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Stage 2

Belief and practices as a teacher

- A learner centred class. I believe that a student centred classroom is not a place where the Commented [NM1]: But it certainly can be? Do you
mean to add only?
students decide what they want to learn and what they want to do. It’s a place where we consider
the needs of the students, as a group and as individuals, and encourage them to participate in the
learning process all the time. The teacher’s role is more of what Scrivener calls an enabler, who
acts more like a 'guide' or a resource of information' when needed’. In a learner centred
environment, students talk more and learn from each other. Commented [NM2]: Yes, this is a key aspect.

- The teacher should encourage learner independence. As Harmer states ‘however good a
teacher may be, students will never learn a language unless they aim to learn outside as well during
class time.’ (2001: 336) To become autonomous, learners need to develop the ability to evaluate
their own learning and effective study skills. Teachers can promote this by including learner training
exercises in the lesson and make students reflect on their own learning, their strengths and their
weaknesses, and also make them think about the tasks they do in class, and why they do them. Commented [NM3]: Yes, but also suggest and train
them to do tasks out of class too?
- Variety is the spice of language. The teacher should vary the types of lessons (productive or Commented [NM4]: Nice!

receptive skills, grammar, lexis, etc) and classroom activities and students interactions in order to
keep the students engaged. Similarly, by giving a variety of interesting topics and activities, Commented [NM5]: And to cover all facets of the
students will be more motivated and interested.

Strengths and weaknesses

Strengths Reason Commented [NM6]: These were all clearly strengths of

your in the diagnostic.
Monitoring I think that my monitoring in general is quite effective because I Commented [NM7]: Very!

usually do it from a distance without intruding in the students

activities. This enables me to be aware of how the class is getting
on, whether some students may need individual attention or are
on task. And it also provides me with an opportunity to listen for
errors in the target language to later correct.

Giving instructions I use clear and simple language which is graded to the learners’
level. I also chest my instructions, use gestures and imperatives. Commented [NM8]: Yes, you do!

Commented [NM9]: handouts?

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignment 1
At lower levels, and particularly with YLs I check students have
checked my instructions using ICQs. Commented [NM10]: purposefully?

The success of an activity generally is in the instructions. Commented [NM11]: I wouldn’t go that far – the
success of an activity is in it’s aims being suitable for that
stage of the learning and it’s aims being achieved. But
Enabling a friendly working I have respect for my students and they generally respond well to certainly effective instructions are key to allowing this to
atmosphere me. I am sensitive to students needs I try to give equal
opportunities of participating to all. If students do not feel Commented [NM12]: Yes, this also came out clearly in
comfortable, they will be less likely to participate and learn.
Commented [NM13]: Indeed.

Weaknesses Reason

Keeping time I am not good at estimating how long a task will take. I usually
plan too little time for each activity or plan too many activities that
I want to get through in just one lesson. As a consequence I
sometimes don’t meet the aims of the lesson or have to cut out
the freer practice and feedback stage.

Feedback Because of my poor time management my feedback has suffered

many times and I have had to leave it for the beginning of the
next lesson. This affects my students because they need to
receive it so there is still time for them to use it towards the main
aim. Commented [NM14]: Indeed.

Exploiting emergent language As I don’t want my lesson to get sidetracked, I sometimes ignore Commented [NM15]: This wasn’t as clearly an issue as
the other two in LSA0.
language that comes up. The teacher should react to the
language that emerges in the classroom and not just the
language within the lesson plan, as it is a chance for upgrading
and expanding what students already know. I was told this by my Commented [NM16]: Completely agree.

DOS in my proficiency class last year as it is particularly

important at this level. Commented [NM17]: I’d say at all lelves.

Action plan Commented [NM18]: A good variety of ideas here.

In order to… I intend to… Time frame

Improve my timing - Instead of planning extra activities to use Before LSA1

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignment 2

just in case I run out of time, plan flexibility into
my tasks. Commented [NM19]: by doing what?

- For every stage add more time than I think it

Before LSA1
will take.

- Ask a colleague to observe me and compare Before LSA2

my timing in the lesson to the timing I
predicted in my lesson plan.

Improve my feedback - Ask another teacher to observe me and Before LS2

complete an observation task related to
feedback. (Appendix 2)

- Plan my lesson from the end.

Before LSA1
- Observe another teacher and complete an
observation task Before LSA2 Commented [NM20]: Which one? You should design
them for both observing and being observed.
- Read Jeremy Harmer’s chapter on feedback Commented [NM21]: Not necessarily the best source.
Why not try a book on feedback and correction? Corder
for example.

