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Takako Kobayashi v MATESOL

Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 1

My lesson plan outlines procedures for a 90-minute class session in a series of lessons to
be delivered in a secondary ESL setting. The intermediate-level, multiple-skills course for which
I have designed this lesson meets three days per week and aims to improve students proficiency
in English. In my teaching experience, I have found that adolescent English language learners
(ELLs) struggle with comprehending and producing wh-questions accurately, meaningfully, and
appropriately. I was thus eager to design a lesson to address this common challenge. After
reviewing the properties of information-seeking questions in English by exploring the use,
meaning, and form dimensions (Larsen-Freeman, 2003), I will describe the pedagogical design
of my lesson and the tools I envision for assessing learners understanding, production, and
progress.
Questions frequently occur in many contexts across registers for different purposes
(Biber, Conrad, & Leech, 2002), making wh-questions among the most of important linguistic
structures for ELLs to master at an early stage (Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman, 1999).
Because question formation in English involves the selection of a wide range of interrogative
words and complex syntactic movement, ELLs may struggle to acquire interrogative rules.
Systematic instruction on the use, meaning, and form of interrogatives is thus essential to
promoting the development of ELLs (Celce-Murcia and Larsen-Freeman, 1999; Larsen-Freeman,
2003).
Whereas polar (yes-no) questions query an entire proposition, wh-questions inquire about
a particular piece of information housed in a grammatical constituent (Biber et al., 2002; Biber,
Johansson, Leech, Conrad, & Finegan, 1999; Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman, 1999; Cowan,
2008; Kennedy, 2003). Wh-questions allow questioners to interrogate any constituent in a

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Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 2

sentence. Speakers pose wh-questions when they can assume that the listener knows the
proposition at hand (Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman, 1999, p. 251).
The meaning of a wh-question determinesand is determined bythe choice of an
interrogative word associated with the semantic character of the inquiry focus (Celce-Murcia
& Larsen-Freeman, 1999, p. 248). Table 1 illustrates how wh-words correspond to their syntactic
and lexico-semantic categories; it also shows the wide range of meanings that users of English
have at their disposal when they need to ask and answer information-seeking questions.
Table 1.
Syntactic and Lexico-Semantic Meanings of Interrogative (Wh-) Words in Modern English
Syntactic [Semantic] Category
Subject NP [human]
Subject NP [non-human]
Subject Noun Predicate [human]
Subject Noun Predicate [non-human]
Object NP [human]
Object NP [non-human]
Advl [means]
Advl [direction]
Advl [position]
Advl [time]
Advl [manner]
Advl [reason]
Advl [purpose]
Advl [frequency]
Note. (Adapted from Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman, 1999, p. 249).

Wh-Word
who
what
who
what
who(m)
what
how
where
where
when
how
why
whatfor
how often

In terms of the form dimension, interrogatives can be classified according to whether the
constituent being questioned is a subject noun phrase (a subject wh-question) or occurs
somewhere in the predicate (a predicate wh-question). This distinction is important for learners
to understand because the movement rules for each category are distinct. In subject wh-questions,
a wh-word replaces the subject noun phrase, as in Figure 1.

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Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 3

Figure 1. A tree diagram of a subject wh-question. (Adapted from Celce-Murcia & LarsenFreeman, 1999, p. 243).
In contrast, when a constituent (of any grammatical category) in the predicate is
questioned, a semantically appropriate wh-word replaces that constituent and then moves to the
front of the sentence (wh-fronting). After the operator (auxiliary) is extracted, the subject noun
phrase and operator (auxiliary) are then transposed (subject-operator inversion), producing wellformed questions like the one in Figure 2 (Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman, 1999; Cowan,
2008).

Figure 2. A tree diagram of a predicate wh-question. (Adapted from Celce-Murcia & LarsenFreeman, 1999, pp. 243-244).

Takako Kobayashi v MATESOL


Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 4

My lesson highlights communication and implements Task-based Language Teaching


(TBLT) as a systematic operation. Ellis (2010) emphasizes several main criteria for a task,
namely:
1. There is a primary focus on meaning.
2. The students choose the linguistic and nonlinguistic resources needed to complete the
task.
3. The task should lead to real-world processes of language use.
4. Successful performance of the task is determined by whether the students have achieved
the intended communicative outcome. (p. 35)
Overall, my lesson plan outline includes three phases: pre-task, during-task, and post-task (Ellis,
2006). It consists of several focused tasks that attempt to elicit wh-question production. Ellis
(2010) observed that focused tasks can be used to practice specific linguistic forms while
learners are engaged in the effort to communicate (p. 40). Elliss indication supports a focus-onform (FonF) approach that integrates a focus on linguistic forms in communicative contexts
(Long, 1991; Nassaji & Fotos, 2011).
The pre-task phase is comprised of three activities. The first pre-task (Prepare to Read in
the lesson outline) activates learners content schemata by noting real-world tasks of whquestions to prepare them to undertake the next activities, which requires learners to read a
transcript of a witness interview (Ellis, 2003; Hudson, 2007; Long, 1985; Skehan, 1999). The
authenticity of this fictional transcript engages learners in input processing that connect
grammatical structure with their meanings (Nassaji & Fotos, 2011). The FonF approach
emphasizes learners attention to specific linguistic forms while engaging in communicative
activities (Nassaji & Fotos, 2011). Therefore, the during-task, a role-play activity of a witness

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Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 5

interview involves students in meaningful communication that generates wh-question production.


