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Andrés López Schrader · May 7, 2019 at 8:17 pm
The lesson plan described in the link is highly interactive. It minimizes the teacher talking time to a general introduction of the topic, mostly using examples and prompting answers from students. Student talking time takes up the rest of the lesson, with occasional interventions if grammar mistakes are made to the extent that they impair comprehension. Student interests are met because they have the chance to come up with the question without following a rubric or a textbook. The teacher can supply example questions that meet students’ interests.
In my own language learning experience, I have encountered both CLT and non-CLT. My French and Hebrew learning has largely been CLT-based as I have been taught the language as it is used in modern day with a focus on day-to-day interactions (especially in beginner courses). Both of these courses used a textbook as a guide for content-based learning but went largely unscripted and felt very spontaneous and natural. However, my Arabic learning environment has been based on grammatical accuracy, where reading and writing is prioritized over speaking and listening.

niamhmcnulty · May 15, 2019 at 4:43 pm

The CLT lesson plan was interesting and well planned. The method of continually changing the teaching method would really help to keep the students engaged and focused. My own learning experiences were more worksheet based and less about constantly changing task.

Leandra Thomson · May 16, 2019 at 2:37 pm
This lesson plan is well planned and highly interactive. It keeps students focused and engaged by keeping teacher instructing time to a minimal and allows students to think on their own by creating their own story. After creating the story, the teacher is instructed to ask students open ended questions so that students can use what they have learned and apply it to their lesson. From my experience, I have experienced both CLT and non-CLT lessons. Many of the daily lessons I had in Spanish classes were highly interactive and centered on CLT learning. Similar to this lesson plan, teacher instructing time was always kept to a minimal and we were encouraged to communicate with our classmates. On the other hand, I have noticed in my college courses that they tend to stray away from CLT learning and focus more on exams. Most of my classes have had minimal student interaction and are instead structured as a lecture.

Sneha Lala · June 1, 2019 at 1:27 pm

The lesson plan here ensures that the majority of the lesson is taken up by the students actively learning. They are encouraged to talk to each other and do presentations on things that interest them. They are being grouped according to classmates who like the same image which means the child will be interested in actively engaged with what they are discussing. The focus is more on speaking and listening to develop practical skills. My own language learning experiences involved more worksheets and involved learning from a text book. Here creativity is encouraged which is really important to engage the children.

hespa001 · June 5, 2019 at 8:17 pm
This lesson plan very much focusses on the core aspects of CLT including maximising the engagement of students with native material and minimising the input of the teacher. I like the interactivity that CLT encourages as I think it is the best way to learn a language and is very opposite to how I was taught languages in school: we were exposed to some native material such as news broadcasts but mostly we worked towards exams using worksheets and textbooks which meant that we did not learn how to communicate in a natural way or in useful contexts.

jackmainwaring · June 6, 2019 at 4:18 pm
This is a short video of an example CLT lesson aimed at younger children, where they had to describe animals on flashcards to the teacher, who then had to guess what animal was being described. I chose to use this video link here, as the lesson is actually not too dissimilar to my own learning experiences, where games such as the one used in the video were played in language classes. In this lesson the following criteria were met: Minimised teacher talking time while maximising student talking time, where almost all of the talking was carried out by the children, describing the animals; Extended questioning, whereby the teacher would prompt the children to further describe each animal by asking tailored questions; Incorporating students interests into a communicative context, by using the flashcard game to talk about different animals, a topic which appeals to and engages most young children.

jla2g18 · June 8, 2019 at 8:19 pm

This lesson was well planned and focuses on a small single topic in detail. Small passages of text are used but no worksheets or textbooks, and instead the method of teaching revolves around student conversation. The aims of the activities seem to be recognising the material in speech and being able to use it in discussion rather than repetitive learning of vocabulary, and minimise teacher speaking time whilst encouraging students to use the language practically.

My learning experiences prior to university incorporated some CLT methods such as encouraging student participation in activities, but not to the same extent of the entire lesson being student centred. Also my learning was directed towards examination and therefore involved grammatical memorisation.

ear42 · June 10, 2019 at 4:16 pm
In this video the class are asked to share their own interesting experiences in groups before choosing one experience to pretend to be their own, while people from the other group question them about it. Most of the CLT points are incorporated into the lesson: The teacher explains each task in just enough detail, giving examples which are engaging when needed so not to lose the student’s attention. Most of the lesson is then taken up with discussions between the students. The conversations the students are encouraged to have with each other are about themselves immediately making the topic interesting to both the student speaking and the students listening. This open discussion task allows the students to choose a topic that they are comfortable with and encourages the use of conversational language. The second part of the task requires the students to understand each other’s experiences so they can go on to explain it to their peers in the other group who question them about it. Both parts of this require the ability to communicate. Knowing that they will be questioned motivates the students to understand their peers experience. At the end of the lesson the teacher askes the class how to turn a question for present to past tense using an example – this was picked up as something that would be helpful for the students to learn from observing them carry out the discussion tasks, rather than the main focus of the lesson.
My own experience of learning a language involved lessons begging with a grammatical concept such as tense or sentence structure followed by activities in which these concepts were to be incorporated. Sometimes these activities would involve worksheets (non CLT practice) and sometimes question and answer sessions with a partner (more similar to CLT practice). Much of my language learning has been through writing followed by correcting the grammar of my written work, then learning a piece of grammatically correct written work to recall in speaking. Whilst this could gave me the opportunity to focus on something that was of interest to me, it meant that the range of vocabulary learnt was small since a lot of time would be spent on perfecting one written piece.

