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- a CAE error awareness
lesson plan
by Gregory Gobel
- 1


Preliminary information

Main Aims:

  • To sensitize learners to the types of mistakes in Eng in Use Part 3 through an outline of the story of Frankenstein (S1, S2) and for learners to successfully practice correcting mistakes in a challenging literature extract from Frankenstein adapted to an Eng in Use Part 3 style. (S5)
  • For learners to demonstrate gist understanding of a complex piece of literature (S4) and to infer the meaning of some literary language (S7).

Subsidiary Aims:

  • For learners to work out story line from lines from the book and with help of teacher’s guiding questions. (S3)
  • For learners to conduct role play based on ideas and interaction of characters in the text. (S6)

Timetable fit:

  • We are just starting Unit 5 in the CAE Gold coursebook. This will be the second class after the holiday break. The theme of the unit is ‘cloning’/‘genetic engineering’. In the previous lesson we established this theme with basic theme-related lexis through playing bingo and manipulating parts of speech for these words, reflecting Paper 3, Part 4 of the CAE exam. We also made use of authentic text that I gathered from the internet (including pros and cons about human cloning from Raelian/Clonaid websites, the Children of God for Life website, truthtree website, BBC news archive, and the American Medical Association website). Learners engaged in a contextualized debate about human cloning based on the information in the authentic texts. For homework, they did the exam practice reading on pages 60-61. This reading focuses on the gapped text exam activity in the context of Dr. Richard Seed, a famous pro-clone doctor.
  • From 18:35 until 19:00 in today’s lesson, we will go over this homework assignment, addressing concerns and questions the learners have about both information and vocabulary in the text and also the gapped text exam activity strategies. The learners will also discuss their personal reaction to the text.
  • Homework from today’s lesson will be another spelling/punctuation correction text from page 64 in the coursebook. Learners will have the chance to transfer their skills from the lesson to this text. I think they will find it a bit easier than the Frankenstein text, thus boosting their confidence about this type of exam task. The following lesson will involve going over the homework and then focusing on ‘cryonic’ (freezing bodies to bring them back to life later in time) with emphasis on CAE speaking exam paper 5, Parts 3 and 4. The film Vanilla Sky, involving cryonics, will also be used to help establish this theme, which is related to cloning and ‘playing God’ as in Frankenstein.


  • Learners have heard of Frankenstein and may know a bit about the story.
  • Learners need to practice CAE Paper 3, Part 3 spelling and punctuation correction task because we have not practiced it yet in class. Learners will be engaged because of this.
  • Learners will want to do a speaking-based post-reading activity after the demanding reading tasks in the while stages.

Anticipated Problems and Possible Solutions:


  • Learners may feel intimidated by the use of an almost 200-year old piece of literature. Solutions: In the planning stage selecting a short piece to try to prevent any intimidation. Encouraging learners throughout when necessary so they feel successful.


  • Learners will struggle with some of the corrections in the tasks. Solutions: Monitor closely, give hints to help them, prompt them to compare with each other, encourage them throughout the correction activities when needed.
  • Learners may worry about words and phrases they do not know while doing the gist and correction activities. Solutions: Tell them before the activities ‘how’ to read, ie, not to worry about the words or phrases, but just focus on the task at hand, either gist questions or correction. Also, in the planning stages the mistakes are chosen purposefully to avoid what may be new or confusing language so that even if they do not know some of the language they should be able to achieve the tasks.
  • Learners could struggle inferring the meaning of the literary language in stage 7. Solution: Hints are supplied for when/if learners need them to help them be successful.

Classroom aids-related:

  • The lesson is very dependant on multiple handouts. Missing handouts could be disruptive to the lesson. Solution: Organize the handouts carefully before class and make sure they are taken into class.


  • Stage 3 and stage 5 time limits may be a bit unpredictable. Stage 3 because their knowledge or lack of knowledge of the book may influence time. Stage 5 because they should be able to have enough time to do the corrections comfortably. As this is the first time in class we are doing this type of activity, I do not have other instances to compare and estimate timing more accurately. Solutions: Being flexible in terms of balancing patience with pace. Allowing for plenty of time for the stage 5 in the plan and having contingency activities (stage 7, stage 8B) to make sure there are appropriate and enough tasks in case learners do not need the amount of time allotted.

Number of learners:

  • An odd number of learners so that there are not even pairs. Solutions: Using groups of three so no learner feels isolated or on her/his own.

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