Collaborative L2 interactions featured in the role-play activity lead to linguistic development in
individuals by engaging learners in negotiation for meaning (Donato, 1994; Hedge, 2000; Long,
1996; Swain & Lapkin, 1998). Media enables students to handle information by providing a
density of information and richness of cultural input (Brinton, 2001, p. 461). The video that
shows crimes for the during-task engenders an information gap between the members in dyads
and compels interactions (Doughty & Pica, 1986; Hedge, 2000). The primary focus of this task
remains meaning because the task attempts to discover more specific information about a crime.
These tasks suggest the use of incidental formative assessment defined as the ad hoc assessment
that teachers (and students) carry out as part of the process of performing a task that has been
selected for instructionalpurposes (Ellis, 2003, p. 314). According to Ellis (2003), incidental
formative assessment is categorized into two types: internal and external. The former
contributes directly to the accomplishment of the taskand indirectly to L2 development by
providing students with feedback in progress. On the other hand, the latter occurs during or after
a task through reflection on the performance by teachers and students. L2 interactions in the
during-task are optimal for internal assessment by providing online feedback on learners
production. The post-task given as an assignment serves as a consciousness-raising task that
explicitly draws learners attention to the grammar structure of wh-questions (Ellis, 2003, 2010;
Nassaji & Fotos, 2011). Consciousness-raising tasks lead to noticing that fosters learners
language acquisition. The post-task stimulates students to reflect on their performance, which is
appropriate for external assessment.

Takako Kobayashi v MATESOL



Setting:

Learner
Background:

Time Frame:
Materials and
Equipment:

Objectives:

Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 6

Background
Secondary ESL class
Class size: 10 14
Students are from a mixed background;
Pre-Intermediate proficiency
Previous lesson: Students practiced producing wh-questions for the
purpose of gathering information, distinguishing the difference between
subject wh-questions and predicate wh-questions.
90 minutes
Mind map (Appendix A)
A picture of a witness interview (Appendix B)
Witness Interview Transcript (Appendix C)
Video of crime 1 (Appendix D)
Witness Interview Report (Appendix E)
Video of crime 2 (Appendix F)
Wh-questions in Witness Interview (Appendix G)
Whiteboard and markers
A police hat
Recording devices for student recordings
Computer
Projector
Screen
Students will be able to
Produce different types of wh-questions in communications to seek
specific information.
Recognize and self-correct their use of wh-questions, focusing on form,
by listening to the recording of their investigation.

Takako Kobayashi v MATESOL



Time
23
mins.
10 15
mins.

57
mins.

57
mins.

Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 7

Lesson Outline
Procedures/Teacher Actions
Introduction
Greet students (Ss).
Take attendance.
Pre-Task (1): Prepare to Read
Invite Ss to recall what we concluded at the end of the
last class session.
Ask Ss to share orally what situations they have heard
or used wh-questions in their daily lives and what
kinds of wh-questions are used.
Create a mind map on the whiteboard based on Ss
ideas (e.g., fast food: how many hamburgers do you
want?, shopping mall: what size shoes do you wear?,
and so on).
Show a police hat and put a picture of a witness
interview on the whiteboard, writing Witness
Interview over the picture.
Have Ss think about what happens in the picture and
ask them to share their thoughts orally.
Tell Ss that they are policemen like one in the picture
and have them think about what kinds of questions
should be asked.
Pass the police hat to each S to share the questions
they think about.
Write down Ss questions on the whiteboard.
Pre-Task (2): Read
Tell Ss that they are going to read a transcript of a
witness interview.
Tell Ss to make groups of three.
Hand Witness Interview Transcript to each S.
Have each S in groups assign to one of the roles:
Detective Murphy, Detective Armstrong, and Charley
Jacobs.
Ask each group to read the transcript aloud, following
the assigned roles.
Inform Ss that they have only five minutes to read the
entire text, reminding them not to worry about minor
details or unknown vocabulary, but just to compare
the questions in the text to the wh-questions they made
in the previous activity.
Pre-Task (3): Process Reading
Write the following questions on the whiteboard.
o What is each characters occupation?
o What is the main topic in the interview?