Improve my ability to exploit - Observe another teacher and complete an Before LSA2
emergent language observation task (Appendix 3)

- Audio/video recording of lesson

Before LSA3
- Read Sandy Millin’s blog post on emergent

- Reflect on my lessons using hot feedback


Evaluation of intentions Commented [NM22]: All good here.

I have tried to include a range of tasks that might help me improve my weaknesses. I will implement
some as soon as possible, some in the next couple of weeks and some throughout the course and

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignment 3

The observation task in Appendix 1 will help me develop my awareness of effective timing and
encourage me to plan it into my lessons. While observing other teachers will help me give ideas on
how to improve my feedback and my ability to exploit emergent language.

Using of hot feedback will be useful, as it will help me record how my actions affect students’
learning. In addition, I will also discuss my reflections with my peers after being observed and
observing. Reading will help me with ideas for new ways of approaching feedback and emergent

Word count: 1000

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignment 4

Stage 3

Reflection and evaluation

Development Reason Evaluation of steps taken

Timing I feel that my timing has improved I think the action points taken have
because of: proved useful in improving my timing.
- planning my lesson from the end Having someone observe me gave
- planning for less activities, but me an idea of how long I was
adding more time to each stage spending on each stage of a lesson,
- having Aaron observe me and then which in turn, helped think how much
compare my planned time to my I should be planning. Planning from
actual time in the lesson (appendix the end was also a very useful
4) strategy. Commented [XX23]: All good here, except you don’t
actually say why this last idea worked.
How about the observation? Was the document helpful?
Feedback I have improved my ability to give I think out of all of the planned
feedback by: solutions, the most useful was to
- asking Ciaran to observe me giving actually plan feedback stages into my
feedback (appendix 5) lesson after every other task. This
- planning my lesson from the end. means I don’t leave feedback only Commented [XX24]: And also hopefully, that you are
more inclined to think about varied ways of conducting the
- planning feedback stages into my until the end of a lesson, which is feedback too.
lesson plan after every task students more useful to learners. Planning my
do in pairs or groups. lesson from the end also served
useful as it made me think about how
much time it would take me in order
to get to the feedback stage. Commented [XX25]: OK, but still no mention of
evaluating documents – observation appendices.

Improve my I’ve become more aware of All these points were useful tools. Commented [XX27]: Why? You need to give some
ability to exploit exploiting emergent language as a PLEs, for example, helped me think
emergent result of: about the opportunities of teaching
language - observing my colleagues react to and upgrading emergent language
the students in class that I had missed and how I could Commented [XX26]: using which task? How was it
- writing post lesson evaluations. have exploited it. However, I
- reading Sandy Millin’s blog post on definitely have to work on this aspect
emergent language. further as I still sometimes ignore Commented [XX28]: Why? Being able to answer this
question will help you to find the solutions for not doing so
chances to upgrade. in the future.

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignment 5

Current weaknesses

Weaknesses Reason
Respond to learners and to what I sometimes stick to what I have planned even though it
is happening in the classroom would be far more beneficial for students if I adapted to the
with more flexibility circumstances, by making a task more challenging if it is too Commented [XX29]: You need to ensure you are
ready to do this is LSA4 by anticipating problems in depth.
easy or vice versa, by changing interaction patterns or
shortening an activity if it isn’t working. Commented [XX30]: or adapting?

Ability to exploit emergent I don’t consistently clarify MPF of incidental language. I

language clarify the meaning but I don’t really focus on the
pronunciation. This is particularly a problem at higher levels
as I mistakenly assume they don’t need it as much as lower
levels, so I don’t drill or mark the stress of a word. As a
consequence, students will make errors and have problems
making themselves understood. Commented [XX31]: And they’re also less likely to
remember the words – drilling is another form of processing
the language item as a whole.
Exploit pair work I do make use of pair work in lessons by making students
check their answers to tasks before whole class feedback.
However, I could exploit this further, e.g.: if I see that
students aren’t talking much in a whole class activity, then I
should change the interaction pattern to pairs or smaller
groups to see if they can talk more and feel less inhibited.
This will help them feel more relaxed, confident and willing
to participate as a whole class once they’ve checked their
ideas in a smaller group. Commented [XX32]: Surely this should be your default
routine anyway?