Evie Burrows · June 11, 2019 at 5:35 pm From slide 6 onwards is an example of a CLT plan on the theme of ‘vacations’.
The plan does not follow worksheets or a textbook, which is very different from most of the language classes I have taken. The plan is based entirely on the theme; putting the lesson into a context hopefully maximises interest; since the context is rather broad, most people will have quite a lot to say. Grammar and vocabulary are introduced through various conversation-focussed exercises which encourage students to speak and minimise teacher talking time; the teacher only really suggests the use of certain words or constructions. This is very different from some language classes which I have taken which were almost like lectures! Vocabulary is first introduced through a text which is also something CLT encourages. The plan suggests ‘problem-solving questions’ which require background knowledge looking up information. Such questions would be a way to get students to work together, ideally communicating in the target language.
Grammar is taught or consolidated through various exercises, whereby the teacher encourages the use of certain constructions. Instead of memorisation and worksheets, this is very focussed on communication and function, which differs drastically from some language classes I have taken, although my Mandarin classes where relatively similar in this respect.
Information about verbs (regularity, pronunciation) is practised through an exercise using verbs related to the theme. This is a way of focussing on information that must be memorised whilst avoiding long lists of irregular or regular verbs for memorisation (our German homework at school often consisted of memorising lists of verbs and verb tables). Since the verbs are linked to the topic, the lesson remains consistent, hopefully maximising interest. Additionally, from personal experience, learning words within a theme or context has been more helpful than learning lists of random words. Sometimes at school we learnt words within themes, I think this is actually rather common now, but this was not always the case.
Many of the languages I have learnt have been self-studied, and when I self-study I am guilty of focussing almost only on a textbook and memorising grammar tables and word lists – and of course, studying alone means that communication is very difficult to focus on! I really do think that a communicative approach is helpful though, since communication is such an important part of language.

caisealbeardow · June 13, 2019 at 7:12 pm
The above lesson plan is drastically different to my own language learning experiences. Firstly, student involvement is prioritised above accuracy and rote learning, minimising teacher talking time and maximising student talking time. Remembering my French and German homework in school, I can’t recall a time where our lessons didn’t start with a spelling test! Starting the lesson with a brainstorming session is a great way to get students engaged and ready to explore a topic, especially as it’s conducted in their native language – walking straight into a classroom where your native language is ‘banned’ can be very intimidating. Encouraging extended conversations and questioning is also a very positive aspect of the plan; open questions are framed in a game exercise that encourages the students to work with eachother. Everything is framed in a real-world context, using the students’ own opinions and experiences as a basis for the rest of the lesson. Leaving out textbooks and worksheets encourages the students to engage fully with the communicative aspect of language, instead of feeling pressured to use perfect grammar and vocabulary. This pressure is, in my own experience, a real barrier to practicing a language and feeling comfortable enough to try expressing your thoughts in front of others.

Patricia-Ioana Sfagau · June 14, 2019 at 7:42 am
The video that I picked displays CLT put in practice. The teacher makes use of cards in order to teach two English Structures “what do you want?/ I want” and “what do you have/I have”. The lesson is interactive because students interact with each other, they sit in a circle so everyone see each other. The teacher makes use of cards to aid in answering the questions and also make the activity seem more game like rather then a English lesson.
In comparison the way in which I studied English differs from this example of lesson in the sense that most of my classes have been the traditional teacher centred lessons with the teacher taking over the lesson, explaining and giving away exercices.
I believe that by communication and interactions students are able to learn quicker and more effectively while enhancing the group dynamics.

GeorgiaHarris · June 14, 2019 at 4:00 pm
This lesson has a strong focus on student led, pair work based activities. A brief introduction of the topic area (giving directions) and basic vocab is given, with student input, before allowing the students to explore and apply the vocab in posing questions and giving information through a conversational game. The students have to complete maps they have been given by asking for directions from their friend. This puts a fun focus on using the language themselves, and allows the teacher to observe a circulate around the classroom to see who needs further guidance within the pairings. After the first activity the students move into larger groups allowing them to speak with different people, and this could also be used as an opportunity to change pairings that weren’t working very well for the first activity. The students are then given a map of London and have to prepare a short dialogue asking for directions and giving directions to some of the famous landmarks. This would also be a fun opportunity for a cultural discussion, and perhaps plan a trip to places they would like to see in London. The post speaking written stages may not be applicable, but it may be useful to see some of the key vocab written down to reinforce the spoken activities.
I like these activities as the first allows the students to test how well they can communicate the information regardless of grammatical accuracy, and the second then reinforces the first activity whilst giving more time to consider sentence structure and how best to convey the information.
When I have been in language classes in the past the lessons have always been much more prescriptive. Where I would have a set sentence structure, but no conversational context in which to put it. The approach in this lesson plan provides a great way of immediately giving that context and therefore making the new vocab more usable outside of the lesson situation.

Emma Walsh · June 17, 2019 at 11:04 pm
The lesson plan is based on ‘real life’ role play situations that encourage language practise that is closer to situations students may actually encounter. The teacher is there to facilitate and advise students, whereas the students are more engaged with the lesson, for example through group work that encourages more active learning and communication. The lesson plan also has lots of smaller activities within it to make the lesson more interesting, keeping students engaged and practising different skills.
Some of my own experiences, such as learning French at school were more based on exercise books and tasks on my own. They have also had a greater focus on learning specific grammar and vocabulary for exams, that is often not the most applicable to real life situations where the language might be used. The CLT approach is closer to the experience I have had at university learning Arabic, which was more based on communicating with other students and the teacher in Arabic as best as I could, which I found to be a faster way to improve.