Materials/Equipment

Mind map
(Appendix A)
Whiteboard and
markers
A picture of a
witness interview
(Appendix B)
A police hat

Witness Interview
Transcript
(Appendix B)

Whiteboard and
markers

Takako Kobayashi v MATESOL


57
mins

23
mins.

68
mins.

68
mins.

23
mins.

23
mins.

Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 8

o What will happen in future?


Have each group discuss answers to the questions.
Monitor and assist Ss if needed.
During-Task 1: Introduction
Inform Ss that they are going to produce a role-play of
a witness interview like the one in the transcript.
Tell Ss to make pairs (self-select).
Number off the Ss so that there is a 1 and a 2 in each
pair.
Inform 1s that they will be witnesses.
Instruct 1s to watch the video clip, which depicts a
crime.
Inform 2s that they will not see the video and they will
be detectives and question the 1s.
Tell Ss that the 1s must describe the video by
answering the 2s questions.
Demonstrate an activity with one volunteer S by
asking at least one appropriate question.
Distribute recording devices, telling Ss that they are
required to record their interview.
During-Task 1: Video Viewing

Tell the 2s to put their heads down on their desks.


Play Video of Crime 1 on the screen using the

computer.

During-Task 1: Witness Interview (Role-play)

Hand Witness Interview Report to each of the 2s.


Tell the 2s to begin asking the 1s about the video.

Remind 2s to record their interviews.


Monitor Ss to make sure that they are performing the
task correctly and assist if needed.
During-Task 1: Describing the Suspect (Debrief)

Ask the 2s what they learned from their investigation.


List the answers the 2s give on the whiteboard to

describe the suspect.


Play Video of crime 1 again, letting all Ss watch it.

Ask 2s if the video matches what they imagine.

During-Task 2: Introduction
Tell Ss to switch roles (witnesses will now be
detectives and vice versa).
Inform Ss that they are going to watch a different
video and engage in the role-play with new roles.
During-Task 2: Video Viewing

Video of crime 1
(Appendix C)
Computer
Projector
Screen
Witness Interview
Report
(Appendix D)
Recording devices

Video of crime 1
(Appendix C)
Whiteboard and
markers
Computer
Projector
Screen

Video of crime 2

Takako Kobayashi v MATESOL


68
mins.

68
mins.

5 10
mins.

Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 9

Tell the new 2s to put their heads down on their desks.


Play Video of crime 2 on the screen using the
computer.

During-Task 2: Witness Interview (Role-play)


Hand the Witness Interview Report to each of the 2s.
Tell the 2s to begin asking the 1s about the video.
Remind 2s to record their interviews.
Monitor Ss to make sure that they are performing the
task correctly and assist if needed.
During-Task 2: Describing the Suspect (Debrief)
Ask the 2s what they learn from their investigation.
List the answers the 2s give on the whiteboard to
describe the suspect.
Play Video of crime 2 again, letting all Ss watch it.
Ask 2s if the video matches what they imagined.
Closure/Post-Task
Assign homework: Ss are required to listen to the
recordings of their witness interviews.
Hand the Wh-Questions in Witness Interview to each
S.
Instruct Ss to make a list of each wh-question they
used on the handout, to check whether each question
was well formed, and to write a corrected form if not.

(Appendix E)
Computer
Projector
Screen
Witness Interview
Report
(Appendix D)

Video of crime 2
(Appendix E)
Whiteboard and
markers
Computer
Projector
Screen
Recording devices
Wh-questions in
Witness Interview
(Appendix F)

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Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 10

Appendix A
Mind Map

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Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 11

Appendix B
A picture of a witness interview

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Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 12

Appendix C
Witness Interview Transcript
Directions: Choose one role from the transcript (Detective Murphy, Detective
Armstrong, and Charley Jacobs). Read aloud the transcript with your group members
according to the assigned role.
Witness Interview Transcript
Detective Murphy: Have a seat, Mr. Jacobs, and please state your name and address
for the record.
Charley Jacobs: Thank you. I'm Charley Jacobs and I live at 1904 Molly Barr Road.
Detective Murphy: That's here in Oxford?
Charley Jacobs: Yes, maam, sure is.
Detective Murphy: What is your occupation, Charley?
Charley Jacobs: I do construction work, renovating and the like.
Detective Murphy: Who is your employer?
Charley Jacobs: I work for Grantham Construction.
Detective Armstrong: How long have you worked there?
Charley Jacobs: For about 15 years now. My father worked for old man Grantham,
Sonny. Dad put in a good word for me, and they hired me. All I know I was taught by my
dad. No special schooling or anything. Sonny's boys, Brad and Barry, are great too.
They pretty much run the company now.
Detective Armstrong: Mr. Jacobs, tell me about the job you are doing right now.
Charley Jacobs: Well, we're kind of at a standstill at the moment. We're doing some
renovation work at the old Physical Plant Shop and Stores at the university.
Detective Armstrong: A standstill? Why is that?
Charley Jacobs: Well, me and a couple of the guys were taking a break and having a
small snack. I was done eating, so I went and walked over to a demo area that we had
done earlier, and that's when I noticed that hidden room.
Detective Armstrong: You were just walking by and you happened to see it?
Charley Jacobs: Well, I mean, I kind of leaned up against the wall a little bit and it kinda
gave. So when I turned around, that's when, you know, I realized that it wasn't a wall at
all. It was actually door, like a secret door. You just couldn't see it.
Detective Armstrong: So you were walking around by yourself in a place where y'all had

