ESL Teaching Material

ESL Teaching Material

 How To Use Reported Speech

Lesson planning can be time-consuming as a teacher, as personal time and commitment go into the material for the lesson at hand, but once created, the lesson plan can be adapted and re-used for new students. Here are some examples of how I teach as a teacher for TESOL/TEFL. The materials I invented are for an upper intermediate class.

Exercise sheets

How and Why I Structure My Lessons

I created the activity first (‘How to Use Reported Speech While Making Statements’) planning the exercise then helped me build on the knowledge of what my students will potentially learn. How to understand the changes of the tenses and how/why they go back a tense or how/why they stay the same.

From there I was able to structure the introduction of the lesson because I established the end goal with the activities focus on Direct Speech and Reported Speech. So I can have the students learn comprehensively and obtain as much knowledge as they need to accomplish the final task.

I hypothetically already knew the student’s strengths and weaknesses and this being their 4th week in their lessons, being intermediate students, they were quite ready and comfortable to work with one another.

I start off with a warm-up, the ball toss to review the needed material from last weeks mock lesson, then we go into the introduction, and when I  ask the students to form direct speech examples, it is so they can see how reported speech changes.

Slowly my board examples transfer to direct speech topics about their teacher. Such as “I like football.” Then having the students repeat “Teacher said she likes football.” I remind them of the tense and ask them if the tense changes. I’m creating a pattern and a system that helps with understanding the lessons aim.

I use another physical activity that flows into a game to break up the planning, so the students can move around and use what they already learned while playing “Teacher Says/Said.” (Like the game Simon says)

I hope that naturally, the game can then move to use different introductions in statements. Such as explain/s/ed and tell/s/told. “Teacher explained that she had hated her walk that evening.”

When the game is exhausted, I give the handouts of the lessons pedagogy (attached is an example of the printable handouts)  for the student’s reference, in case their notes are not easy to read and to understand the teaching visually and more clearly.

Then I go into the final group task; the students help the teacher read the task out loud until it is explained and understood fully before the students break up into small groups and then finish the assignment showcasing their written work by acting out a scenario. To end the class laughing and enjoying their lesson.

Each group will present their final task, and then the class will give feedback, and help with self-correction if needed.

Acting in front of the class is something I use to help motivate the students to be able to share with their classmates their funny, and creative ideas.

Like in storytelling I want my class to have many climaxes, so the students are engaged and are having fun with the lesson.

Why I Chose Reported Speech Statements – According to my Students Abilities and their Difficulties

I chose reported speech because it’s something that comes quickly to native English speakers so that my students can learn how to answer when someone is asking for clarification and proper communication tools to achieve reported speech efficiently.

This lesson is an excellent way to allow the upper Intermediate students to focus on correcting themselves, helping their peers, and exploring new ways of speaking by utilizing reported speech methods.

Hypothetically my student’s abilities are a diverse class, and they all learn in different ways, I made sure to incorporate interaction to help with listening, and speaking. Handouts, for reading and writing comprehension, and games to help those students who are more creative and learn well with expressive activities.

The hypothetical potential difficulties in the Upper Intermediate Class are that they are learning English in a non-English environment. The students come back with the same habits week by week; I have to attempt and find innovative ways to break their systematic language errors. The students as they are adults told me they don’t like homework.

I focus on the assignments in class and spend time that the end of the course correcting them, a  3-5 minute review. I have to find creative ways to help the students to remember the needed information for next week’s lesson, activities and group work seem to make my adult learners enjoy the process.

Reported Speech is often hard for my students, especially when using modal phrases such as would/could/should/might. Or changing say/said to explain/explained. They got lazy and chosen the speech that is most comfortable for them. Reported Speech is an excellent way for them to understand the tense changes and use different and uncommon word choices.

Since my students are also a mix of business and hobbyist’s, I also thought reported speech would be more common in the work environment, to understand direction while repeating information.

Activities Contributions Towards the Learning Aims of The Lesson

I kept in mind that my students are adults of an upper intermediate level, I felt less written activities, and more oral exercises would help with their confidence to grow into the advanced level.