Lizzie Avery · June 19, 2019 at 2:13 pm

This lesson plan is a successful example of CLT in practice due to its focus on authentic material, both inside and outside the classroom. For example, in the lesson a newspaper article is used, and for homework students are asked to listen to a debate on either a radio or television programme. This is particularly effective since it is not only engaging students with authentic material (and therefore putting the language in a communicative context, as CLT requires) but developing a different skill in each task: reading in the former and listening in the latter. This allows for consistent development in both skills and avoids homework being a mere repetition of the lesson, allowing for deeper development in the TL. This stands in stark contrast to my experience of language learning in school where often homework was marked collectively in the classroom (even at A level!), wasting valuable learning time.

This lesson plan is further in line with CLT teaching since the amount of time the teacher is talking is minimal and the amount of time the students are talking is maximised. For example, the introduction to the lesson, which the teacher delivers to the students, is limited to 3 out of the 45 minutes. Later in the lesson, although the teacher still has an input and directs students, their role is minimal. In some cases the student even takes on the role of the teacher as it were since one member of a group is leading the activity/responsible for providing feedback etc. The class is also highly interactive in the sense that students are encouraged to communicate with one another (and not just to the teacher) in the TL. One thing I really appreciate at University is that all my Spanish lessons are taught and explained in the TL rather than English. These lessons are still very lecture-based, however, and so I have found that whilst my passive Spanish is improving massively, my active Spanish is not improving as well. In this lesson plan, however, the students are rarely required to listen to the teacher (rather to each other) and they are required to speak in the TL for a large proportion of the lesson (an active language skill).

Further, I really like how this lesson is based on interacting with authentic material and other teaching materials beside textbooks (for example, playing cards). When I picked up Italian from scratch at University I really disliked how we worked from a textbook, and the emphasis was on learning and memorising as many tenses and grammar structures as you could rather than vocabulary. This means my conversational skills in Italian are still fairly limited, whereas CLT encourages conversational fluency over grammatical accuracy.

Learning a language requires a lot of creativity which from experience I know a lot of language students (even at University) struggle with. Having the picture strip story activity helps develop students creative thinking in the TL when they are asked to predict what will happen next (I was asked to write a short story in Spanish this year at University so tasks like this when I was younger would have been beneficial!). It also allows students to engage in the TL in a fictional, rather than a journalistic sense (although this is still included in the newspaper article on sport) which, from experience, many language lessons do not prioritise. Also, this activity follows a CLT approach to language teaching since students’ ideas and thoughts are valued and encouraged.

Another positive aspect of the lesson plan is that part of the lesson is based on student interests (in this scenario, sport).

Meg Lyttelton · June 24, 2019 at 9:18 am this CLT video shows minimal teacher talking time and relates to the children by including their wants and opinions. The use of pictures helps the students to visualise new vocabulary and the ball and bell add the dimension of a game.

RebeccaRM · June 24, 2019 at 10:23 am
This is an effective CLT lesson, focussing on student-led activities and conversation fluency. This is very different to how I learnt language at school, which while it did focus on interest involved memorisation of rules and meant students could not talk often and gain speaking skills. The teacher minimises their talking time and incorporates the students’ interests by first having them make up the details of the shopping scenario. They then test that the students fully understand the material by placing extended questioning into a fun quiz with two teams. This means the students stay engaged due to the competition but also means the teacher can check understanding without the students feeling personally grilled. This lesson is very effective and the students can now immediately apply the vocab and grammar they have learnt due to the context of shopping.

angolanta · June 24, 2019 at 10:51 am

This lesson plan is targeted at Korean students learning English at an intermediate level. It aims to reinforce the past continuous tense through talking about the schedule of a holiday in the past.

This kind of lesson plan is similar to what I have experienced in school (in Greece), where there was focus on interactive learning. Our lessons were based on videos, class discussions, debates and literary texts or articles. However, this is significantly different from lessons I took to prepare for language exams, which focused on systematic grammar and vocabulary learning solely based on textbooks and with a bigger focus on the teacher.

The above lesson plan is a good example of CLT, with all the activities focusing on the students, whether working in groups or individually. The teacher just serves to set examples and steer the conversation. The subject of the lesson about the students’ holidays during the break is fun and relevant to them. The students are asked questions (stand up/sit down game) and are asked to extend and explain their answers. The addition of visual aids, with the videos in the last part of the experiment, puts everything into communicative context and makes the lesson relevant.

The lesson plan is a little too repetitive, insisting on the specific grammar structure instead of exploring a wider variety of grammatical structures and vocabulary. It could be more beneficial to let the students talk more freely and allow grammatical errors. Also, it could be better to focus more on enriching vocabulary (e.g. make a list on the board and make a game out of it in the end). Lastly, the students could be asked to write their answers on the board or express them verbally instead of having individual worksheets that to do not encourage interaction.

Ross Moncrieff · June 24, 2019 at 3:09 pm

The key to this lesson plan in following the CLT criteria is that it maximises the input from the students. All of the elements in the lesson plan are student led activities, with them working either in groups, as a class or by themselves. There is crucially not a section for the teacher to either lecture the students or for extended technical learning from a textbook. On top of this, the use of a video fits the CLT criteria and helps engage the students through a different communicative medium.

