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Love, Actually
Advanced Intermediate level


In this lesson, we will work on reading a literary text for gist, and help students "hear" music of literature. Then we will practice pronouncing some phrases taken from the text (poem).


Abc Rhyme pattern posters
Abc Golden Gate poem

Main Aims

  • To practice reading a literary text for comprehension by grasping gist section-by-section.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To pronounce rhymes and reproduce the rhythm or "music" of language.


Lead-in • To activate schema; check on level of familiarty with poetry

Ask students if they like poetry, if poetry is popular in Turkey, etc. Why do people write poems? Why not just come right out and say what you mean? For ex.: Love.

Overall Gist reading • To make certain everyone gets the overall point of the poem

Begin with reading for overall gist (individual work). Task: what is this poem about? Skim the entire poem. CQ: What is poem about? A blind date. If needed: Do the man and woman know each other? No. So why are they meeting? It's a date. Anticipated problem: They will be overwhelmed by the large amount of tough language. Solution: Tell them to relax. We will review some vocabulary in the next stage.

Pre-teach lexis • To guide students through discovery of key language chunks

Matching game. In pairs, students match chunks to the correct (rhyming) definition. Check as a class. Anticipated problem: Much of the language is imprecise and defies conventional translation. Solution: This is why we are skimming the poem before doing lexis: so they have a feel for the language before trying to figure out what individual terms mean.

Reading for gist II • To help students understand a litery text by studying its organization

One at a time, read each of the three verses of the poem for gist. Task for verse 1: How does the man feel? Skim. Discuss in pairs answer to task question. CQs: Is the man sure this will go well? No. He's "on the fence." How do we know? He plans for "ready flight." Same process repeated for each verse. Task for verse 2: Do the man and woman like how they look immediately? CQ: Does John like how Elizabeth looks? Yes How do we know? "She's lovely." What about Elizabeth? Does she like how John looks? Yes. How do we know? I find him quite attractive? What kind of man does Elizabeth want, a partier or a reliable, honest man? Reliable. Task for verse 3: How would are they acting? CQ: Are they smooth and confident or nervous and giddy? Giddy. Why are they nervous? They like each other. What happens by the end? Love at first sight. Do you think they will keep seeing each other? Yes.

Rhyme Time • Scanning - to give students practice identifying words that rhyme

Working in pairs or threes, students underline pairs of words from the poem that rhyme. Divide up poem by verse, have each group work on a single verse. Check by having a group call out pairs for each of the three verses. Teacher check, class peer check. Do you notice any patterns in the rhymes? Put two posters on wall. Guided discovery of A,B,A,B,C,C,D,D,E,F,F,E,G,G, pattern, known as the “Onegin Stanza." Anticipate problem: Pronunciation issues will crop up, and some rhymes will be hard to pick out. Solution: If students stumble, pick out the first word of the pair, let them find second. Anticipated problem: Students may have trouble picking out the rhyming pattern. Solution: CQ it. Are all the rhyming words next to each other? No. How does this verse compare to the last verse, say? Is there a pattern that repeats? Yes.

Pronunciation • To show how rhymes can help with pronunciation; to drill some of the words in the poem

Use the rhyming pairs students have placed on the blackboard as models. Drill. Begin with some really close: lurch/church; right/flight (perfect rhyme) Some could fool you due to different spelling Staring/Wearing (note spelling diff) inferred/word /ɪnfərd/ and /wərd / Some even more “off” at least to an American: drama/calmer /draɪmə/ and /kaɪmə/ John/on /dʒɒn/ and /ɒn/ Warn about "eye" rhymes: They seem to look like rhymes, but: love/move Drill pronounce some examples as a class.

Time - If time allows • To dig deeper into pronunciation by looking at meter in "The Golden Gate"

Explain “Golden Gate” is written in iambic tetrameter (groups of four sounds, with the beat on the second and fourth sounds). Ex.: To Meet, he reckons, far from drama, In daylight: less romantic, calmer Have students repeat in chorus, then let individuals try it out!

Poetry recital • To gain fluency in pronunciation (esp. with rhymes) by reciting Seth's Golden Gate

Pair work. Each pair will get a couplet to practice and read in front of the class. Then, in sequential fashion, we will recite at least one verse of the poem. Anticipated problem: Due to the rhyme pattern, there will be two rhymes in each verse (e,e rhyme) separated from the others. Solution: I will read those lines.

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