Electronic Dictionaries

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Name(s) of Teacher(s): Karmen Rabe and Ms. Uemura

Class/Grade/Language Level: Junior High School, Third Grade

Textbook and specific lesson: New Horizon 3, UNIT 5

Goal: To improve listening skills and increase vocabulary.

Preparation: Typing out a page and leaving blank spaces (ten-15 minutes) Handout

Class time: 25 – 30 minutes

Lesson plan:

This can be a pretty boring lesson (dictionaries? Ain’t nobody got time for that!), but you can use it to teach your kids some nice skills. An often overlooked one, is allowing students to have their own opinions. This is a good opportunity for them to say how they feel about something (even if they DO still consult their peers).

This exercise can be used interchangeably with other Units, I just happened to pick this one. If you read through the conversations, you’ll see there are folks discussing the benefits and drawbacks of using electronic dictionaries. My sensei asked me to write my own opinion and tell the kids about it. I took it a step further, by making a worksheet with ten blank spaces. They have to listen to my speech several times, and then fill in the blanks.

The first time I read the speech at a normal, natural pace. The students’ eyes are like deer’s in headlights once I finish. Like this: o_0 . Then I tell them to relax. We go through the speech one paragraph at a time, and then the students (in groups of four or five) discuss what said paragraph’s possible meaning could be. Each group gets a chance to present what they discussed. The group closest to the actual meaning, gets stickers.

After checking the Japanese meaning of each paragraph (with the help of the JTE) students listen to the speech one more time, and only AFTER that, I hand out the sheets with blank spaces. At the bottom of the sheet, there’s also a list of new vocabulary words.

Time permitting, we then ask students to write their own opinions on an array of topics, such as nuclear energy; plastic shopping bags and related things. This could become homework, which they can then present in the next period.

(See attached worksheet example. And good luck!)