The big contrast with my own language teaching is the total lack of emphasis on any technical linguistic learning, especially the lack of a textbook. Whilst my language learning at school was often non-textbook based, with big group projects including writings songs or making plays and films or even just playing football but only being able to speak in the language we were learning, there was also a significant amount of teacher led grammar learning as well as an obvious focus on exams. Overall, therefore, this lesson plan more directly matches CLT style language teaching than my own experiences learning languages.

jsm89 · June 25, 2019 at 11:46 am
This summarises the info in the course, with emphasis on the section about how it can be based on skills, content, text, task or competency based. It does not go into quite as much detail, but gives a few examples of possible CLT activities, such as interactive language games or simulated social interactions.
Compared to my own experiences, I remember memorising grammar tables and doing a lot of worksheets, which clearly does not follow the CLT approach. However, I remember one French teacher always stressing the importance that we talk as much as possible, so we only spoke French once inside the classroom, although I’m unsure now whether this would necessarily count as ‘meaningful’.

juliazlot · June 25, 2019 at 1:26 pm
This CLT plan encourages students to discuss what they did on their most recent holiday break. There is a very short introduction from the teacher, with the rest of the lesson focusing on students asking each other questions and then discussing some video clips which are shown. The only criteria that is not necessarily well met by the plan is the extended questioning, although this could easily be incorporated through follow-up questions on the activities discussed by the students.

This is similar to the language learning I have experienced myself, with discussion and teamwork always being encouraged. However, there was always relatively more focus on grammar learning than can be seen in this plan.

Gayatri · June 25, 2019 at 2:08 pm

This is a useful structure that can be followed for other topics of conversation, such as going food shopping, or eating out. By adapting this into role-play, the lesson will be more fun for the students, rather than sitting down and learning vocabulary. I doesn’t use a textbook, and doesn’t focus extensively on grammatical correctness, allowing conversations to flow.

When I was learning Spanish during my GCSEs, my teacher used interactive methods and role-play such as this to make learning more interactive and memorable.

mifei99 · June 25, 2019 at 2:19 pm
My language learning experience was often focused on telling students what they needed to know to pass their GCSEs. There were some group activities, but these often became chaotic and were short in comparison to teacher-led activities. In contrast, this CLT lesson plan emphasises student-led activities and gives them a clear focus. The lesson plan provides this focus without relying on textbooks. Instead, visual prompts are often used to encourage students to formulate their own creative responses.

gskaza · June 25, 2019 at 3:09 pm

In this example video the entire class is led in the target language, maximising the time spent practicing speaking and listening skills in the target language. The teacher facilitates discussion between the students so that they directly respond to the answers of their peers. By asking open ended questions the students are able to respond with information of their choosing, with the focus being less on what they are talking about and more on whether or not they are able to accurately communicate their thoughts to their teacher and the rest of the class. The teacher then provides brief supportive feedback emphasising areas which could be improved upon rather than nit picking individual grammar mistakes. It is nice to see the students encouraging or congratulating one another too. There is no outline of a syllabus or teaching to an exam/test which relaxes the students and though there are workbooks open, the students are not engaged with textbook based learning.

My own language teaching often involved lots of silent or quiet writing exercises, with the teacher’s voice being heard predominantly during the lesson. There was always little focus on students speaking, and when they did so their individual sentences would often be interpreted to correct the word choice, pronunciation or grammar, which is completely unlike this video and the general concept of CLT lessons.

AliceKennedy · June 25, 2019 at 6:54 pm

This lesson plan focuses on learning how to describe holidays in the past tense. This aim is in keeping with CLT as instead of focusing purely on grammar, the important parts of the grammatical structure are learned as they may be used, through a common discussion topic. This lesson plan consists small and large group discussion. The level of interaction and involvement between students is high. The frequency of discussion regarding cultural differences is also notable.
My experience learning French was very different from this plan. Many lessons were purely theoretical or technical and much focus was put on textbook and worksheets. Alternatively, when I later learned German the course was structured much more similarly to this plan. Focus was put of fluency over perfection and lesson plans regularly incorporated or focused on Germanic culture and society.

Stephen Grech · June 25, 2019 at 9:53 pm

Here I have provided a link to a YouTube channel focused on the learning of Spanish called “Dreaming Spanish”. I used it for a ‘Spanish phase’ I went through and found it incredibly helpful! I believe it takes a very CLT approach with the channel owner speaking entirely in Spanish rather than teaching through English. He talks about many different themed topics as he draws what he is speaking about as visual aid. He even asks questions at the end of videos for the viewers to respond to in the comments. This is what the ‘About’ page says on the channel and I believe it matches the CLT criteria fair well:

‘Stop studying boring grammar!
Research shows the best way to learn a language is having authentic experiences in it.
Rather than boring grammar lessons, we provide free interesting listening experiences. By listening to our stories, culture explanations and games, you will get used to real Spanish as it’s used in context, and develop a native-like intuition for the grammar and the vocabulary, together with a clear pronunciation. The videos try to be easy enough for a complete beginner to start picking up the language.’

I learned French for 5 years at school and I have no pride in saying that by the end of these many years of language learning, I could barely put together a basic sentence! My vocabulary was extremely limited and I had no understanding of any grammatical rules. However, recently I went through a ‘French phase’ where I spent around an hour or two per day watching French TV shows and movies, reading material in French, using apps such as Duolingo, Memrise, and Busuu, and listening to French music. I even switched my phone’s language to French! After 3 weeks of this, I was so shocked to realise that I could already competently hold basic conversations in French with people who spoke it! These 2 contrasting experiences in learning the language, really highlighted to me how the right approach to language learning is essential. The first one being the flawed textbook approach and the second being more in line with the CLT definition.

