Monday, June 3, 2013

Lesson Plan Resource

As tutors and teachers we all need a little help now and then. Lesson planning is a big challenge for most of us, particularly at the beginning of our experience. A website called gives you varying levels of help in creating lesson plans. It offers complete lesson plans on some subjects, games and activities for others. Below is one activity from the site, a game called "Responding to Requests." It gives a long list of very bluntly worded statements. The task is to try to make them more polite by making them a little less direct. Here is part of the list:

Here you go.
Grab this.
Sit down and wait while I look.
I can’t help you.
Just a sec/ Just a mo./ Wait.

Treating the activity as a competition to see who can be more excruciatingly polite could be a very funny experience. The basic idea, though, is that beginning speakers of English tend to lack phrases that make their requests or commands sound more palatable. The ability to add, "Why don't you...?" or "Would you mind...?" or "I'm sorry, but..." can help learners soften their requests, which helps native-speaking listeners to be more inclined to listen to them.  Interestingly, in this game you have the option to stop if you either cannot make make a statement more polite or if your effort sounds less polite than the one before. has many more lesson plans ready-to-go, worksheets and games like this one.Why don't you pay them a visit?

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