Martin Plasse Martin Plasse

Journey down the Mekong
Unknown level


Ss are given numerous opportunities to speak in relation with the topic of the Mekong river. Much is unknown about what the ss would have previously learned, as well as what they are expected to learn and their levels, and the lesson plan reflects this. Though it should certainly achieve its goal of providing plenty of fluency speaking practice within a meaningful and relevant context throughout. The lessons begins with discussions about the longest rivers in the world and Asia. A short video will be played. The main production task is centered around the use of the present continuous.


Abc Mekong documentry intro

Main Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in a conversation in the context of travel and the Mekong river

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide clarification, review and practice of present continuous in the context of travel


Warmer/Lead-in (6-7 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

If possible the ss are put into groups of 4 (T forms the groups himself so that no time is wasted). Questions are shown to the WC on ppt.: What are some of the longest rivers in the world? Which one is the longest river? What are the longest rivers in Asia. Which one is the longest? Volunteers are asked to read the questions out loud. (The level of the ss is unclear as of the making of this LP; so CCQs may or may not be necessary to clarify words such as ''longest''; "river"; Asia; etc. Ex: using the board, showing 2 lines; one very short and one VERY long; "Is this long? Is this long? Which one is the longest?" drawing one or several more and asking again "Which one is the longest) T then asks groups to discuss and answer the 4 questions. They can write the answers down if they want to. After about 2 minutes (T should monitor closely, but no need to intervene if ss are communicating in English and on topic) FB is done by asking groups to give some of their answers to the questions. T writes their answers on the BB, and begins a ranking. T asks WC if they agree every time; this should engage them. T can explain that explains don't all agree, but shows a ranking chart from online. Along with a world map showing the longest rivers. This needs to go quickly, the aim is to engage the ss, and have them speaking, not for them to get the ranking right or even for them to know which river is the longest afterwards. It should be a bit rushed, which will hopefully set an upbeat, efficient pace for the rest of the lesson.

Lead in/Exposure (8-10 minutes) • To precisely set the context and further engage the learners with the subject. This stage will also serve to provide a general model of production of some of the vocabulary through listening.

After saying we will be watching a short video the T puts up a ppt. slide with following Qs: What river is the subject of this video? Where does it begin? Where does it end? Which countries does it go through? T asks ss to answer Qs alone. Couple ICQs e.g. What should you pay attention to during the video? How many times will we watch the video? (once) T then hands out a HO ;) After the video, ss can check answers in pairs very quickly. FB: 4 ss come to the board together to each answer one question by writing it..

Useful Language (4-7 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language for coming productive tasks

The T tries to mime cycling, asking the WC "What am I doing?", trying to elicit the answer: "You are cycling". This is an example of the present continuous. It is assumed that ss have already learned the present continuous, so this is intended as review/consolidation. Try to elicit the tense name. Using a timeline: "when does it happen?" Looking for now/present (If other correct answers come up like; the near future, address it then. Try to elicit an example. For example: "They are travelling to Laos next weekend".) T also asks, for each situation, when does it end? Do we know? Stress that it is happening right now (usually), and that it is continuing into the future, that it is in progress. Use example like: I travel, ask individual st; Is it in the present continuous? Why? Is it happening now? maybe, we don't know. Quick pronunciation drilling Highlight on the BB that it always involves am/is/are + (aka present participle)

Productive Task(s) (13-17 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Ss are given a HO which they answer in pairs. Questions are about a cycling trip down the Mekong which they are asked to imagine they are planning together (T should use ICQs to make sure ss understand this part). The verbs, however are provided in bare infinitive and and should be converted to present continuous. They also should answer in the present continuous. They are also asked to create a question, still using the present continuous of course, and to answer it. When this is done, the st on the right switches pairs, to his/her right. The new pair members ask each other about their imagined trip.

Feedback and Error Correction (5-6 minutes) • To provide feedback on students' production and use of language

After monitoring the previous stage, T brings up the most important or frequent mistakes. T already wrote them on the BB to save time; he can now ask volunteers to correct them. T should also write normal correct answers on the BB, as well as interesting answers. If time is short, T can write the FB pts down and begin the next class with that.

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