OliviaDaly · June 25, 2019 at 10:57 pm

The above lesson plan relating to going shopping for school supplies is extremely student-led which was a breath of fresh air to read after my experiences studying German, Irish and French in secondary school, where lessons were not interactive at all and were very much teacher-focused and impersonal. Encouraging students to think about how the topic relates to them and their own preferred back-to-school items lends a welcome personal element to the lesson which is far more involving than anything I ever experienced at school. The dialog to be performed between the students provides ample prompts and clues to help them along without being overly prescriptive, thus prioritising the authentic and inducive element that CLT emphasises. It leaves room for mistakes and a relaxed correction of these errors, prioritising communicative competency over grammatical competency to promote fluency and confidence. I love that it really maximises student speaking time. I would probably have benefitted far more from this approach than the curriculum my school system followed, which was much more focused on grammar and learning by rote.
The fact that students are permitted to use their first language at the beginning of the lesson is in my opinion a helpful exercise. I grew up bilingual and often think of my second native language in relation to my first and vice versa, and this exercise allows students to do the same. The objectives laid out in the lesson plan are sufficiently specific and also seem attainable as the lesson has plenty of content but is also not overloaded. It is also well-structured in relation to time constraints. If I were to change anything it would be the lesson’s measurability- I would add a quick verbal quiz or class/group brainstorm exercise before the dictionary exercise at the end just to make sure that everybody understands the main themes and vocabulary used.

SammyLappage · June 26, 2019 at 12:31 am

The lesson plan is fairly similar to my own language learning experiences with a range of activities included. It has clear learning objectives, content and structure. I think it has less direct teaching and more student-led work than the lessons I had when I was younger. I think it is an effective lesson plan which meets many of the above criteria.

This lesson plan focuses on the learning experiences of the students in understanding and learning about adjectives, the topic of the lesson. The lesson has a clear structure which emphasises student discussion and thinking rather than teacher talking. The plan includes clear open questions which the teacher will ask the students which will prompt them to think harder about the topic. The lesson does not really incorporate student’s specific interests which could have made it more effective. It includes a poem/story which the students use to write descriptive sentences which is a great way to engage language learning as it is an authentic text.

ioanadiac · June 26, 2019 at 6:58 am

This is an example CLT 45-minute lesson plan I found on the topic of ‘expression of agreement and disagreement’ aimed at 12-13 year olds. The biggest contrast this lesson plan has with my own language learning experience is that it is very student-driven from the outset, as the pre-activity asks students to write a free statement of anything they like, which acts as an effective introduction to the lesson’s topic of agreements and disagreement expressions. From my own language experience, I did not come across this approach often as my language lessons would usually start with the teacher giving a lengthy introductory monologue where we would be bombarded with a lot of new information, content, grammar, sentence structures and vocabulary on the topic which we would then have to immediately put in to practice. This method made me feel a little overwhelmed with the information overload whilst this CLT lesson plan seems to ease students in to the topic more organically as it prompts them to naturally think about how they use expressions of agreement and disagreement in their everyday life. In this way, this lesson plan meets the criteria of minimising teacher talking time whilst maximising student talking time, especially as the main bulk of the lesson is focused on speaking skills where students present a dialog and are asked to identify its expressions of agreement and disagreement orally. This clearly meets the criteria of putting everything into a communicative context as the bulk of the lesson is centred around dialog and getting the students to speak orally. It also allows students to incorporate their own interests since they have the freedom to make their own dialog which contains expression of agreement and disagreement to then present in front of the class which means they can focus on topics that they feel most passionate about. This freedom to choose topics or the frequent opportunity to speak and converse orally was not generally present in my language learning experience since the teacher had to follow the curriculum which meant we were limited to discussion topics prescribed in the textbook where we simply learnt the necessary vocabulary to pass the exam. This meant lessons were centred around a lot of reading and writing, with little to no chance to put the content into practice through conversation. Regarding the CLT lesson plan, the aspect of ‘extending questioning’ is not so prominent however, and I feel this element could have been incorporated when the groups have to present their own dialog containing expressions of agreement and disagreement to the class since this could have included time for the rest of the students to ask probing questions to the presenting group as to why they agree or disagree with that particular topic. Nevertheless, this lesson plan adequately meets CLT criteria since it does not focus on textbook rote-learning or worksheets, there is minimal teacher talking time and maximum student speaking time, there is a big emphasis on communication and little to none on memorising grammar rules, and finally there is no evidence of it being exam-orientated at all. There is also a big difference in the way this lesson plan ends with a post-lesson evaluation that the teacher conducts with the students to assess their understanding and their feelings of the material’s difficulty, which I feel is a useful way to end each language lesson since it not only allows the students to actively reflect on what they have learnt, but also enables the teacher to adapt their methods and teaching difficulty according to their students’ abilities. Overall, this lesson plan meets the CLT criteria outlined above to an adequate extent, with room for improvement on the ‘extending questioning’ aspect.

serenalhayes · June 26, 2019 at 1:44 pm

The above CLT lesson plan is considerably detailed and descriptive. The plan outlines three tasks carried out within a sixty minute period which display interactive and varied activities. The lesson plan takes cultural customs and appropriation into consideration (e.g. avoiding personal questions) whilst also playing on student’s interests in popular culture with the props and themes of each task. This lesson plan is widely different to how I have personally been taught languages, due to the minimisation of textbooks, recital and listening activities. Specifically, this lesson plan is not primarily desk based, with students required to leave their seats and walk around the room for a duration of the period.

Laura Fantuzzi · June 26, 2019 at 2:05 pm
On this page, they give the readers ideas of activities to do in a class, that would follow the Communicative Language Teaching approach by involving interaction, communication, and transmission of meaning. By organising role plays, for example, the students are given the opportunity to communicate with each other, while the teacher goes around as support to the students. The students can choose a topic that they are interested in, allowing for relevant context!
My own experience of learning languages at school has not been too successful. The teachers spoke too much and students could not practice as much as we should have. Also, the grammar lessons were not interactive.
However, as I went on a gap year in Malta to learn English in a language school, I experienced more of a CLT approach during these lessons. Our classes were also smaller, which helped. We did more interactive activities (games, songs, etc.) and the teachers were less focused on our mistakes, but rather on communicating with us, and making us communicate with the other students. I learnt way more there than during my years at school.
I find the use of context important, rather than the typical “vocabulary lists” that I had at school, which you had to learn ‘by heart’; what do you remember from those lists 2 weeks after? Not much. While when you have context, you can link the words learnt with the memory of the moment in which you learnt those words.

