Speaking about Education and Learning

This lesson was designed for my Advanced group, who are currently preparing for the CAE exam. As such, it is geared towards the Speaking Paper, Speaking PPfocusing mainly on Parts 3 and 4. It gets the learners to consider how to go about improving their speaking specifically for these parts while talking about education and learning.

However, the Lesson Plan is quite flexible and the Materials in PDF format and the Materials in Word Doc format are easily adaptable, so I think any teacher could easily adapt them to use with a more general English classs. 

Exercise 1For example: Exercise 1 gets the learners to discuss several approaches to studying and learning and this is presented in the style of the newly-modified Speaking Paper for CAE i.e. no images, just written prompts. However, as you can see in the snapshot to the left, the list of areas to cover looks like any other exercise: it doesn’t smack of Cambridge exam mystery and could easily be used with General English classes.

Exercise 2Another example of an adaptable activity is the reflective exercise which gets the learners to consider how well they have approached the task after having already done it once. As you can see in the snapshot to the right, although the questions were designed with exam learners in mind, they are general reflective questions and would encourage any learner to consider and adapt how well they complete the task.

Lesson Shape

The lesson follows a Task – Teach – Task format. There are in fact two sets of tasks in the lesson: one set to cover Part 3 and one set to cover Part 4 of the Speaking Paper.

The rationale behind this approach is that it encourages progression:

  • Learners complete a task for the first time
  • Learners then reflect on how well they have completed that task
  • Learners receive some input to help complete the task better
  • Learners have another go at the task – possibly with a different partner

Source of Input

The lesson a listening of two speakers talking about the six Part 4 questions in the handout. They have distinct accents, as they are from opposite ends of the world, which serves as nice exposure to accent variety for learners.

Rather than the listening being a perfect model for the learners to copy, it is more a source of input, in that it isn’t perfect. This is why a critique task with a table has been included under Exercise 4 and encourages learners to evaluate and critique how the speakers have approached the task.

I have imbedded the listening in the PowerPoint. However, if the coding doesn’t work when you download it, you can download it here or listen to it below:

Theoretical Background

The lesson has been designed on the understanding of what should and shouldn’t go into a Speaking Skills Development lesson. You can read more about this theory by following this link to a blog post on the sub-skills of speaking and designing such lessons.

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