Ball Toss (the warm-up game): is a fun way to start the class, and an easy way to ease into the lesson that might seem intimidating. (Grammar tenses can confuse some learners) The ball toss aim is to remind the class of what they know, the primary focus is using direct speech, and pronoun changes. (Teacher would say: “Charlie, what did Sarah eat for breakfast?” and Charlie (the student) would respond: “She was so hungry she ate a whale for breakfast.”) I would keep in mind to change the question from present to past tense, to help the students with direct speech answers. And to help activate the brain, and get the class ready for the lesson ahead.

Teacher Says/Said: This activity is to help break up the lesson from the monotonous information that I just introduced which is how to use Reported Speech in a statement and the switching of the tenses.

The teaching aim is to flow right into the game, because I’m using my examples (I like fish), and the students repeat  using RS “Teacher said she likes fish.” This game also challenges the students to listen to the direct speech and figure out how to use the right correlating reported speech. The last person standing wins the game, to help motivate the competition, and to see the various levels of my students.

The Final Task: The exercise ‘How to Use Reported Speech While Making Statements, i.e., Broken Telephone.

The students are to work in groups of 3 and distribute the assignment tasks evenly among their peers; they help each other self-correct, they each have a chance to practice reported speech, listen and write.

The last question on the handout is for the students to write and create their version of Direct Speech and Reported Speech.  

Acting it Out: Each group comes up, writes out the speech on the board, and acts out the dialogue. The scene is to create an ordinary daily happening of a broken phone call, lousy cell/video reception, in a crowded room, repeating gossip, hearing problems, etc.

To help the students understand what situations they might come across when using reported speech in their daily environment.

To have the students act in front of the class is to help the class to bond, build confidence when speaking, relax and have fun with the end assignment.

And the overall aim of each activity is to see what the students have learned and to discover their weaknesses and strengths.

Potential Activities

I was thinking of hangman, slips of paper, listening to a recording.

I did not use hangman as I felt it would take to long, and would not be very appropriate for this lesson, as the students being upper intermediate adults know the alphabet well. And it would take a while to guess the full sentences, but it could still be a good warmup or an extra activity to add at the end of the lesson if we finish early.

Printing out slips of paper of Direct Speech statements then the students would have to come up with the Reported Speech answer. I thought the Teacher Says would be a lot more exciting and help them practice listening comprehension, versus reading comprehension. As well as being upper intermediate adults, they have participated in may slips of paper dialogue games.

I was planning to find a recording that I would play to the class, and then press stop, ask a student, “What did George say?” and then the student would give the answer using reported speech. I would search out a great recording or record one on my computer, but for this lesson, I decided to not go with this activity, and I think this might be a good warm-up for “next week” class.

What Would I Do If my Activities Hit Some Bumps In the Road?

I can always scrap the idea and go to one of the potential activities I thought of using, hangman, as it’s something the students know well and still can be a useful tool.

I would also prepare some other activities as a backup plan like ‘slips of paper’ and bring the potential exercises for class if we finish early or if one of the games for some reason doesn’t work out.

I could also try to work out the bumps in the activity, maybe add a new rule to help the activity run smoothly.

Make notes, and consider the remarks I made for next class activities and continue with the lesson.

Maybe the students don’t want to talk in front of the class; I would find a way to motivate them, use humor, and share an example. Ask the students who are not shy to come up first to break the ice.

The lesson sturcture and information

Supporting my Lesson Plan and the Construction

I hypothetically knew that my students were “Upper” Intermediate adults, this should help support my lesson because I used aims that reflect their differences and their level.

Adding a dynamic, interactive lesson plan while using modal phrases, the introduction of speech, various tenses and how to make statements.

I added a group learning technique to show that I’m aware of how many students are in my class, so the students hypothetically can rely on each other, build an English speaking community and meet up to use what they learned during the week.

The structure and construction of the lesson are from real past teaching experiences as a teacher in Poland, and Costa Rica and I found this structure was successful to help my students meet their goals. And from past feedback, this arrangement benefited my students to enjoy my class.

Sources that helped me plan:

After reading “Teaching Grammar with Games in ESL Classroom” I was inspired to help motivate my students, and this article confirms why I use games/activities in my lessons. The link: Accessed 9, April 2018

The site “Using English” helped with creating my version of a handout for “fill in the blanks” using reported speech. The link: Accessed 9, April 2018