I used this lesson with one of my private students (not groups) and was quite useful according to his feedback. You can skip the next part if you’re in a hurry and go straight to Materials and suggested procedure.

Some notes on the students and the lesson plan.

I’ve had this student for 2 years. One of the first things he told me was that he’s been reading grammar books for decades and that he is not interested in grammar exercises. He wants to talk about interesting topics, improve his fluency and communication skills. He’s learning English for personal growth, not work or exams.

The starting point is choosing topics he’s into; then, I find appealing texts and turn them into audio, as he prefers to practise listening. I either ask colleagues to record themselves reading the texts or I read them to him in class. We usually discuss the topic and exchange opinions or share experiences. After two years, one-to-one classes (with Spanish students at least!) turn into a sort of friendship, so some personal involvement is expected and appreciated by the student.

We focus on topic-related lexical chunks to improve his fluency. As you’ll notice, I also feed in useful language for expressing opinion/agreeing/disagreeing etc. I try to add different expressions in each lesson. In this one I’ve also included language to help him ask for clarification after a listening.

I’m careful with pronunciation work; I model but don’t drill. He’s welcome to repeat or mumble. I use Youglish a lot to focus on differences between US/UK/AUS models. I also focus on word and sentence stress using Jamboard, which he really likes!

Feel free to make any necessary adaptations. The lesson was designed based on my student’s needs.

Materials and suggested procedure

Suggested procedure (for one-to-ones)

  1. Ask students to tell you what they think makes a good friend. They make a list of some characteristics.
  2. You can project slide 2 and ask them to talk about the qualities they listed.
  3. You can pre-teach some of the language using the quizlet. I did the matching activity.
  4. Give them the text/or read it to them. Gist task: Were your ideas similar or different?
  5. Students react to text. Focus on one characteristic at a time. Elicit opinions.
  6. Next, you can use the 2 jamboards: one for matching the sticky notes to make lexical phrases and the other for word stress. *Please don’t request access to the jams. You need to make your own copy by clicking on the 3 dots.
  7. Ideally, you can include a feedback slot and focus on emergent language. Lots of interesting sentences came up in our class, like:

I don’t want to burden them with my problems

Someone who accepts me for who I am

No matter how many mistakes I make

In the heat of the moment

on purpose-intentional

8. Revision. This gapfill will help students recall some of the language. You can also assign it for homework.

9. Finally, you can end the class with a reflection task, allowing the student to choose their key takeaways (slide 16).

Check out more lesson plans here!



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