While learning and understanding vocabulary is a vital part of language learning, all of these words lack any real sense of meaning without grammar ; therefore, grammar is an essential part of language teaching and planning an effective grammar lesson is a necessary skill. This article will show you how to create a TESOL lesson plan using the P-P-P format.
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The Simple TESOL Lesson Plan: P-P-P Format
The teacher presents the target grammar structure. Learners are then given opportunity to practice the structure in a controlled manner. Finally, learners produce the new grammar in a freer and more meaningful way that also incorporates other elements of language. In a typical one hour lesson, each of these three stages would last for about 20 minutes.
In this first stage you need a meaningful context in which to show how this grammar is used. You can do this in many different ways; you can draw pictures on the board with speech bubbles explaining what is happening; you can use a short video clip or photographs; you can even mime a short scene if you feel confident in your acting ability!
Here’s an example of how you might present the second conditional.
- On the board draw a stick man with thought bubbles coming out of his head. In these bubbles stick pictures of money, a sports car, a yacht and a big house.
- Introduce the grammar structure with an example sentence: ‘If I won the lottery, I would buy a big house and a sports car.’
- Ask questions that focus on the form of the grammar: ‘What verb form comes after ‘if’?’
- Also ask questions that focus on the meaning of the grammar: ‘Do I have a lot of money now?’
- Drill the class with the examples until you’re satisfied that they can do it reasonably well.
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There are many ways that you can get learners to practice in a controlled manner; these include gap fill exercises, substitution drills, sentence transformations, reordering sentences, or matching a picture to a sentence, for instance.
- ‘If I ____ (to win) the lottery, I ____ (to buy) a big house and a sports car.’
- ‘a big house / If I won /, I would buy / and a sports car / the lottery.’
At this stage it’s quite important that the activity is controlled so that the focus is almost entirely on the new grammar structure.
A good way to do this is to put learners in groups or pairs to work on the activity while you monitor and give feedback. After this, do a similar activity on the board so that all of the class is involved. You could make this into a game or a speaking activity, i.e. make it more communicative but still very controlled.
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In the final stage of the lesson you should give learners the chance to use the new grammar in a meaningful yet freer way. Good activities for facilitating this include role plays, pictures cues, ‘find someone who…’, information gaps and interviews. If using an interview activity, you might get learners to ask three people what they would do if they won the lottery, for instance.
It’s important at this stage to monitor and note down any errors that occur, so you can build this into your class feedback and error analysis, which is a great way to round off such grammar lessons.
When we teach grammar, we give our learners the ability to express themselves accurately, while also fulfilling their expectations of what it means to learn another language. This basic plan will help you deliver such lessons effectively.
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