Action plan

In order to… I intend to… Time frame

Respond to learners and to - Plan flexibility into my lesson by thinking of Immediately
what is happening in the possible problems and solutions.
classroom with more - Have a colleague observe me and compare Before LSA4
flexibility my plan to what is actually happening in the
classroom (appendix 6) Commented [XX33]: should be effective

- Peer editing: ask a colleague to look at my

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignment 6

plan and see if they would do anything
differently or if they can come up with any other
problems and solutions.
- Hot feedback: reflect on how I could’ve Immediately
adapted my lesson to my students’ needs.
Improve my ability to exploit - When planning anticipate what language may Immediately
emergent language come up throughout a lesson.
- Observe a teacher who’s strong in this area Before LSA4 Commented [XX34]: suggestions?

and complete an observation task (appendix 7) Commented [XX35]: simple but effective, although
not much guidance for the observer, they need to know
- Have a colleague observe me and complete what they’re looking for.
appendix 7
Exploit pair work - make sure I plan enough time to encourage Immediately
pair work before whole class work.
- Peer editing: have a colleague look over my
plan to see if I’ve included enough pair work

Word count: 750

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignment 7

Stage 4

Reflection on developments in beliefs and practices:

My beliefs from stage 2 remain as set out below:

- A learner centred class. This has been strengthened, particularly after observing Ciaran teach
his experimental lesson (community based learning) in which the students took control of the class
and worked as a team mostly ignoring the teacher. Commented [NM36]: Presumably effectively? Why
- The teacher should promote learner autonomy. This was strengthened. Listening to authentic Commented [NM37]: Really? He’s supposed to be
providing accurate models throughout the process.
podcasts in their own time gave the students a sense of achievement and it encouraged them to
listen to more. Commented [NM38]: Good to hear!

- Variety is the spice of language. This has been reinforced. While some students find having
different teachers every class a bit disruptive, they all definitely stated they enjoyed the variety in Commented [NM39]: And hopefully benefitted from?

content and language covered.

New beliefs:

- Skills need to be taught and developed. My LSA0, 2 and 3 made me see that practising reading,
speaking and listening is not enough and students need to be made aware of the different sub-skills
that are involved and what strategies they can employ. Input sessions and feedback with tutors also
made me aware of the importance of student reflection. As a skills lesson is less tangible than a
systems one, unless there is any discussion, students are less likely to realise what they have done
and have learned. Commented [NM40]: Yes, good to hear.

- Student feedback and questionnaires are good and necessary. Feedback gives some insight Commented [NM41]: Effective?

into how the lesson was perceived by the students - if it was effective, enjoyable, what activities
they preferred, how much they felt they learnt. By giving them the chance to voice their desires,
needs and problems students feel they are taken into account and the teacher can adapt

- Teaching the phonemic chart is a sound choice. My experimental practice helped me see that Commented [NM42]: Nice pun!

teaching the phonemic chart is doable in a lesson and that students actually really enjoy and
appreciate it. Students need to produce all the sounds in English from the beginning. By presenting
the phonemes the way Underhill does it helps students see the physicality of the sounds which
helps them produce them accurately. This has a positive effect on both speaking and listening Commented [NM43]: Yes, definitely time well spent.


Evaluation of steps taken:

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignment 8
The most useful steps were Commented [NM44]: Too many steps and not enough
- Observations. Being observed by peers or tutors has made me aware of things I have improved
and things I still need to work on. (Appendices 8 & 9) Observing other teachers helped me see Commented [NM45]: Such as? And how did they do
it? A little more detail here would be useful.
different techniques that I can incorporate into my lessons (Appendices 10 & 11).

- Peer editing. Talking through my plan with a colleague really helped me to see things from a
different perspective and tweak anything I wasn’t happy with. Commented [NM46]: OK, here it’s clear how the
different perspective helped, but again a clear example
would be helpful.
- Writing PLEs. Reflecting is key for professional development. It allowed me to go into more depth
Commented [NM47]: How did your reflective skills
as to why something did or didn’t work in class and if it didn’t, act on it. improve during the course? Which aspects particularly
helped you?
- Experimental practice. It has encouraged me to try new things and get out of my comfort zone. Commented [NM48]:

Commented [NM49]: Very general.

- Researching. Reading books and EFL blogs has provided me with new ideas for teaching which I
incorporated in LSA3 after reading Vandergrift and Goh’s book on developing listening, for
example. Commented [NM50]: OK, good to include an example
here. Although you could still get more specific than ‘new
Future action:
Commented [NM51]: Again you have lots of intentions
and ideas, but they rather lack in detail and so they feel
I intend to How? Why? rather general.

