Planning consists of the organization and coordination of the program’s objectives, the learning resources available and the time allotted in order to deliver the program of studies in a practical teaching situation. As such, there are three ways in which planning can be carried out:
Yearly planning, in keeping with the philosophy of the program, involves choosing a minimum number of fields of experience which correspond to the sub-level being taught and the order in which these fields will be presented. For example, a minimum of five fields of experience out of the seven listed for each of the sublevels at the Beginner level is recommended and if time permits and based on students’ interest and their physical and psychological development, other fields of experience may be added to suit these varied needs and interests. The ordering of the fields of experience should be done in a logical and coherent fashion and in keeping with the learning resources available and the time allotted to the program by the school board.
Planning an Integrated Unit:
Integrated unit planning consists of setting selected objectives in keeping with those outlined in the sub-levels of the program of studies, deciding the activities required to achieve these objective and determining the evaluation criteria against which the students’ progress and success in regard to the objectives will be measured. To apply the program’s philosophy in the classroom, the educational project is suggested as the most effective way of integrating the four components of the program and for developing the four language skills.
The educational project is a unit of organized learning activities of varied duration in one of the fields of experiences prescribed by the program, in which the aim is to provide opportunities for learners to fully experience the language and the culture. The educational project is very flexible in that teachers will be able to adjust their teaching strategies to the students’ cognitive, socio-affective and metacognitive levels as well as to their needs and interests.
Teachers need not develop an educational project for each field of experience. When appropriate and possible, teachers can combine or integrate two or more fields of experience. For example, at the Beginner level it is possible to combine the fields of experience “The Senses” and “The Environment” into one educational project called “Faire une présentation sur l’utilisation de nos sens pour mieux connaître notre environnement”, which would include a variety of experiential activities in a number of environments. Thus, by combining fields of experience larger or more in depth educational projects can be carried out instead of a number of smaller ones.
It is important to note that when an educational project is being planned, the program’s objectives will need be adjusted for each field of experience. In addition, the intent is not to cover all the objectives within each project. Rather, the important thing is that the students have acquired all of the objectives of the sub-level before preceding onto the next level. The amount of time allocated to the program will be a factor in both planning and determining how long it will take to cover all of the objectives successfully and to ensure that students have sufficiently acquired the skills, knowledge, and attitudes assigned to the sublevel.
Daily Lesson Planning:
In this regard, daily planning is the sequential development of the language skills (listening/reading comprehension and oral/written production), cultural and linguistic knowledge and learning strategies which will provide students with the necessary tools to engage in language experiences. In each lesson, the teacher must try to integrate activities which will treat all four components as much as possible while at the same time following the proposed teaching stages:
- 1) the preparatory phase (introduction to the project, development of necessary knowledge, presentation of the context),
- 2) the experience phase ( integration of communicative/experiential activities/tasks as they relate to the four language skills – listening/reading comprehension, oral/written production),
- 3) the reflection phase (verification, feedback and formative evaluation of the language experience),
- 4) the reinvestment phase (recycling knowledge and skills in another context or situation), and
- 5) the evaluation phase (formal or informal feedback given to the students pertaining to their performance).
- By following these stages, the teacher can be sure that the integration of the program’s objectives has been attained and that an appropriate teaching methodology which is conducive to experiential/communicative teaching is being carried out.
The following pages contain explanations and examples of yearly plans, educational project ideas, and daily lessons plans which are intended to be used as guides and suggestions only.
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