The use of the so-called ‘three Ps’ (PPP) teaching methodology is very useful for preparing ESL lesson plans. Some trainee and novice ESL teachers are often at a loss initially when it comes to preparing their ESL lesson plans. The PPP teaching methodology will be particularly helpful for such ESL teachers.

The PPP methodology consists of three stages: the presentation stage, the practice stage, and the production stage. A simplistic description of the methodology follows. In the presentation stage, the ESL teacher introduces and teaches the subject that the students will be required to master. In the practice stage, the students engage in exercises and activities based on the subject taught in the first stage: this will usually be done with the guidance of the teacher. In the production stage, the students engage in exercises or activities based on the taught subject without the guidance of the ESL teacher. 

Since this article is concerned only with the practice stage, here are three important points that you, the trainee or novice ESL teacher, should consider when developing the practice stage of your lesson plans: 

1. How are you going to test their understanding? There are a variety of ways to test understanding: cloze tests, substitution drills, sentence transformations, split sentence matching, listening exercises, and so on. The manner in which you test the students will depend on your teaching objective. For example, if the students have been taught certain words and expressions relevant to ‘giving directions’, they can be given practice by participating in  role play activities.

2. Are you asking the questions in the right way in order to check understanding? Some trainee and novice ESL teachers will be happy if in response to the question “Do you understand?” they receive a “Yes!” reply. This is not satisfactory because the reply may not be indicative of true understanding. By using concept checking, the ESL teacher can be sure that the student has understood, e.g. instead of asking “Did you know that this is called an apple?” ask the student a concept question, “What is this called?”  Concept questions can also be used for checking the ESL students’ understanding of instructions and meanings, e.g. “What does ‘factory’ mean?”; “How do we form the past simple tense?”

3. How much guidance should you give the students? If they are progressing well – very little; however, you should be on the lookout for those students who are struggling. Don’t get too involved while the students are engaged in their exercises or activities. Try to encourage the students to develop self-confidence in their language skills, and don’t forget to explain the answers at the end of the practice stage.

The PPP methodology consists of three stages: the presentation stage, the practice stage, and the production stage. A simplistic description of the methodology follows. In the presentation stage, the ESL teacher introduces and teaches the subject that the students will be required to master. In the practice stage, the students engage in exercises and activities based on the subject taught in the first stage: this will usually be done with the guidance of the teacher. In the production stage, the students engage in exercises or activities based on the taught subject without the guidance of the ESL teacher. 

Since this article is concerned only with the practice stage, here are three important points that you, the trainee or novice ESL teacher, should consider when developing the practice stage of your lesson plans: 

1. How are you going to test their understanding? There are a variety of ways to test understanding: cloze tests, substitution drills, sentence transformations, split sentence matching, listening exercises, and so on. The manner in which you test the students will depend on your teaching objective. For example, if the students have been taught certain words and expressions relevant to ‘giving directions’, they can be given practice by participating in  role play activities.

2. Are you asking the questions in the right way in order to check understanding? Some trainee and novice ESL teachers will be happy if in response to the question “Do you understand?” they receive a “Yes!” reply. This is not satisfactory because the reply may not be indicative of true understanding. By using concept checking, the ESL teacher can be sure that the student has understood, e.g. instead of asking “Did you know that this is called an apple?” ask the student a concept question, “What is this called?”  Concept questions can also be used for checking the ESL students’ understanding of instructions and meanings, e.g. “What does ‘factory’ mean?”; “How do we form the past simple tense?”

3. How much guidance should you give the students? If they are progressing well – very little; however, you should be on the lookout for those students who are struggling. Don’t get too involved while the students are engaged in their exercises or activities. Try to encourage the students to develop self-confidence in their language skills, and don’t forget to explain the answers at the end of the practice stage.

The practice stage of an ESL lesson plan

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The PPP methodology consists of three stages: the presentation stage, the practice stage, and the production stage. A simplistic description of the methodology follows. In the presentation stage, the ESL teacher introduces and teaches the subject that the students will be required to master. In the practice stage, the students engage in exercises and activities based on the subject taught in the first stage: this will usually be done with the guidance of the teacher. In the production stage, the students engage in exercises or activities based on the taught subject without the guidance of the ESL teacher. Since this article is concerned only with the practice stage, here are three important points that you, the trainee or novice ESL teacher, should consider when developing the practice stage of your lesson plans: 1. How are you going to test their understanding? There are a variety of ways to test understanding: cloze tests, substitution drills, sentence transformations, split sentence matching, listening exercises, and so on. The manner in which you test the students will depend on your teaching objective. For example, if the students have been taught certain words and expressions relevant to ‘giving directions’, they can be given practice by participating in  role play activities.2. Are you asking the questions in the right way in order to check understanding? Some trainee and novice ESL teachers will be happy if in response to the question “Do you understand?” they receive a “Yes!” reply. This is not satisfactory because the reply may not be indicative of true understanding. By using concept checking, the ESL teacher can be sure that the student has understood, e.g. instead of asking “Did you know that this is called an apple?” ask the student a concept question, “What is this called?”  Concept questions can also be used for checking the ESL students’ understanding of instructions and meanings, e.g. “What does ‘factory’ mean?”; “How do we form the past simple tense?”3. How much guidance should you give the students? If they are progressing well – very little; however, you should be on the lookout for those students who are struggling. Don’t get too involved while the students are engaged in their exercises or activities. Try to encourage the students to develop self-confidence in their language skills, and don’t forget to explain the answers at the end of the practice stage.
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