Observe other teachers - Once every term - To widen my repertoire of

activities used in class
- Using observation tasks
designed by myself in order to - To give me ideas on
focus on areas I need to techniques to use in areas I am
improve weak in.

Get student feedback - At key points of a course, e.g. - To promote learner

beginning, end of term and end autonomy: by helping students
of year. identify their desires and
needs, likes and dislikes.
- When trying out something
new. - To give the students a sense
that they are being taken into
- Through questionnaires,
account and they have a say in
discussions in class, google
the design of the course.
- To help me adapt to their
needs and problems.

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignment 9

Use the phonemic chart - At the beginning of a course. - To help improve students’
listening and speaking skills
- Within lessons where
appropriate - To promote learner autonomy
when using dictionaries Commented [NM52]: Interesting you don’t mention
- Using games. pronunciation here.

Research - Reading EFL blogs as often - To give me new ideas Commented [NM53]: Which ones?

as possible
- To deepen my knowledge of
- Books (on methodology, teaching approaches
skills, systems) once or twice a

Continue to teach sub-skills - When appropriate - To develop students’

receptive skills.
- Using questionnaires for

Word Count: 749

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignment 10


Harmer, J. (2001) The practice of English Language Teaching. Longman

Scrivener, J. (2005) Learning teaching. Macmillan

Somogyi-Tóth, K. (2012) Observation tasks. A workbook for student teachers.

https://www.tttjournal.co.uk/uploads/File/ttj_plus/Observation%20Tasks.pdf (accessed 10/02/2018)

Wajnryb, (1992) Classroom observation tasks. Cambridge University Press

https://sandymillin.wordpress.com/tag/emergent-language/ (Accessed 21/01/2018)

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignment 11

Appendix 1 Commented [NM54]: This is a very simple table –
perhaps the teacher could also be doing other things while
watching? Providing more detail about your timing – how
long did the instructions take? How much time did they
work on the task alone? Pair feedback? How long did
the feedback take as aclass? And if these were all
individually timed in the lesson plan – did anything take
longer – why? Any unforseen circumstances etc.? The
devil is in the detail!

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignment 12

Appendix 2

(Wajnryb 1992: 50)

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignment 13

Appendix 3

Lesson aims: ……………..

Lesson stage What does the student say? How does the teacher react? Outcome

Adapted from (Wajnryb 1992: 125)

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignment 14


Ana Padilla - Professional development assignment 15

Stage Procedure Timing

Name drill Give my students my name and tell them one interesting piece of info 5’
about myself. Ask the person sitting next to me to repeat my name, my
info and then say their name and interesting piece of info. Repeat with
all ss.

GTKY- Ask ss to think f a nb from 1-15. I read the sentence on my handout 15’
Present (with new vocab. item). Elicit meaning.
new Students draw sentence in box.
Repeat a couple of times.

GTKY- Tell ss they have to get up and talk to sb they haven’t spoken to yet. 20’
Mingle They have to show each other their pictures and they have to guess
what expression each drawing is referring to.
Feedback Ask a couple of ss for an interesting/funny/ surprising piece of info they 10’
on content learnt from their partners.
and Sentence race: Divide ss in small groups. Tell them they will be
language correcting sentences they said. One person in each group is the runner
and they have to come up to me and pick a sentence, they go back to
their group and correct it together. They show it to me, if correct they
keep it and take another, if not they have to go back and try to correct it
until they get it right. Winner is the team with most sentences.

If time, swap sentences amongst groups. They take it in turns to read

out the new sentences to their team members. The first person within
the group to say the correct form of the sentence, can keep it.

NA Handout NA form for ss to complete individually. 5-10’

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignment 16

Appendix 5

Peer Observation - Ciaran’s notes 05/02

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignment 17

Appendix 6

Observation task - Adapting the lesson plan

(Somogyi-Tóth 2012:31)

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignment 18

Appendix 7

Observation task - Clarification of emergent language

Write down in the appropriate column how the teacher clarified the emergent language:

Emergent language Meaning Pronunciation Form

Write down any incidental language that the teacher didn’t clarify or any other comments
about the lesson:



Ana Padilla - Professional development assignments - Part A 19

Appendix 8 - Jamie’s observation 19/02 (exploiting emergent language)

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignments - Part A 20

Appendix 9 - Rachel’s observation 19/02 (variety of activities)