keyasajip · June 26, 2019 at 2:50 pm

This is a CLT lesson plan aimed at Senior High School students and focuses on the topic of ‘Asking for and Giving directions’. It is somewhat similar to the methods used when I learned languages at school, however there are key differences including the amount of student led exercises such as role play. The topic is also very quickly put into context in a real-life situation when listening to the ‘real-life’ dialogue emphasising when the topic can be applied to a real-life situation. And the lesson moves from listening (where they can get acquainted with the new vocabulary) to speaking (where this new vocabulary is practiced and integrated). Even in the beginning part of the lesson there is minimal teacher talking time and the students are encouraged to interact from the very first stage. In the ‘While-speaking’ stage working in pairs and group work is encouraged , and the students are prompted to come up with their own questions to complete the task. In the ‘Post-speaking stage’ the students consolidate their knowledge through writing and then the paragraphs are read back to the class and this exercise still involves the whole class as the other students have to actively listen and circle the destination described. The whole lesson plan is focused around communication with little emphasis on grammar and more importance given to actually speaking and engaging in conversation with the whole class, and whilst this topic doesn’t lend itself into incorporation of the children’s own interests there is a lot of independence given to the students with flexibility in the lesson plan.

Gigi Michie · June 27, 2019 at 5:15 am
First and foremost the lesson is highly interactive, and the teacher speaks slowly and clearly. He ensures that his overarching theme of persuasion is clear by applying it to the universally relatable topic of where one lives. He speaks about different living areas and the distinctive features each place has, and constantly goes back to these different features throughout the lesson. He instills the differences by linking the topic to the pupils, asking such questions as where they themselves live, and what the qualities of their homes are. Having broken down the fundamental structure of a persuasive argument, he ties the lesson together through a role play, as advised by the course, whereby in a group they are given flashcards with the different qualities of their assigned area and to use these and the persuasive structure they have been given to form an argument. The teacher adheres to the core elements of CLT as indicated by the course, by not overcomplicating, providing them with the basic tools and thus focusing the lesson on actually communicating the ideas to one another, rather than adding the stress of coming up with their own factors. By insisting that each group member makes a choice as to where they were most persuaded to live, the teacher puts into action the core idea of CLT of encouraging the pupils to consider different perspectives, further achieved by the teacher coming to each group and inserting another factor to consider. Finally the teacher encourages the pupils by responding to their answers animatedly and with humour.

Gigi Michie · June 27, 2019 at 5:26 am
First and foremost the lesson is highly interactive, and the teacher speaks slowly and clearly. He makes the overarching theme of persuasion simpler to understand by applying it to the universally relatable topic of where one lives. He begins by describing the different living regions of his own family, and the distinctive features of each area, and ensures vocabulary is instilled by constantly referring back to these simple features. He follows the core idea of CLT by then reflecting the ideas onto the pupils, asking them where they themselves live and its features. After he explains the basic structure of a persuasive argument, as the course suggests, he ties the lesson together by putting the pupils into groups and gets them to perform a role play, as the course suggests, in which each person must persuade the others to live in a certain area. He ensures that the exercise is fundamentally focused on communication by providing them with flashcards of the features of their region, so that there is not an added stress to come up with one’s own factors. Part of the exercise is that each pupil must choose which argument they were most persuaded by and why, adhering to the CLT idea of encouraging pupils to consider different perspectives around the topic, further prompted by the teacher coming round to each group and adding more factors to consider. Finally the teacher encourages the pupils by responding animatedly to their answers and with humour.

sk948 · June 27, 2019 at 5:11 pm
This video is an example of communicative language teaching. The students are able to learn about different food and drink in a practical context – that is to say, they can learn how to ask for food and drink and ask for what they would like. This satisfies most of the requirements of CLT because the students are doing most of the talking in a practical and relevant context. However, there could perhaps be more opportunity for students to ask extra questions although the students in the video are quite young.
This is similar to language learning experiences that I have had but I have also experienced lots of language learning that is simply a teachwer lecturing about grammatical points rather than applying them in a practical context.

Alec · June 28, 2019 at 8:51 am

Unlike my language lessons at school, this lesson was held entirely in the language being taught keeping the focus on developing communication skills. Group work helped keep students practicing and involved thus maximizing student talking time. Teacher talking time was minimal and mostly used to ask students open-ended questions which could often be extended to further challenge their speaking abilities. The students’ interest in travel was a good topic and the short video provided ideas on what to talk about as well as exercised the students’ listening. The constructive feedback at the end gave each student things to work on whilst keeping with the ideas of CLT by not including excessive lecturing from the teacher. Overall the lesson was effective and met much of the criteria above.

In contrast with the language lessons I had at school, this had no bookwork which was refreshing and definitely more engaging. I do remember taking part in similar exercises speaking in pairs as well as my teacher asking individual students questions. Overall the video shows a lesson not too dissimilar to parts of what I had at school, which I (fortunately) remember quite enjoying.

SabrinaA · June 28, 2019 at 1:32 pm

This lesson is very different from language classes I have taken in the past. Firstly, the main focus of this lesson is the creation of a story through the teacher and students working together to determine the details, whereas lessons I have taken in the past have focused more on reading stories provided to us through a textbook. The use of the ‘Brainstorming’ session at the beginning in the native language also contrasts with some language classes I have taken in the past which immediately begin exclusively using the language being learned, which can be quite intimidating and make people more hesitant to get involved in the lesson. While this lesson does include a significant amount of teacher involvement, it uses the teacher as a facilitator for the students to make decisions and be the focus of the lesson activity, for example through the quiz format. One way in which the lesson plan does not necessarily meet the criteria above is that for the most part student involvement could be seen as fairly basic, which short answers and little extended questioning.

