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Integrating Technology into the ESL/EFL Classroom

A Lesson Plan for Simple and Progressive Tenses

using an MS Excel Learning Object (LO)

by Nellie Deutsch

Lesson Plan Title:  Integrating Technology into the ESL Classroom using MS Excel as a Learning Object

Learning Object: http://www.nelliemuller.com/Simpleandprogressivetenses.htm

Concept / Topic to Teach:  basic tenses

Population: ESL/EFL students at the basic level, elementary, high school, and adults

Content: Applying an MS Excel LO and an audio listening exercise to practice basic present and past tenses. The students are required to change the forms of the verbs in brackets to suit the content of the sentence. They receive immediate feedback for their work.

Standards Addressed:  

  1. Linguistic and grammatical concepts: Understands that different languages use different patterns to communicate and applies this knowledge to the target and native languages
  2. Benchmark: Knows various linguistic elements of the target language (e.g., time, tense, gender, syntax, style) and how these elements compare to linguistic elements in one's native language
  3. Performs self-appraisal: Monitors progress towards learning goal and modifies strategies as needed        

General Goal(s):  Taking responsibility for learning 

Specific Objectives:

  1. Using basic English tenses such as simple and progressive
  2. Working with Excel to check work
  3. Following instructions

Required Materials:

  1. Computer
  2. MS Excel spreadsheet
  3. MS Word
  4. Exercise format: http://www.nelliemuller.com/simpleandprogressivetenses.doc
  5. Excel spreadsheet format: http://www.nelliemuller.com/Simpleandprogressivetenses.htm

Anticipatory Set (Lead-In):

Students' checking their own work: Discuss its merits  

Step-By-Step Procedures:

  1. Explain the differences between simple and progressive tenses: 

    Simple: an action is done regularly (present simple) or in the past (past simple).

    Progressive: a situation where the subject is "locked in" or busy. This could be in either a present, past or future time.

  2. Explain the layout of the exercise.
  3. Have the students scan the text for any difficult words.
  4. Explain how to use Excel sheet to check work
  5. Students write in their answers on the Excel page.
  6. Students correct their mistakes if they can.
  7. Students copy and paste the task page.
  8. Students write in their final score.
  9. Students write the final task.
  10. Students print their work and hand it in for the teacher to mark.   

Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set):

Class discussion on the process of checking their work: Students reflect how they feel about the task. Discuss how they felt at the beginning, during and at the end.

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