Activity Used Aim / Purpose Effect on Learners How Else it Could be Used

In pairs, Ss choose 5 expressions with get to develop Ss' lexis of Ss were serious but Best for higher level
that are interesting to them -- look up a expressions w/ get; to very engaged with learners; useful for other
defintion and write an example sentence for make expressions more the discussions / with expressions with
those 5; then redivide the class and peer memorable & personal; to their own learning de-lexicalized verbs
teach the phrases they learned develop learner training throughout

to provide practice with the This was really fun

target language; to make once Ss got into the
In groups, Ss write questions using the target language more speaking task! Ss
target language (expressions with get); then For controlled & freer
memorable; to develop were very engaged,
redivide the class and ask their new partners practice of the TL in a
learner training laughing and joking,
the questions that they made variety circumstances;
telling stories, and
probably best for
using the language
motivated learners &
especially useful for higher
Ss were very engaged
in their own learning;
it was challenging at
times because there
ambiguity & requires
to correct errors; to close monitoring
upgrade language in a (just smthg to look
communicative way out for)
As Ss complete a speaking task, Tr writes As a language follow-up/
down sentences on cards, some that are feedback to speaking
incorrect, some that are correct (but can be activities, particularly with
upgraded); after, Ss do a running race, high level learners
bringing one back to their group and
correcting it then checking w/ Tr and getting
another; which group has most?; follow-up-
switch cards and in groups Ss take turns
pulling on & quizzes others

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignments - Part A 21

Appendix 10 - Observation of Pete 22/02 (adapting the lesson plan)

Stage Activities in the original lesson plan Timing This is what happened in the lesson Discussion points: reasons for
changing the original plan

1 Give ss social media vocabulary 19:05 Brainstorm examples of social media as a T added a stage to start lesson in a
worksheet and elicit meaning of words. whole class. more ss centred and natural way.
Better than starting the lesson with
Ss talk to their partner about their favourite
a worksheet.
social media.


- 19:18 Gives social media vocabulary worksheet.

They work out meaning from context and
talk about it in pairs.

Whole class feedback

2 Tell students they are going to watch a 19:32 The same.

short film. The title is ‘What’s on your
mind?’. watch the film and decide why it is
called that way. In feedback stage they also discuss the T decided to talk about meaning of
message of the video (which was the last the video t leave more time to work on
Feedback on reason.
stage of the original lesson plan) error correction at the end

3 Watch the film again and consider what 19:41 This stage was combined with the following Ss didn’t need to watch video again
status updates the man makes and how as they all remembered the details
Ana Padilla - Professional development assignments - Part A 22
does he feel. one in the original plan (stages 3 and 4). pretty well.


4 Show the film again and stop after each 19:57 Combined with previous stage (3)
update. Focus on:

- non-standard spelling: gr8, clubbin

- hashtags #followyourdreams
-Expressions: quit my dead-end job

5 Ask ss what the film’s message is. 20:01 Error correction. T writes on WB error ss Had already discussed question in
made. stage 5 of the original plan, so T
jumped to error correction.

What insights into planning did this activity provide?

Observing how the teacher adapted the lesson to how the students responded was really useful in that helped with the flow of the lesson.

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignments - Part A 23

Appendix 11 - Observation of Paul 22/02 (exploiting emergent language)

Write down in the appropriate column how the teacher clarified the emergent language:

Emergent language Meaning Pronunciation Form

gears For most of these

gear stick words, the students
walking stick know the meaning.
riddle They mainly had
sentimental object problems with the form
phobia of sth (saying them correctly)
construction worker
wooden leg
low-skilled job Drills some ss
envious of
jealous of
one- legged drills once as a whole class

Write down any incidental language that the teacher didn’t clarify or any other comments
about the lesson:

The lesson revolves around a sentence on the WB ‘Had he seen the sawdust he wouldn’t have died’. T highlights the
key words and they make questions about them in order to find out what happened to them man the sentence is about.
T write up incidental language (as seen above and in the picture below) as they come up with questions, clarifies and
upgrades it (e.g. ‘an important object to him’ --> ‘a sentimental object’, ‘constructor’ --> ‘construction worker’).

There is some drilling, but there could be more and T could mark the stress of a word and the phonemes of problematic
sounds. Also writing the form and maybe some collocations could be useful.


