- Key Words: Communicative competence, cooperative learning, authentic tasks
- Learner English Level: High beginner and above
- Learner Maturity Level: Junior high school and above
- Preparation Time: 5 minutes
- Activity Time: 90 minutes
- Materials: Illustration board (1/4), scissors, pencil, pen, glue, worksheets, envelopes
Communicative competence is an important goal of English instruction. It can be achieved by integrating authentic activities reflecting real world tasks that boost learner interaction, and thus, enhance natural language use or fluency. With the teacher acting as a facilitator, this lesson develops learning through student collaboration. Likewise, it aims to foster creativity, to enhance self-confidence, and to hone thinking and presentation skills. Moreover, students play the role of a house interior decorator by brainstorming and discussing the tasks and helping each other furnish a floor plan with furniture. Finally, students are regrouped for individual presentations.
Step 1: Group students into four. Orient them about the day’s goal.
Step 2. Have each group choose a leader and a secretary through playing rock, paper, scissors.
Step 3. Explain that everybody will make believe that they are interior designers.
Step 1: Ask students to close their eyes and think of their dream houses. For two minutes, let them imagine every single detail of the house interior. Have them open their eyes and share their answers with their partners. Ask some volunteers to describe their dream houses before the class.
Step 2. Distribute the materials. Direct students’ attention to Worksheet 1. Do pronunciation practice of the target language, vocabulary, and sentences (whole class, individual volunteers, selected pairs or groups). Let them do the activity in groups for five minutes. Check and discuss their answers.
Step 3: Give students time to analyze and work on the given tasks from Worksheet 2. Emphasize that group members should brainstorm on furnishing the house interior. The secretary writes down the justifications. While groups discuss the tasks, the teacher goes around to monitor.
Step 3: Let each member cut the house furniture images. Each one must paste the furniture on his/her illustration board with floor plan on it. Each group must have a uniform interior design based on what has been agreed upon during brainstorming. Each member should copy the justifications written by the secretary for individual presentation.
Step 4: Allot a few minutes for each group to practice for the presentation. The aim is to present the interior design creatively.
Step 5: Regroup the students. Individual presentations take place within a new group. Each one is given two minutes to present and explain his/her output. Move around and note down students’ errors.
Step 6: After the presentation, write students’ mistakes on the board for feedback, focusing on sentence structure, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, word stress, intonation, etc. Encourage students to suggest corrections.
Acting as interior decorators can be fun and challenging. Cooperative learning dynamics enable students to exchange ideas comfortably and address the given tasks. Consequently, they become more responsible for their own learning. Additionally, individual presentations can be a tool to foster self-confidence, improve grammar, increase vocabulary, and develop fluency. Meanwhile, activities that mirror authentic tasks can be a good technique to rehearse real-world endeavors. Finally, the authentic problem-solving visualization and collaboration methods used in this task can be applied to all manner of real-world topics.
The appendix is available below: