3 Unit of
foreign language is exciting if we are allowed to participate in creating the
learning process without the hindrance of closed activities and routines.
This Unit of work is intended to
the fun and excitement of learning and involve the students in their own
In the elaboration
of this Unit we have considered the educational
contexts, students, school and town. The reference
to this is in the planning introduction. The topic Water has been chosen by it
relation to the maritime context of the town and the students.
The materials have been designed
according to some principles:
The best way to learn
a language is by doing things with it the natural way.
Easy tasks from the
real world have direct appeal to the learner.
A Creative framework
provides an effective learning environment.
Motivation must be
created and not presupposed.
of the foreign language teaching /learning is a crucial point.
The phase of planning a unit of
work should be done, in ideal conditions, by a team of teachers. They should
come to an agreement as to the procedures to be followed in the planning and
subsequent implementation of the unit.
The first step would
consist on the choice of the theme or interest area and also of the input that
is going to be used. This choice has to be made considering the
students' interests and their level of English.
Then the team must proceed
to the specification of communicative objectives and establish relationships
with those generally specified for the area and for the stage of instruction.
These two steps may be taken in reverse order.
The third step would be to
establish a final task or series of tasks which
will show degree of attainment of objectives.
would come to the specification of necessary or desirable components
of the final tasks, these could be either linguistic or related to the topic.
Finally we get to the actual
planning of the process: from organisation in
sequencing steps through enabling and communicative tasks leading to final
tasks and a built-in recycling and systematisation of previous knowledge.
The following is a tentative
planning of a concrete unit of work which I have called
Water. It tries to stick to the preceding guidelines, and has
been designed to be applied in a public secondary
school. The first idea that came to us was choosing a theme axe and an
interesting topic which both motivates the learner and has a relation with
his/her real experiences. In the same way, this topic must join the contents
and the objectives fixed for this stage. The topic
has been chosen because of its international, national and particularly local
implications , its connection with some of the cross-curricular themes in
Bachillerato, such as Environment ,Health and
Consumerism and also because of the interest environment has today everywhere.
This Unit is the result of my own
teaching experience. We have had in mind the previous knowledge of the
The sequencing of activities is set
out from an initial activity (brainstorming) which determines the level of
knowledge about topic. It lets the teacher give information and materials
progressively from simple to difficult, and from
easy to complex and influences a better assimilation of concepts.
to the objectives is detailed in the general planning in the Unit 2.(Water)
The time necessary to carry out the
Unit is ten sessions. The whole year is about ninety sessions approximately
and in the general planning we programmed nine units, assigning each of them
Students will be given a sheet to
evaluate themselves at the end of the Unit. The teacher will also assess
him/herself about the unit plan.
As we have already said in this 'Memoria',
evaluation is considered not the end of a learning process but an
important part of the process itself. So for evaluation we have had in mind
three different stages:
evaluation. Through the
brainstorming and memory game and wordsquare,
we will activate learners' previous knowledge about water and this will
help the teacher to establish learners' needs.
evaluation. Most of the
activities are thought to let the student check his/her progress continually
and let the teacher make the adequate revision of the activities and
strategies being used.
this kind of evaluation is the result of the assessment of activities and
strategies used, and the attitude the learner shows (not to be forgotten;
direct observation, daily assessment, class diary, tests, questionnaires,
class work and home work and self-assessment sheet), we well take specially
into account the result of the game designed by learner at the end of the unit
because in doing that, they have to use the macro skills in a integrated way
and they have to show their progress in language. It will also be considered
'special' the previously organised talk/workshop about the topic they choose
related to water, because of the same reasons as
In the development of this Unit,
we have taken into account the following methodological principles:
is seen from the communicative point of view and not just from the grammatical
structures and rules.
experiences, ideas and knowledge are taken as a turning point to associate it
with the news material, so learner can change his/her schemes and thus can
learner-centred. Students participates actively in
setting the objectives, so the process will be adapted to his/her needs and
We will try to do the
learner autonomous in the learning providing him/her with the adequate
techniques and strategies.
We are aware of the
practical application of learning in everyday life.
The importance of
cooperation and pair and group work is appreciated.
The contents are
interrelated in global tasks and activities.
It is fostered the
interdisciplinary with other areas such as Geography, Physics, Science,
Chemistry, Religious Education, Maths.
The topic water can
be connected with cross-curricular topics as Health Education, Education for
Peace, Environmental Education, Moral and Civic Education, Consumer Education.
According to the steps specified
above, the planning of a unit of work is going to be presented now: it has
been designed for the first year of Bachillerato
to be developed in ten sessions. In this unit we will
make the connection with the previous knowledge by the revision of
familiar concepts and linguistic awareness of the student but in different
communicative situations with a greater difficulty . We have assumed
that students had already reached the final
objectives of E.S.O.
