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Materials & Lesson Plans

Teacher’s Guide:
How to Use the Lesson Plan Framework

The lesson plan framework offered here is meant to provide ESL and EFL teachers with general guidelines for using the TeachingPragmatics.com resources and materials in their classrooms. The activities proposed in the lessons are designed to raise teachers’ and students’ awareness of the pragmatic conventions of American English, but some suggestions are also provided to call attention to the students’ L1 (first language) pragmatics rules.

The following lesson structure can be used as a template to create other lessons addressing different areas of pragmatics. This framework is not meant to lock the instructors into a particular methodology. Although the structure recommended here has worked well in a variety of contexts, it is up to the instructor to adapt and modify it to best fit their curricular needs.

Our lessons will easily complement any course involving developing learners’ communication skills, and can be adapted to any proficiency level from beginning to advanced, once the teacher has identified the specific pragmatics skills the learners need to acquire, or, as we would say in pedagogical jargon, once the teacher has conducted a needs analysis in their classrooms.

Teachers who are using a textbook in their course can also supplement it with the materials provided here. Click below for an example of how to conduct a textbook analysis and supplement it with pragmatics materials.

Supplementing a mainstream ESL textbook with pragmatics (make linkable)

Lesson Features

The lessons follow a similar structure. Each will start with a warm-up activity, which, in addition to ensuring that latecomers do not disturb the core part of the sessions, will allow students to activate their schema and will introduce them to the main topic of the.

Each lesson will include an awareness raising component, meant to help students notice the language features of the pragmatic act being addressed, for instance requests. This can be achieved by having students draw comparisons between making requests in their L1 and in the L2 (English, in this case).

Explicit instruction of the features of the pragmatic act is also included in the lessons, but it is generally a good practice to have the students induce these features themselves first.  We can do this by giving them plenty of meaningful examples of the pragmatic act in context, and then having them analyze the language functions and make initial assumptions about the features they’ve identified. The video content available on this web is also an excellent source of language input.

The students will then practice each pragmatic act through guided and communicative activities. This helps students learn the language forms introduced and broadens their awareness of the social and contextual cues that dictate their choice of certain language features.

Learners are also encouraged to record the main characteristics and usage conventions of speech acts and other communicative situations in a Pragmatics Chart, which they can refer to as needed.