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Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 13

been demoing walls, and you just happened to lean up against one?
Charley Jacobs: Yeah. So?
Detective Armstrong: You didn't leave anything out of that story?
Charley Jacobs: No. What're you talking about?
Detective Armstrong: We saw some cigarette butts on the floor over there. You wouldn't
know anything about that, would you?
Charley Jacobs: All right, yeah. So you busted me smoking in an area that I wasn't
supposed to. So what?
Detective Armstrong: So what were you really doing when you found the room?
Charley Jacobs: All right. I was trying to get my lighter out of my pocket without
dropping a bunch of stuff on the floor. And that's when I fell against the wall and it gave
in and I landed on my ass. That's when I realized that, you know, there's a hidden room
back there.
Detective Murphy: Did you go inside the room?
Charley Jacobs: No. Yeah. Yes, I did.
Detective Armstrong: Did you or not?
Charley Jacobs: I did. I mean, I took a couple steps in. And then the door closed behind
me, and that's when I got this really bad feeling. You know, it was like the hair on the
back of my neck and arms just kind of like stood straight up. You know, it was like--it
was like a really creepy, creepy feeling, like something really bad had happened in there.
Detective Armstrong: Did you touch anything in the room?
Charley Jacobs: No! No. But I noticed the writing on the back of the door. It said, "I died
here. R B killed me." There was something else underneath that, but I wasnt about to
stick around and figure out what it was. I mean, so I got out of there as fast as I could. I
closed the door and made sure that nobody else got in there until the cops got there.
Detective Murphy: How did the other workers react to the news of the hidden room?
Charley Jacobs: Well, I had to yell for them. Carl said, "You look white as a sheet." But
he promised me that he wouldn't let anyone in that room while I went out and called 911.
So I stepped outside, and I couldn't get a signal inside for some reason. Oh, and Jack
was out with me.
Detective Armstrong: What made you think the police needed to know about this room?
Charley Jacobs: Just the feeling--like the writing on the back of the door wasn't enough?
I mean, I could just tell something creepy had happened in there. Something really bad
had happened. That's why you're talking to me, isn't it?

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Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 14

Detective Murphy: We are looking into it.


Detective Armstrong: Do you know if that room was on any blueprints or floor plans of
the building?
Charley Jacobs: No, it wasn't on any of the plans that we had.
Detective Murphy: Thank you for your time, Mr. Jacobs.
Charley Jacobs: Thank you. When you find out what went down in there, will you let me
know?
Detective Murphy: We can't do that. If something bad happened, it'll probably be on the
news or in the papers.
Charley Jacobs: OK, I'll check the papers then. Bye.
Source: http://www.crimescene.com/currentcase/index.php/previous-cases1473587461/the-hidden-room-case/interviews-hroom/1144-interview-charley-jacobsfound-room
Readability Statistics
Flesch Reading Ease
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level

83.9
4.0

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Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 15

Appendix D
Video of crime 1
http://vimeo.com/64201445

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Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 16

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Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 17

Appendix E
Witness Interview Report
Directions: You are going to interview the witness of a crime. Please fill in the blanks
by asking specific questions to the witness.

WITNESS INTERVIEW REPORT


Officer Name:
Witness Name:
Location of Crime:

Example: Where did the crime happen?

Time of Crime:

Nature of Crime:

Suspect(s) Description
(e.g.,
age/gender/clothing):
Other Details (e.g.,
suspected reason for
crime):

POLICE DEPARTMENT

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Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 18

Appendix F
Video of crime 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3B5zoU2WVg&feature=youtu.be

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Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 19

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Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 20

Appendix G
Wh-Questions in Witness Interview
Directions: Listen carefully to your witness interview recorded in the lesson. List whquestions you produced during the interview and check whether they are grammatically
correct. If not, write well-formed wh-questions.
Wh-Questions in the Interview
Example: What she stole?

Good?

Correct Form
What did she steal?

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Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 21

References
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Biber, D., Johansson, S., Leech, G., Conrad, S., & Finegan, E. (1999). Longman grammar of
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Brinton, D. M. (2001). The use of media in language teaching. In M. Celce-Murcia (Ed.),
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Component 3: Lesson Plan and Rationale 22

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