Issy · June 28, 2019 at 4:08 pm

this lesson plan resembles language classes in school in that it focuses on a particular aspect of language (e.g. questions) allowing for concentrated practice of this feature. However the lesson plan is much more interactive than the typical use of textbooks and writing tasks used in school. Beginneing the lesson with a whole group activity means that the basic language structure can be taught, practiced and corrected. Then switching to students interviewing in pairs maximizes student speaking time. This also allows students to control the converstaion to fit with their own interests. This is in contrast to school language lessons which were more controlled and could be boring. Asking students to take notes from their conversation allows the conversations to be assessed and feedback to be given on technical issues int heir language.

laiq.nagi · June 28, 2019 at 6:25 pm
The CLT example lesson in this link is very comprehensive, much moreso than I have experienced in school when learning French or German. My French and German teachers had different teaching styles but it is similar to this CLT lesson plan in the sense that it looks to maximise student talking time. They often started the lesson talking in the respective foreign language and would use hand actions and gestures to help us understand what they were trying to get at if we did not understand. However, this lesson is more structured than what I have experienced in the past.

lun3rzhu · June 30, 2019 at 8:28 pm

Striking me immediately is the stark difference between this lesson plan and the other language classes I’ve had in the past. This lesson, planned to take place over a manageable 45 minutes, focuses very specifically on student-to-teacher interaction and encourages students to relate to their own experiences and think deeper about not only the language, but the application of it (e.g. buying school supplies and what they’d do in the situation). This is very striking as in the past, language lessons I’ve had involved repetition of phrases and words until they are firmly in place in my mind. However, although this lesson incorporates this in a way (with the use of a dictionary and writing down important phrases), much more of the time is spent towards students interacting with each other and the teacher to take the lesson much more than words on paper. This definitely encourages depth and application of thinking that was not usually covered in my GSCE language classes

h.javaud · July 1, 2019 at 4:00 pm
This lesson focuses on students’ holiday activities, and so succeeds in incorporating the students’ interests and hobbies in order to keep them engaged and interested in the lesson. The students are put in pairs and groups to discuss their ideas and thoughts, maximising student talking time, and the teacher talking time is minimised as their role is only to refocus the class and introduce the new activities, along with giving brief examples. Additionally, film clips are shown for the students to discuss, putting everything into a communicative context.

I have had similar learning experiences during my French A level as my teacher was keen for his lessons to be as interactive as possible; we had a particular focus on discussing news articles and watching film clips relevant to our course.

ld557 · July 1, 2019 at 5:13 pm
This lesson plan effectively demonstrates many elements of CLT, particularly in it’s focus on minimising student talking time, through the use of group work to create a story. The teacher is also tasked with asking some follow-up questions to students to help them create a story with added detail, providing an opportunity for students to have some input and creating a more discursive tone. The focus on the topic of a shopping trip as well as the creation of a dictionary of important vocabulary also demonstrates a clear focus on the importance of communicative contexts, since it provides the students with skills for real-life behaviours. This lesson plan definitely differs from my previous experiences of GCSE French lessons, as although these did involve a certain amount of interactive activities, they were much more exam focused and were often more explicitly teacher-led.

ciaran duncan · July 2, 2019 at 12:00 pm

This lesson plan maximises student talking time and evolves the lesson in a way that is always interactive- first through the creation of a story and then through a team game. The lesson seems to focus on teaching practical communication rather than teaching to pass an exam, which differs greatly from my experience of language GCSEs where the focus was overwhelmingly on completion of worksheets and rote learning of grammatical structures. Shopping for supplies is relevant since all students have to do it but the question about what they would prefer to buy could really involve the students by engaging with their specific interests and giving jumping off points for discussion or even topic ideas for future lessons.

AhmedImam · July 3, 2019 at 10:36 pm
From a variety of different CLT type lesson plans this stood out with how thorough it was and how it aimed to bring a high level of student involvement throughout the lessons. I think the lesson was definitely formulated around the idea of reducing teacher lecturing and maximising student communication and it is shown with all the exercises being centred around students practicing sentences. Some of the exercises such as the stand up sit down was mostly just listening so I am not sure if that reinforces the concepts, however some variety is always beneficial for students. The lessons plan most definitely puts things in a communicative context and due to how broad of a topic it is the teacher/students can easily approach it in a way to introduce many of their own interests. Though the lessons does not explicitly focus on extended responses this can also be added by the teacher in a suitable manner. I think at times the lesson plan feels a bit robotic with comments such as ‘praise students’ as I feel lessons should have a certain element of the teacher being able to mould it differently depending on how students respond. My own learning of foreign languages was definitely more textbook orientated but from the communication elements we did have these CLT lessons seem to improve in nearly all senses apart from the lack of exact grammar analysis.

dkatsanos · July 4, 2019 at 6:41 am

In this CLT lesson, the teacher engages in a few activities in order to teach the students how to make concise texts i.e. she gives them a number of sentences and wants them to put them in the correct order. She also makes them work in pairs and uses a sort of point system in order to introduce some healthy competition within the class. What struck me the most and I believe is indicative of a CLT lesson, is the fact that she didn’t talk a lot throughout the video. She mainly asked questions and gave directions on how to do play the “games”. My point being is that she didn’t talk for a few minutes straight about a specific grammatical, or other, topic which I never considered a good idea since in that case, most students get bored. Instead, she let the students discover the grammar on their own (to a certain degree, obviously she did offer some theoretical basis). However, in my opinion, there was a small downside. The topic being studied seemed pretty generic and wasn’t interesting at all. This does not make her lesson worse; I simply believe though that an interesting topic might spark the interest of the students and make them engage even more (even if the topic is completely irrelevant to learning English).

