for time purposes but indicate to the class that if they have any

    questions that can ask me at the beginning of the next class.


    HW Assignments:

    How to read a prescription label handout (adapted from Queens Library, Reading a

    Prescription Label)


    Students are evaluated in Activity 3 by their understandability in the pronunciation


    If the students appear that they are understanding the use of ed and its different

    pronunciation through production, then that is considered progress.

    Lesson 3 & 4: Sequence and Scope

    Lesson #

    Objectives Activities


    - To be able to have a conversation with a pharmacist - To be able to ask for clarification in multiple ways - To be able to identify the future tense, be going to and will

    - Going to the pharmacy- students will get into pairs and practice the questions that a pharmacist might ask - Lesson about future verb tense


    - To learn the differences between cardinal and ordinal numbers - To know in what situations to use ordinal numbers - To be able to identify sentences in past/present/future

    -What place am I in line? activity - Differences between cardinal and ordinal numbers - Dictation using different verb tenses- have the students identify tenses after they have listened and written the dictation; have ordinal numbers included throughout the prose

    Evaluation of Students in Unit

    Since this course is for workplace purposes, and not academic ones, students are

    evaluated throughout the course through comprehension activities in class. Comprehension

    activities might include: dictations, cloze activity or other types of activities. Mistakes are

    corrected as they occur naturally in class. Within the evaluation, progress is seen through proper


    productive output from the student. Within the needs assessment, students are able to self-assess

    their progress in addition to giving feedback on the course (Nation & Newton, 2009, p. 165)

    Closure of Unit

    To wrap up this unit, we will transition from health into the workplace section. To

    transition to this unit we will discuss stomach problems and present an activity dealing with food

    poisoning. That allows for opening of food safety and other aspects of food. Not only does this

    apply to students working in the kitchen but also those who dont-since most people cook at least

    some of their meals and it would be important for them to know kitchen vocabulary.


    Lesson 1 Activities





    Lesson 2 Activities



    Pronunciation of /t/, /id/ and /ed/



    How to read a prescription label


    Reference Azar, B.S., & Hagen, S.A. (2006). Basic English Grammar, Third Edition. White, Plains, NY:

    Pearson Longman. Elbaum, S. N. (2005). Grammar in Context 1, Fourth Edition. Boson, MD: Thomson Heinle. Heyman, A. (July 2014). 12 Dynamic Activites for Language Learners (Conference Workshop).

    At Summer Summit 2014. Sioux Falls, SD:South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation.

    Larsen-Freeman, D., & Anderson, M. (2011). Techniques & Principle in Language Teaching. New York, NYs: Oxford University Press

    Medical Anatomy. (2013). [Illustration of outline of the human body] Retrieved from Nation I.P., & Netwon, J. (2009). Teaching ESL/EFL Listening and Speaking. New York, NY:

    Routledge Queens Library. Reading Prescription Labels. In Health Literary Curriculum for ESOL Learners

    (Beginner Level) (session 11). Retrieved from 1-We.pdf

    Queens Library. Whats the Matter?. In Health Literary Curriculum for ESOL Learners

    (Beginner Level) (session 2). Retrieved from 2-We.pdf