The reference to these aspects is
detailed in the planning of the year, in Unit 2.
Sequencing of activities.
There are some previous
considerations to the sequencing of contents:
knowledge, primacy of interaction, creative aspects of L2, functional
character of L2, contextualisation, socio-affective aspects and psycho-cognoscitive
features of the students.
It's a warming-up activity. The
students make an effort to remember ideas, words and facts related to water
and at the same time they learn new vocabulary.
Students will not find difficult to
find out the hidden water words in the wordsquare
(learning English in funny).
Looking at the socio-cultural
dimension of the L2 learning, students will identify the two parts of some
famous water places as rives, lakes, waterfalls and some things. Students, in
groups of four, are given a set of cards they have
It's a socio-cultural strategy.
Students show their previous knowledge of the topic and will get interested in
getting more information about it. Teacher may prefer doing the quiz orally,
so that students practise the communicative language and learning skills
orally or written, or students can work in pairs to try and guess the answers
in the quiz.
reading activity. After reading, students will narrate the water cycle, or ask
questions to their mates to check their comprehension.
It's a group /pair activity. They use the previous acquired knowledge and
strategies. It can be played by two of three players. Students have to imagine
the journey a water molecule does in the water cycle and describe the route.
It's a reading activity to infer
meaning from the context.
How much water is in what?
Activities to practise figures and
have to find out in reference materials, the amount of water in some common
food, and exchange information with their mates. Pair work.
In doing this activity students are
fulfilling most of the learning objectives: interpreting a graph or a diagram,
looking for specific information, answering questions from visual information,
taking part in a game, co-operating with people in order to win the race,
understanding new vocabulary.
How much water is used around the house?
Students will get information from
a statistic diagram. Activity where common use of water is
analysed. It involves taking decision, a dialogue, imperative, should.
The provided sheet is the teacher's material. Teacher will copy it without the
tip for saving water to use it with the students.
Students describe a water place or scene to a mate who will draw what s/he
Water, water everywhere .. Build a solar
In this activity, instructions are
given. The comprehension is checked by the students themselves in the success
of the experiment. The passive is practised in the process. English teacher
can take advantage of student's likes for experimenting.
Solar still. Experiment sheet
Student writes down all the
previous ideas and conclusions after doing the experiment.
It's a reading activity about the
world water supply. Students are given a text with the sentences in a wrong
order and they have to order it in a logical way.
This activity is specifically
designed for 'Bachillerato
A quick look at the history of water use
Designed for 'Bachillerato
They have to complete a text with missing words, answer some comprehension
questions and write a composition using acquired writing strategies.
Listening activities: fill-in the
gaps and put the lines in a logical order. There are many songs related to the
topic. These are only some examples but students may offer another options
more adequate to their likes.
Students have to identify famous
rivers in their area, and find them on a map.
They will co-operate with other
classmates to fulfil the activity using reference materials. It is directly
connected to the cross curricular topic of 'Cultura
Dealing with mixed- ability
classes. Some students need extra help with
vocabulary and grammar and some need more materials and activities to work
on. Here are some examples. This particular activity is thought as a remedial
This is an activity which revises
vocabulary used previously in the Unit. Students may use the bilingual
dictionary. It fosters student's self-steam.
It's thought as a reinforcement
activity in a mixed-ability class.
For advanced learners in a
Students will be able to identify how modern words have changed meaning from
its original to recognise the ocean's prominence in culture, to construct
hypothesis and to recognise their relation to maritime culture, due to the
location of the town. It refers directly to social studies and language arts.
Teacher answer key is provided.
Activity to assess the assimilation
degree of the information in the learning process, valid for teacher and
This activity integrated all the
strategies, skills and knowledge used and acquired in the Unit. Students will
design their own game in groups. They will design the board, the questions and
the instructions to play it. They will organise their work. The activity
finishes playing another group's game. It is thought as an evaluation task.
As this is an activity which
compiles all the skills and most of the acquired strategies it is used as an
evaluation task as well as the water game and the self-assessment sheet.
Students are given a selection of topics related to water and they have to
choose one. Then, they will prepare a short "speech" for their mates. After
the "lecture", they will answer the possible questions the "audience"
could ask. Examples of the topics are:
Water and us.
How we have used
How much water is in
Water, what's it made
A quick look at the
history of water use
Why treat the water?
How is water treated?
Some common water
quality problems and what causes them
Getting the water to
How much water is
used around the house?
In the kitchen and
laundry and out in the garden
Measuring the flow at
home and school
Water in business and
Health and water.
Water in Egypt.
Water in Religions.
The tasks and
activities are given next. Sometimes teacher's is provided and sometimes only
learners. Tasks are ordered in the same way as they have been described.