Lesson Plan: What’s in Your Kitchen? TPR for Adult Learners

As someone who has been teaching (young) adults at a mostly intermediate level in strict settings from Day 1 of my teaching career, I haven’t had a chance to incorporate TPR into my lessons until last week. Everything I knew about TPR was served under the YL sauce and, therefore, I deemed this approach redundant.

While having the recipe lesson, my student realised that her knowledge of kitchen-related vocabulary was not as good as she would like it to be so we decided to devote our next lesson to filling this gap. I turned to the Internet in search of some inspiration but wasn’t excited about numerous gap-fills and other typical tasks offered for adult learners. Lesson plans designed for YLs seemed way more engaging and I thought that I could give it a go. This lesson was a pure experiment, and it turned out to be one of the best lessons we’ve had so far.

Focus: Vocabulary
Level: A2-B1
Duration: 60 minutes
Learning objectives – by the end of the lesson, student(s) will have:
– been introduced to a range of most common kitchenware-related vocabulary
– practised using new vocabulary in speaking / writing by giving orders to the teacher / fellow students
Setting: online, you and your student(s) should be sitting in your kitchens; could be taught face-to-face if you don’t mind bringing a whole suitcase of kitchenware to work
Materials: These slides and a whole kitchen of realia
Procedure:

0. WARM-UP/LEAD-IN

Start by doing whatever you usually do at the beginning of the lesson (I usually start by having a small talk and then looking through student’s homework if there’re any mistakes).

Then ask your student(s) to describe what they have in their kitchen.

I. VOCABULARY PRESENTATION

I usually teach new vocabulary through pictures (https://pixabay.com/ is my ultimate favourite for getting free stock images). I used two criteria to select the items:
– they had to be common
– they had to be present in my kitchen and, ideally, in my student’s kitchen (but that was hard to predict)

1) Introduce the items using Slides 1-12. Elicit/feed in the vocab, check spelling by asking your student to type each word into the chatbox, and drill pronunciation.

2) After you have done all the things in 1), go back to Slide 1 and quickly review the vocab.

II. PRACTICE

1) To warm up and consolidate new vocabulary, use Slide 13: your student(s) just has(ve) to finish the sentences using correct vocabulary items.

Another task you can try is the guessing game: describe an item and ask your students to guess what it is and ask them to do the same for you or for each other (although this one requires the knowledge of certain cooking-related expressions).

2) Here comes TPR: you and your student(s)  give instructions to each other to do something with different kitchenware items. You can go first and give some simple instructions like ‘take the colander with your right hand and put it on the chopping board’. After some time, hand it over to your student(s). Now they tell you what to do. From time to time make mistakes (e.g. take a wrong item) and make students correct you. They can go as creative as they wish; for example, my student asked me to fry some imaginary potatoes and drain them – now, I didn’t expect that but had to comply.

Alternatively, put your students in BOs (pairs) and tell them to instruct each other. Remind them to perform wrong actions to test each other 🙂

For freer practice aka performance, you can ask your student(s) to choose some items and tell stories about them, e.g. Where did they get this nice saucepan? Or this wooden spatula? It looks old – have they been using it for a long time? etc.

Conclusions:
– My student said she enjoyed the class tremendously
– At the end of the lesson, she felt confident about using the vocab items because she had repeated them so many times during the lesson
– She managed to meaningfully incorporate some of the vocab items she learnt during the recipe lesson, i.e. this lesson naturally built on the previous one, which led to higher satisfaction
– TPR can be fun – for both teachers and students! (this came as a revelation to me)

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