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Stages of a situational/dialogue presentation for an ESL/EFL PPP lesson

Below are the typical stages of a situational (or dialogue) presentation for a PPP lesson. The stages where corrections can take place are marked “corrections take place at this stage” although in my opinion corrections can take place throughout the presentation.

Stage 1 – Lead in

Everybody knows the importance of a lead-in stage and it can be done in several ways but its purpose is only one, to create interest in the topic of the lesson.

Stage 2 – Pre-teach essential lexis

If there are vocabulary items that need to be known by the students in order to complete the lesson’ tasks then it should be taught at this stage.

Stage 3 – Set the scene (build up the situation)

The teacher creates an imaginary situation which basically will be the context for the piece of language the lesson is focused on. The teacher should involve the students in creating this imaginary situation. It can be done using visual aids, gestures or simple narrative.

Stage 4 – Elicit

The teacher shows clearly the meaning of the piece of language. The students need to see clearly what someone will need to say. In this way the teacher tries to draw on and tries to consolidate existing knowledge of students. Also the teacher creates a collaborative classroom atmosphere by finding if there is any student who already knows the piece of language he wants to focus on.

Stage 5 – Model

It is very difficult for a learner of English to hear English sounds for the first time. That’s why it is very important the teacher to provide a very clear model of pronunciation two or three times for students to listen to.

Stage 6 – Check the concept

In order to see if students understood the meaning of the piece of language the teacher asks simple closed questions.

Stage 7 – Highlight the spoken form

The teacher can check what the parts of speech are, check if students know which auxiliary verb is represented by a contraction, check if students can recognize weak form etc. In this way the teacher draws the attention of students to the component part of a spoken structure and pronunciation difficulties that it might present.

Stage 8 – Model again

Stage 5 can be repeated if that is necessary. According to my experience it is always necessary.

Stage 9 – Drill chorally (corrections take place at this stage)

Repeating the piece of language two or three times with the whole class encourages the students to try out the pronunciation of the new piece of language. Drilling chorally creates a non-threatening environment and students feel comfortable doing this pronunciation task.

Stage 10 – Drill in groups (corrections take place at this stage)

In order to hear if there are any common pronunciation problems, the teacher gets small groups of students to repeat the piece of language.

Stage 11 – Drill individually (corrections take place at this stage)

To build confidence and fix any individual pronunciation problems, the teacher gets individual students to repeat the piece of language. Those who are better at English will be drilled first individually before the weaker once.

Stage 12 – Practice (corrections take place at this stage)

Open pair (or group) practice of the whole dialogue (or part of it).
Closed pair practice of the whole dialogue (or part of it).

Stage 13 – Provide a written record (corrections take place at this stage)

After clarifying and practising the spoken form of a piece of language, the teacher puts the written form of the language on the board as a record. Students are encouraged to pay attention by getting them to dictate, spell, answer questions about stress etc.

Stage 14 – Highlight the written form

Once the piece of language is written on the board, the teacher asks students to identify the component part of the structure (for example identifying the subject, auxiliary verb, base form, past participle etc) and provide written information about pronunciation (maybe a phonemic transcription of some words). Students can consider this a record and it can be taken away.


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