First Year Beginner Intermediate Level Middle/High School
The one-year course will run over a period of forty weeks divided into two semesters. There are ten subjects in each semester. Most subjects consist of two-week periods. Semester two uses student workbooks.
Methodology Activity-Based Learning
Applying the Western Activity-Based Learning (ABL) methodology which allows for a pedagogical approach focused on cultural interest topics. The various activities contain word puzzles and ‘games’ requiring a collective response and teamwork, catering towards an already ingrained group identity; assists those who remain quiet and unresponsive through shyness, which remains both widespread and problematic throughout Asia.
Objectives Developing effective teaching strategies using an activity-based learning methodology.
Using subject interest to increase attention spans, which produces improved self-confidence. Producing the desired learning objectives through age appropriate content knowledge. Increasing student self-confidence and overcoming shyness remains as important an objective as improving vocabulary, pronunciation and enunciation.
Bringing together culture and social studies into the curriculum also provides a more rounded view of the world, as well as increasing the student’s basic core knowledge. Alternative subjects of interest include hobbies/sports and pass times, for example, current fashion, which includes brand names and accessories to illustrate how culture influences teenage dress and behaviour.
Methods If maintaining interest is the key approach, the method in turn promotes the interest and the interest in activities helps promote competency.
Techniques The various activities of word puzzles and ‘games’, requiring a collective response and teamwork, caters to an already ingrained group identity. This assists those who remain quiet and unresponsive through shyness, which remains both widespread and problematic throughout Asia.
Activity-Based Lesson Planning
Details As all the subjects revolve around communication and conversation, the activities will centre on the physical aspect of the module involved. Each module will have assigned to it a specific activity based on role play. The grammar and vocabulary will revolve around the main activity itself.
Materials Blackboard and the various items involved in ‘role play’ activities. Classroom posters and occasional hand-outs as and when required, plus the use of the overhead projector, to reinforce vocabulary using a visual aid.
Activities Also included will be simple crosswords and blackboard games such as ‘word search’ and ‘Hang-man’ based on group activity, in addition to preparing written questions, with a spokesperson to ask the questions. Various ‘Mr. Bean’ short videos to show English culture, life and surroundings in a humorous manner as well as short video songs and clips of popular English, Irish, Welsh and Scottish folk songs, plus short videos from the English Tourist Board showing sights and scenes of the UK and English life.
Other activities include simple crossword puzzles, ‘Bingo’ using words instead of numbers, ‘I- spy with my little eye’ on visible classroom objects and learning the lyrics to popular songs.
Evaluation There is no evaluative assessment for this syllabus. Rather, the first year remains an introduction to Western life and culture.
Part 1 Content
Course Content Semester One
Introduction - Restaurants - English grammar - Public speaking - Music - Geography - Mobile phones - Making friends - Christmas and Halloween
Introduction Formal and informal greetings, shaking hands and cultural differences
Public speaking The use of pronunciation and speed when speaking. Tonal variations in questions and statements and the importance of using body language. Maintaining eye contact and building confidence. This will involve elements of public speaking, voice projection, pronunciation and enunciation
Music Different types of western music, from American C&W to Italian Opera, with an emphasis on popular music suited to the specific age group
Mobile phones Development and types, plus general electronic products
Making friends Personal relationships
Christmas and Halloween Special Western festivity dates
Course Workbook Content Semester Two
‘General Senior High School Curriculum Standard Experimental English textbook’ (NSEC - New Senior English for China, 2004 - )
Introduction Many of these topics reinforce and build on the topics in the first semester; social studies, differing cultures, body language and Western culture . . .
Each of the semester ten modules will comprise a two week period split into two parts.
The first week places an emphasis on a six word learned vocabulary for that particular subject. The second week adds a real life scenario to the particular subject through role play, using activities and the learned vocabulary to provide meaning to the topic.
Book 3 Festivals around the world - Healthy eating - The million pound banknotes - Astronomy - The science of the stars - Canada -The true North.
Book 4 Women of achievement, working the land, a taste of English humour, Body language and Theme parks
Summary This syllabus focuses on knowledge as well as language competency, in addition to providing a summarized overview of western society and culture.
Activity Lesson Plan Example
Restaurants and Table Etiquette
Objectives Providing vocabulary related to cutlery and dining table settings, in addition to Western etiquette.
Aims To learn the different types of etiquette associated with eating in differing cultures. Learning the difference between the formal and the informal and how class largely influences social status in western countries. Providing a description of table settings with the aid of an overhead projector and focusing on each piece of cutlery to explain its description and use.
Details Explaining each item and what use and position it has in a formal setting. Using the blackboard and writing short sentences containing missing words, which explain each table item.
Activities Showing a short ‘Mr. Bean’ video specifically related to dining in a restaurant, plus ‘Hangman’ game involving the learned vocabulary. Vocabulary Knife and fork, spoon, plate, teaspoon and cup, yes please, no thank you, are you ready to order.
The knowledge arises from taught subjects, which includes vocabulary rote; the concept as age related knowledge and the skills are those learned from the inclusion of activities. This assures a friendly learning environment, better teacher/student engagement and introduces critical thinking skills, as well as self-confidence, instead of a blind repetition of rote facts. Many of the personally designed topic subjects in the first semester coincide with the second semester and reinforce the workbooks. This is intentional and promotes age appropriate content knowledge alongside activity-based role-play.
This syllabus focuses on knowledge as well as language competency, specifically intended as a summarized overview of western society and culture. In a globalized world, social knowledge remains an important part of learning in which both language learning and knowledge of the external world each complement the other.
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