student awareness of
intonation at discourse level
- by Jeanette Corbett
Lesson Plan 1
Proficiency Masterclass, Year 1
To develop student's listening strategy, by raising their
awareness of intonation at discourse level, particularly pitch
level (Stages 8-11)
Exam focus: develop their listening strategy for listening
a) Practise reading for gist and for specific information
b) To develop student awareness of voice patterns in a dialogue
between native speakers, highlighting the features of natural
discourse e.g./ topic management, turn taking etc. (Stage
c) To develop student awareness of the use of fillers in natural
speech (Stage 9-11)
This lesson is the second to last in a series for Unit 15
of Proficiency Masterclass, titled The Media and the Message.
For over a month we have focused on developing the student's
listening sub-skills and strategies, this lesson concludes
a series and focuses on the importance of the voice in a dialogue.
The attached lesson rationale details my choices for this
use of the material.
Firstly, that students have some knowledge of advertising,
therefore they are able to make comparisons between advertisements.
(Stage 2 & 3)
Also that, students have acquired some awareness of voice
patterns in a dialogue: turn taking, use of fillers and topic
management and therefore will be able to use this knowledge
in the lesson. (Stages 8-11).
Finally that students will be able to evaluate the activities
and apply them to their learning. Equally, that they are sufficiently
interested in the lesson to complete the activities.
problems and solutions:
As already mentioned I have assumed that students will be
interested in the topic and developing their listening skills,
but also this could be a problem - they may lack interest
and motivation. This is solvable through the organisation
of the lesson; students will work together, to gather information
about their segment. When monitoring, I will encourage them
and offer assistance if required. (Stages 9-11)
Already they are aware of voice patterns. Previously, we have
done some work on voice quality at discourse level. However
I'm unsure to the extent of their understanding at sentence
level and the features of spoken discourse. I believe this
is solvable by allowing them to complete the exercises and
providing an explanation, as and when required.
Handout: Exercise 1,2 &3 Cassette and tape script
Board Magazine advertisements
Newspaper article, The Guardian, December 2000
are a general adult English class based at the school, studying
on an extensive course. The course is designed as a two-year
preparation course for the Proficiency exam; therefore the
level of the group is defined as pre-proficiency.
The group has grown rapidly, it began in October with 5 students
and by November it had eleven students. Currently twelve students
are registered. However some students had to leave the group
but newcomers have replaced them - two in the past month and
one two weeks ago. As of yet group dynamics haven't suffered,
though some students are at different stages of learning.
Students are attending the course for a variety of reasons.
The majority have the CAE exam, those that have not already
use English as part of their work or studies. Others are attending
to supplement their academic learning. There is a wide age
group in the class from 16 to early 30´s. An individual
assessment of the students is as follows:
- one of the younger members of the class. He was brought
up in Argentina, where he attended an International school.
He is a strong talkative student, who will occasionally dominate
the class, if allowed. He passed CAE in June. He is still
Javier- one of the younger members of the class. He also passed
CAE in June and is in his first year at university. He finds
it difficult to concentrate in class, with his mind full of
studies. He cites his weaknesses as writing and grammar.
Maite - a very quiet student, who is working as a pharmacist.
She has studied in Scotland as part of her degree. When she
comes to class, she is very tired and often misses class due
to her work. She admits she needs to study more at home and
could be one of the weakest in the group.
Isabel - one of the strongest in the group but often doesn't
comment much in class. She works as a secretary and uses English
in her work. She is concerned about her listening skills and
found coming to class difficult at first. She often borrows
materials for use at home.
Pilar - a talkative student, who has been learning at IH for
some years. She willingly gives feedback in class about activities.
She has no time to study outside class but admits to needing
to improve her listening.
Jose Luis - He joined the class late in November and settled
in very quickly. He works with computers but doesn't use English
in his work. He has travelled to Australia and spent some
time there. He took the CAE exam in December and passed.
Carmen - She attended class until December but has not returned
due to work commitments. However her name is still on the
register. She is an unconfident student who is concerned about
her speaking and listening. Due to work she is unable to study
Francisco - the youngest student in the class (16), who joined
late in November. He is still at school and took the Proficiency
exam last June. Unfortunately he failed on his speaking. He
has been learning English since he was three and writes very
well. He is concerned about his speaking but is naturally
shy and often nervous.
Pilar Torres Young - she is the same age as Francisco and
they attend the same school. She regularly visits relatives
in England and is a confident speaker. She concerned about
reading and distinguishing accents when listening.
Jesus - a new student who only joined the group about a month
ago. He had been studying in England for a couple of months
as part of his degree and wishes to return there to work in
the future. He is keen to learn.
Joao - a new student who joined the group last month. He is
Portuguese and hasn't studied English since he left school.
He works in Madrid for an American company; he speaks in English
at work but doesn't write often. He is concerned about grammar
Barbara- a new student who only joined the group about two
weeks ago. She is quite quiet and it's difficult to comment
on her abilities. She is keen to learn but hasn't been in
a classroom for a number of years.
the lesson rationale
to the articles index