mustafaazhar30 · July 5, 2019 at 3:55 am

In this CLT lesson the teacher focuses on creating a much more complex language lesson and concept into a more interactive and fun one by using fake people and impersenasions to help create a real world situation where the skill of persuasion will be needed. Hence, the lesson is more engaging and requires more student input.
This contrasts with my own language teaching which was more about textbooks and route learning rather than using activities to create engaging scenarios that force you to think more as student as you are left to do more guess work and fill in the blanks. Such practice is much more beneficial for developing long term language skills.

philippakirby · July 7, 2019 at 11:33 am
In my own experience of being taught languages I feel (until sixth form at least) that I was being taught from a text book and the ultimate goal of the teaching was for an exam rather than the ability to get by in the real world. I think this lesson plan meets the CLT criteria well as articles relating to the real world provide relevant knowledge as a launchpad for further discussion. Additionally teacher input is limited to explanations of complicated concepts and instead students are asked to explain different situations they have experienced and their opinions about the future.The only thing I would say is that there are some yes or no questions but they are then developed further and students are encouraged to develop questions for their peers themselves. Peer interaction is also encouraged through the introduction of activities such as games which works to limit teacher interaction. I also think this lesson plan works well for the CLT form as there is not just one form of language learning but a mix of reading activities and drama/ role-play activities which will help consolidate the ability to communicate. Finally, I think this is a good CLT lesson as it is an interesting topic and is a real modern day issue: through discussing carbon footprints and the negative impacts of travel, students will be able to have highly engaging discussions with native speakers.

christianmadla · July 7, 2019 at 8:11 pm

In this CLT lesson, the teacher restricts his own need to ask questions through the activity provided. This provides the students the opportunity to speak more and think more independently. Furthermore, this allowed for interaction between students, enabling them to enhance their language speaking abilities between one another. In addition, extended questioning is achieved through having to provide multiple answers for the given scenarios within the activity set by the teacher.
This contrasts with my own language learning experience, in which I mainly learnt English through having to read, or through paper-based activities.

Hayley Hilson · July 8, 2019 at 9:52 am

This lesson concerns holiday activities and the past continuous tense. The lesson focuses on the communicative and conversational aspect of language learning more than my own experiences of language learning at school. For example, most of the activities surround conversation between groups of students or throughout the whole class. This contrasts my experiences of language teaching where most of the time is led by the teacher, or is based on silent, independent work with textbooks. The grammar is taught through a more immersive style, as opposed to learning rules from textbooks. There is also more of a focus on learning the language’s culture than I’ve experienced, for example when they consider differences in the way Korean and American friends converse.

cbourne · July 8, 2019 at 5:40 pm

I like how this lesson plan relates to students’ own life experiences and makes them see how their English might be used in a practical context (e.g. on school exchange to the UK). It also allows students to feel a sense of autonomy in making key decisions on how the story will go. The use of a competition further engages students’ interest. Finally, students’ writing abilities are given a chance to develop in the plenary activity, in which they create a ‘dictionary’.

Eliot Edmonds · July 9, 2019 at 10:07 pm
The lesson plan seems to quite closely follow the CLT structure of teaching, though there could have been more extending of questions as per the criterion for the type of teaching. I feel that the interactivity of the lesson seemed appropriate and allowed for smooth transitions between tasks. This contrasts with my own language learning experience, in which I mainly learnt French through having to read, or through textboook-based activities.

leahparry · July 27, 2019 at 1:26 am

This lesson has some similarities to when I was taught French, where we were asked to come up with our own small shopping scene. It’s a fun, interactive way to practise vocab. Unlike when I was taught, this lesson does not rely on a textbook for a script or vocabulary suggestions. This makes the kids feel like they’re directing their own learning, and ensures they’re learning what they want to learn. Further, the testing at the end improves retention of the content taught.

RobynBe · August 14, 2019 at 2:08 pm

One way of ensuring that the pupils are talking as much as possible (and avoiding too much teacher input) is the think-pair-share technique. After having thought about their ideas, pupils discuss them with a partner before the two of them share with the class. It can be a really effective springboard to get some fresh, innovative discussions and pupils are engaged because it is their input that determines the direction that the discussion goes in.

Nefeli Angelidaki · September 26, 2019 at 12:02 pm

This is a quite simple yet effective clt lesson plan. It teaches the kids vocabulary about food while practicing conversation skills with “I want/ I have” . Its an interactive activity as the children sit in a circle and first answer a question and later on ask one. Thus is effective as they all get to experience both asking and answering questions meaning they are on both sides of one conversation ensuring they have a comprehension of both how to ask and how to answer the question asked. It is highly similar with my lesson plan focusing on interactive and communication skills like asking and answering questions in small groups in order to improve their English skills

Adilah Hameed · October 2, 2019 at 1:12 pm
This is a good video which shows the key words needed for hobbies etc. It also makes it relevant to the students who may do some of these hobbies or know people who have these hobbies in their spare time.

englert.franciska · October 3, 2019 at 9:55 am

We can see in this lesson plan, that teacher talking time is minimized. The main purpose of the teacher talking is to make sure the students understand the task. Most activities are held in groups, pupils discussing the topic or task among themselves. There are handout and worksheets involved in the lesson plan, but they are used for promoting the communication.
This is quite similiar to my language learning experience, where we usually worked in groups as well, using the foreign language to communicate. On the other hand, as the goal was to have a language exam by the end of the course, we completed worksheets as well, focusing on grammar and reading as well.

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