The skills that I decided to focus on is reading (receptive), writing (productive) and speaking (productive) because I believe that this lesson will give students an opportunity as well as a confidence booster to practise reading and inferring the meaning from authentic texts, and to practise and develop skills in writing, and discussing its contents and creating a conversation with their friends in the real world (Thorne 1997).
I would use this activity with intermediate level students because I believe the level of vocabulary is suited to their level and the article itself is not too long.
The newspapers article is based on WhatsApp, Viber and Skype users in the Kingdom face the risk of being barred from these applications if the owners of these communication platforms do not provide a monitoring server by the end of this week.
The theme of my lesson is 'Communication via social network'. as this is a topic that has send shock waves through the Saudi and the expatriate communities. However the public of the Kingdom would desire to overturn the decision.
To begin the lesson, I would set the context by displaying a picture on the board of one type of internet communication and ask the students to briefly discuss in pairs: ‘How would they feel if this communication tool was not available to them any longer?’ This would warm the students to the topic of the lesson, whilst personalising it (activating schemata) so that the students can also relate to it (Hedge 2002).
I would then pre-teach some words, eliciting and creating scenarios if necessary, and concept checking. The words I would pre-teach are: ‘platform’ (), ‘server’ () and ‘blockage’ (), ‘encrypted’(), ‘conduits’() and ‘scholarshps’().
Yet I would try and restrict pre-teaching too many words because I believe the students can get a better understanding of the text if they try to infer the meaning of words themselves by using the context. As Harmer (2001) states: "by giving them some or all of those words we deny them a chance to practice tackling authentic texts".
I would begin the first set of tasks by focusing on the skill of reading. I would use the article to give students an opportunity to develop bottom-up reading skills and to read in detail (scan) by setting a task referring to each. This would give students an opportunity to develop their receptive skills whilst reading an authentic text.
The first reading task I would set is designed to encourage bottom-up reading skills. I would list a set of sentences stating: “The main idea of paragraph one is: The main idea of paragraph two is:” etc (see appendix for detail). Below each sentence there would a multiple choice of sentences, one of which correctly summarizes each paragraph and the others incorrectly. The students are required to read through the text and select the correct sentence which summarises the main idea of each paragraph.
I would set a short time limit for the students to read and select the correct answers, thus preventing the students from trying to focus too much on ‘unknown’ vocabulary. Such an activity will give students the opportunity to read through the text and answer the questions, whilst developing a better understanding of the overall meaning of the text. The students would work individually and then check in pairs (peer correction), and then I would check their answers (Hedge 2002).
The second reading task is designed to give students the opportunity to practise reading for detail (scanning). I would use a true/false questionnaire, where the students read a set of sentences and then scan the text to identify and infer if each…