Can you review my business English lesson plan?

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Can you review my business English lesson plan?

Unread postby fatma » 28 Oct 2008, 10:55

Dear Lucy,

Hi. I've completed a Biz English lesson plan for my Tefl course. The brief was:

Your class is going to take part in a role-play activity and they will work in groups of 4. The lesson is a 90 minute one and for your final task, you are asked to plan the first 45 minutes of the lesson; this will involve revising appropriate structures, and eliciting and presenting language suitable for the meeting.

Decide what language you are going to elicit and present before the role-play.

Situation:
Four managers are going to meet and decide how to reduce the running costs of a multinational manufacturing Company. (The managers come from different countries and if you wish, you can decide their nationalities.)
1. Human Resources Manager (who is keen to minimize the affects of restructuring)
2. Finance Manager (who believes it’s imperative to lay off staff)
3. Sales Manager (who is optimistic about the future of the company)
4. Marketing Manager (who believes the new marketing strategy will succeed)
Aims:
1. To increase your learners’ productive use of unfamiliar language
2. To focus on appropriate language and intonation for meetings and discussions.

I've made a lesson plan. Please tell me if the content is suitable, and if the time is appropriate for each activity. Also, I made up the 'assumed knowledge'. (How can one know that unless one is teaching students?)
Also, I dont know what to do about intonation, pronunciation, ie, what problems the students would encounter in these.
I dont know how correct my 'anticipated problems' are and the solutions.

I'd really appreciate your help. Thanks Lucy!

Preparation
Level Lower Intermediate – Business English (Adults)
Lesson Length First 45 minutes of 90 minute lesson
Objective For students to prepare for a role play by practicing vocabulary and structures that will be used in the role play.
Role play: a meeting that will be held between 4 people to discuss reducing costs of company. The 5th person will be Meeting Chairman.
Target Language 1. Opening the meeting/Introduction: MC: Good morning/afternoon everyone. Let’s get started/ start the meeting/ start. I’d like to thank you all for coming to today’s meeting.
2. Stating the Principal Objectives: We’re here today to discuss / Our aim is to…
3. Introducing the Agenda: Have you all received a copy of the agenda? / There are 3 items on the agenda. First…
4. Allocating roles: (name of participant) has agreed to take the minutes. / (name of participant) would you mind taking notes today?
5. Agreeing on ground rules for meeting (contributions, timing, decision-making, etc): I suggest we go round the table first/ we’ll have to keep each item to 10 minutes, otherwise we’ll run out of time/ we may need to vote on item 5, if we can’t get a unanimous decision.
6. Introducing First item on Agenda: so the first item on the agenda is / Pete would you like to kick off? / Let’s go over the first item/ Tim, would you like to give some background on item 1?
7. Closing an item: I think that covers the first item.
8. Next item: Let’s move on to the next item.
9. Asking for opinions: George, would you like to add something to that?
10. Checking for consensus: Does everyone agree?
11. Summarizing: Before we close, let me summarize the points/ to sum up/ shall I go over the main points?
12. Thanking participants for attending: Thank you all for attending/ Thanks for your participation/ I’d like to thank Tim and Cathy for coming over from Athens.
13. Closing the meeting: The meeting is closed/ That's all for today/That's it then. (informal)/The meeting is adjourned. (very formal)
Pre-Teach Vocabulary: Agenda; chairman; consensus; item; minutes; show of hands; unanimous; vote; main points; sluggish (sales, economy, etc); forecast; outlined; sack/dismiss/lay off
Pre-Teach Phrasal Verbs: Open a meeting; to go over; to move on; to give some background; out of time; to close a meeting; to add something to a discussion; kick off
Assumed Knowledge 1. Students have studied a few phrasal verbs recently.
2. Students know the verbs in the phrasal verbs.
3. Students are familiar with role-plays.
Anticipated Problems 1. Students might get overwhelmed with all the target structures and vocabulary and phrasal verbs.
2. 45 minutes may not be enough to cover all the above, rendering role-play useless.
3. With intonation and pronunciation
Solutions 1. For (3), drill pronunciation and intonation and pitch and tone.
2. For (2), if time is not enough, cut out some of the target structures and/or phrasal verbs.
3. Use elicitation and CCQ’s.
Preparation & Aids White board markers; whiteboard; gap-fill exercise sheets; target structures sheet.

