ESL English Lesson Plan – developing fluency across the four skills of English.
They pointed out that the brain has an almost limitless capacity to memorize words and languages — the limits on these instead come from study time and motivation
–from the Japan Times
If you ever get the chance to listen to Paul Nation, do so! He is one of the great ones! A great teacher! Teaches you while keeping you entertained and therefore focused. I attended an ETJ conference in Tokyo where I heard Nation speak. (ETJ is the association of English Teachers in Japan, and is worth joining, plus it is amazingly cheap.)
Nation points out that research shows that time on task = increased skill.
If you want to increase student fluency the activities must be easy.
He states: Reading a lot of easy material leads to fluency.
Fluency Activities Comprise
1. Message Focus
ESL English Lesson Plan – The 4/3/2 Activity
One activity Nation uses is called 4/3/2:
-in this activity students talk on the same topic each time, for 4 minutes, then with a new partner for 3 minutes, then with another partner for 2 minutes.
The key is changing partners each time, and talking on the same topic each time for a reduced amount of time.
After one student has done 4/3/2 and thus spoken for 9 minutes,the other half of the class does the same and speaks for 9 minutes.
It really is a great activity that leads to less teacher talk and more student talk!
How do you define “easy,” for students?
This depends on the choice of topic or preparation for the topic.ie) if you choose a more difficult topic that can be okay as long as you allow the students time to prepare for it.
Increasing Reading Fluency
What does this activity comprise?
– Comprehension questions
– easy material
– a graph charting student progress
– 20 sessions
One thing to avoid:
Watch students while they read, and if they mouth the words, their speed will be far slower. If students are willing you can even have them bite on a pencil, and if the pencil falls they are mouthing the words. Paul Nation showed us this technique. (Or maybe he was hungry?)
What do do?
Students read an easy passage. Give the students five minutes to read the passage, marking off the time gone on the board–thus keeping time pressure on.
When they finish reading they turn over the page and answer the comprehension questions.
The students shouldn`t be able to answer more than 8 questions of the easy comprehension questions. If they are, they are reading too slowly.
Students should be able to answer 7-8 comprehension questions and no more.
Also convert their time into words per minute based on how many words of the text they read.
If students are able to answer 7/8 comprehension questions,this usually equates with faster reading speed or fluency.
The comprehension questions should be related to general ideas of the text.