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The Distance Delta

Analysis of Subskills/Processes for LSA (Skills) Lesson Plans

To address this criterion (5c) on your lesson plan you will need to:

(a) identify which subskills/processes you are focussing on in the lesson


(b) describe briefly what is involved in each of these. (NB: Do not cut and paste this
from your background essay – you only focus here on what you are including in
the lesson)
(c) relate this to your lesson, saying briefly how students will focus on these in class

The aim of this analysis section is to show that you have correctly identified what the
subskills/processes involve, and that you are aware of how you are working with them in the
lesson. This should prepare you to deal with student questions and also enable you to see if
you are fully addressing the subskills/processes in your lesson procedures.

(a) First identify the subskills/processes. You will probably be working with two or
more of these in the lesson.

For example:
Listening - Predicting/listening for gist/listening for key words/listening for detail/using
prominence to understand texts/recognising weak forms and functional words etc.
Reading - Interpreting visual clues/applying scanning techniques/dealing with unknown
language etc.
Writing - Identifying key features of the genre/upgrading a draft based on lesson input and
peer feedback/planning etc.
Speaking – Pause fillers/strategies to gain thinking time/ability to avoid potential
hesitation/use of intonation and pronunciation to convey meaning etc.

(b) Then describe briefly what is involved in each of these. Take each one in turn and
provide a brief description. The following examples are the first items from the lists
above.

For example:
Listening
Predicting – prediction can help listeners by activating their general background knowledge,
or stored knowledge of language systems to give them an expectation of what they will hear.
When the expectation matches what they hear, they work less hard on the actual listening, not
pausing on unidentified or unknown words, but focussing on overall meaning. It can facilitate
the filling in of missing information (through background noise, unknown lexis etc.)
Reading
Interpreting visual clues – this involves using visuals such as photographs, illustrations,
typeface, layout in order to guess the theme or genre, or make predictions about language
which will be in the text. Readers draw on their knowledge/experience of the subject which
will help them make predictions and form hypotheses about the content of the text, thus
facilitating comprehension.
Writing
Identifying key feature of the genre – students need to be aware of key features such as overall
features of text organisation, style, lexical and grammatical content and layout.

LSA Guidelines (Skills)


The Distance Delta

Speaking
Pause Fillers
These are used to enable ‘formulation time’ (Thornbury 2005) and so are of crucial
importance to exam students, as they can still be demonstrating good language skills despite
perhaps being stumped for ideas.

(c) Finally say how you will be tackling each one in this particular lesson

For example:
Listening
Predicting – Students will listen to two different dialogues of friends discussing problems at
work, with no prediction activities for the first dialogue, but after predicting content, topic
and language with the second one. They will then compare the effect prediction has on their
ability to understand a text.

Reading
Interpreting visual clues – learners will be given the headline of the article (‘Legal Drinking
Age Pushed Up to 18 Amid Youth Alcohol Abuse’) and the accompanying photograph of a
young woman lying in the street, and they will discuss the possible content before reading
the text.

Writing
Identifying key features of the genre – students will be asked to analyse an IELTS part two
discursive essay for features of organisation, style, the use of topic sentences etc. using
guiding questions.

Speaking
Pause fillers
Students will compare a video of students doing the CAE speaking task, and then one of two
English teachers doing the same task, focussing particularly on how the speakers fill pauses in
the dialogue. Examples used in the lesson:
Hang on a minute…
Erm…
Oooh…
Let me see…
Well, I haven’t really thought about this before but…

 If you are using a text, you may also need to analyse language features of the text
(eg: discourse markers in written texts, features of pronunciation in spoken texts) if
you are focussing on these in the lesson.

 Do not cut and paste from your background essays. Your research will of course
inform the analysis on your lesson plan, but this analysis relates directly to specific
activities in the lesson, and not to the more general ideas you are outlining in the essay.

 You may also need to analyse any language (lexis, grammar, features of discourse,
functional language etc.) which you are going to focus on in the lesson or consider
linguistic aspects that might get in the way of students putting the strategies into
practice effectively.

LSA Guidelines (Skills)