Lesson Plan
Stage Activity Interaction Timing
1 Warmer: Students in pairs talk about topic: What do you like most about your job?

Aim: For students to talk about topic related to work and upcoming topic. Fluency practice.

Seating: Students sit opposite each other. PW 2 mins
2 Plenary: Teacher nominates a few students to tell their partner’s answer.

Seating: Students sit in seats. T-S 1 min
3 Vocabulary & Phrasal Verbs Check: Give sentence in context, then elicit meaning. Finally give meaning if students unable. Drill vocabulary and phrasal verbs. Use CCQ’s with difficult vocabulary and phrasal verbs.

-To go over: to review something to check it.
I’m not sure my figures are accurate. Can we go over them again?
He went over the main points again to make sure we understood.

- I’d like to kick off the discussion, if I may.

- They were unanimous in their decision to sack the sales officer.

CCQ’s: When we go over something, are we walking over it?
When we go over something, are we reading it again?
When we go over something, do we understand it again?

When a decision is unanimous, is everyone happy with it?
When a decision is unanimous, does everyone agree to it?

Aim: For students to learn upcoming vocabulary. T-S 15 min
4 Practice Exercise: Students in pairs complete gap-fill exercise of some, not all, phrasal verbs and vocabulary sentences in context of a letter or dialogue.

Aim: Students practice vocabulary and phrasal verbs.

Seating: Students sit in seats. PW 4 mins
5 Plenary: Teacher checks answers with class.

Aim: To confirm correct answers and correct errors if necessary. T-S 2 min
6 Introduction Target Language: Elicit stages and content of meeting. Pass out written target language. Drill target language. Elicit how to reduce costs of company.

Aim: For students to understand how a meeting is run and how to participate in a meeting; & to understand the language used in a meeting. T-S 21 mins
fatma
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Posts: 9
Joined: 14 Aug 2008, 23:03

Re: Business English meetings target language lesson plan

Unread postby Lucy » 02 Nov 2008, 20:34

Dear Fatma,

I've taken a look at your lesson plan. I'll make some general comments here and add specific comments into your lesson plan.

I agree with what you say about assumed knowledge; as it's a fictitious group, you don't know anything and can say what you like that is suiable to the level.

As for pronunciation, it's true that it's not easy to foresee all problems. However,you could choose a nationality for your fictitious students and describe the problems those students would have. I also notice that the target language contains many questions, so you could include a comment about intonation in questions.
Generally, I think you need to engage your students in more speaking activities to give them the opportunity to practise the language orally before they start the role play. By doing this, you will give them the practice they nee and hear the pronunciation problems and be able to work on them.


Situation:
Four managers are going to meet and decide how to reduce the running costs of a multinational manufacturing Company. (The managers come from different countries and if you wish, you can decide their nationalities.)
1. Human Resources Manager (who is keen to minimize the affects of restructuring)
2. Finance Manager (who believes it’s imperative to lay off staff)
3. Sales Manager (who is optimistic about the future of the company).

This seems vague to me. I'm not sure about what happens in the second half of the lesson. Do students spend that time doing their role play? If so, I think they need to spend some time in your 45 minute slot preparing what they'll say. I know that's not in your brief, but you could comment on it.

4. Marketing Manager (who believes the new marketing strategy will succeed).

Same as above.

Aims:
1. To increase your learners’ productive use of unfamiliar language
2. To focus on appropriate language and intonation for meetings and discussions.

Preparation
Level Lower Intermediate – Business English (Adults)
Lesson Length First 45 minutes of 90 minute lesson
Objective For students to prepare for a role play by practicing vocabulary and structures that will be used in the role play.
Role play: a meeting that will be held between 4 people to discuss reducing costs of company. The 5th person will be Meeting Chairman.
Target Language 1. Opening the meeting/Introduction: MC: Good morning/afternoon everyone. Let’s get started/ start the meeting/ start. I’d like to thank you all for coming to today’s meeting.
2. Stating the Principal Objectives: We’re here today to discuss / Our aim is to…
3. Introducing the Agenda: Have you all received a copy of the agenda? / There are 3 items on the agenda. First…
4. Allocating roles: (name of participant) has agreed to take the minutes. / (name of participant) would you mind taking notes today?
5. Agreeing on ground rules for meeting (contributions, timing, decision-making, etc): I suggest we go round the table first/ we’ll have to keep each item to 10 minutes, otherwise we’ll run out of time/ we may need to vote on item 5, if we can’t get a unanimous decision.
6. Introducing First item on Agenda: so the first item on the agenda is / Pete would you like to kick off? / Let’s go over the first item/ Tim, would you like to give some background on item 1?
7. Closing an item: I think that covers the first item.
8. Next item: Let’s move on to the next item.
9. Asking for opinions: George, would you like to add something to that?
10. Checking for consensus: Does everyone agree?
11. Summarizing: Before we close, let me summarize the points/ to sum up/ shall I go over the main points?
12. Thanking participants for attending: Thank you all for attending/ Thanks for your participation/ I’d like to thank Tim and Cathy for coming over from Athens.
13. Closing the meeting: The meeting is closed/ That's all for today/That's it then. (informal)/The meeting is adjourned. (very formal)
Pre-Teach Vocabulary: Agenda; chairman; consensus; item; minutes; show of hands; unanimous; vote; main points; sluggish (sales, economy, etc); forecast; outlined; sack/dismiss/lay off
Pre-Teach Phrasal Verbs: Open a meeting; to go over; to move on; to give some background; out of time; to close a meeting; to add something to a discussion; kick off

Not all of these are phrasal verbs. You could separate the list into new phrases and new phrasal verbs.

Assumed Knowledge 1. Students have studied a few phrasal verbs recently.
2. Students know the verbs in the phrasal verbs.
3. Students are familiar with role-plays.

I'm not sure if this comment comes into this section. Assumed knowledge is really about knowledge of language; unless of course your tutors have said otherwise.

Anticipated Problems 1. Students might get overwhelmed with all the target structures and vocabulary and phrasal verbs.
2. 45 minutes may not be enough to cover all the above, rendering role-play useless.
3. With intonation and pronunciation
Solutions 1. For (3), drill pronunciation and intonation and pitch and tone.
2. For (2), if time is not enough, cut out some of the target structures and/or phrasal verbs.
3. Use elicitation and CCQ’s.
Preparation & Aids White board markers; whiteboard; gap-fill exercise sheets; target structures sheet.
Lesson Plan
Stage Activity Interaction Timing
1 Warmer: Students in pairs talk about topic: What do you like most about your job?

This question is not really related to the topic of the role play or the language you are revising. I suggest you include a warmer connected with meetings. I would also make it longer (2 minutes is probably not enough). Aim: For students to talk about topic related to work and upcoming topic. Fluency practice.
Seating: Students sit opposite each other. PW 2 mins
2 Plenary: Teacher nominates a few students to tell their partner’s answer.
Seating: Students sit in seats. T-S 1 min
I would also make this stage longer (1 minute is probably not enough).

3 Vocabulary & Phrasal Verbs Check: Give sentence in context, then elicit meaning. Finally give meaning if students unable. Drill vocabulary and phrasal verbs. Use CCQ’s with difficult vocabulary and phrasal verbs.

It's good that you've written out your CCQ's
-To go over: to review something to check it.
I’m not sure my figures are accurate. Can we go over them again?
He went over the main points again to make sure we understood.
- I’d like to kick off the discussion, if I may.
- They were unanimous in their decision to sack the sales officer.
CCQ’s: When we go over something, are we walking over it?
When we go over something, are we reading it again?
When we go over something, do we understand it again?
I would change this to do we try to understand it again?
When a decision is unanimous, is everyone happy with it?
When a decision is unanimous, does everyone agree to it?
Aim: For students to learn upcoming vocabulary. T-S 15 min
4 Practice Exercise: Students in pairs complete gap-fill exercise of some, not all, phrasal verbs and vocabulary sentences in context of a letter or dialogue.

I would try to replace this with an oral exercise.
Aim: Students practice vocabulary and phrasal verbs.
Seating: Students sit in seats. PW 4 mins
You might need more than 4 minutes for this practice stage.
5 Plenary: Teacher checks answers with class.
Aim: To confirm correct answers and correct errors if necessary. T-S 2 min
6 Introduction Target Language: Elicit stages and content of meeting. Pass out written target language. Drill target language. Elicit how to reduce costs of company.
Aim: For students to understand how a meeting is run and how to participate in a meeting; & to understand the language used in a meeting. T-S 21 mins

I don't really understand this stage of your lesson. I think you need to be a bit clearer in your description about what you intend to do here.


Good luck,

Lucy
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Lucy
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