Ana Padilla - Professional development assignments - Part A 24

Picture of Paul’s WB

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignments - Part A 25

Experimental Practice – The Phonemic chart


1.1. Using the phonemic chart in classroom

1.2. Professional interest in this area

1.3. Reasons for choosing the area

1.5. Bibliography



3.1. Appendix 1 - Lesson plan

3.2. Appendix 2 - Lesson handout

3.4. Appendix 3 - Students’ questionnaire

3.5. Appendix 4 - Completed peer observation task

3.6. Appendix 4 - Students’ completed feedback forms

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignments - Part B (Experimental Practice) 1

Section 1 - Commentary (1063 words)

Using the phonemic chart in classroom

As English is not a phonetic language, the written forms does not correspond with the spoken form
and that often confuses students. And due to the fact that learners have little control over the
speaker's stream of speech, they need to be able decipher this stream into words and meanings.
Additionally, while learners do not need to aspire to perfection and sound as 'native' as possible,
they do need to be intelligible. An interesting and very true thing Underhill (1994: 118) mentions is
that pronunciation is not like other areas of language: students need all of the sounds in English
from the get-go in order to speak. So it is important we introduce the phonemic chart at the
beginning of a course.
His approach to teaching the phonemic chart is one of learner awareness raising. He suggests
presenting the sounds in a 'physical, muscular way, and to use the phonemic symbol as a visual
hook for that physical and auditory experience.' (1994: x) He advices to do this by miming and
gesturing and starting with monophthongs to later move on to diphthongs, e.g. with /i:/ he suggests
to ‘smile’ and with our hands gesture the sound coming out of the mouth to represent the length of it.
Once the teacher has gone through the all monophthongs, they can simply build the diphthongs
from monophthongs or by miming. 'The building and the miming approaches complement each
other.' (ibid: 21)
As many times students have not mastered how to use their muscles to produce the correct
sound, they are often not able to reproduce what their teacher says. This is why employing a
non-verbal presentation is more beneficial as it implies that the sounds come form the students and
not the teacher. Additionally, using mime and gesture sensitizes learners to ‘the visual component
of the articulation of sounds’ (ibid: 127) This is the movement of lips (spread/rounded and
back/forward), tongue (forward/back or up/down), jaws (up/down) and throat. Once the students
are aware of these ‘muscle buttons’ they understand what has to be done in order to produce
sound in an acceptable way.
Another key element in Underhill’s approach is making use of the chart’s layout. By presenting
the chart as a map of the mouth it makes pronunciation more concrete as it shows how and where
the sounds are made. By ‘where’ he refers to place of articulation in the mouth (these muscle
buttons I mentioned above), e.g. consonants on the left of the chart are made at the front of the
mouth with the lips, e.g. /p/, /f/, and /m/. By ‘how’ he refers to how the flow of the voice (on/off) and
air (through nose/mouth) are. To make students aware of this it is a good idea to tell students to put
their hand on their throats and notice the presence or lack of vibrations.

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignments - Part B (Experimental Practice) 2

Underhill’s phonemic chart

By presenting the phonemic chart as Underhill suggests, we can raise learners of the physical
actions they have to do to produce the sounds in English.

Professional interest in this area

I think pronunciation is an important part of learning a language and an aspect that teachers should
focus more attention on. When teaching and observing other teachers I make sure to drill and note
down problematic sounds for the students on the the whiteboard in phonemic script. I have
presented some phonemes before, but only when clarifying problematic sounds.
One of my beliefs stated in Stage 2 of my PDA is the importance of encouraging learner
autonomy. And presenting the phonemic chart, facilitates dictionary use and learner independence
by enabling them to look up a word and identify the sounds its made up of without the help of a
teacher. It also simplifies selling problems, such as the seven uses of ‘ough’. The link between
sound and spelling is not always obvious. 'Dickerson (1987) rightly points out that there are rules largely
governing the link between spelling and sound, and such rules may guide the learner' (Hancock: 1994)
Another belief of mine is the importance of a learner centred class. And even though during the
presentation stage the attention is pretty much on the teacher acting out the sounds, it is the
learners who produce them and not the teacher expecting students to repeat after them.

Reasons for choosing this area

Many of my students in my current Advanced (B2/C1) class have stated that they need and want to
improve their pronunciation. When clarifying any pronunciation problems that emerge during
Ana Padilla - Professional development assignments - Part B (Experimental Practice) 3
lessons they have mentioned to me they do not understand the phonemes when I write them on the
board and would like to do so. I feel they will enjoy and benefit from this particular approach to
learning the phonemic chart as it will make them think about how and where they produce the
sounds in their mouth rather than just try and imitate me.
As for my professional development, I hope that by presenting the phonemic chart I will
become more comfortable teaching it in my future lessons.
Based on this I have outlined the following objectives:
From the learners’ point of view:
- learners will be more aware of where and how the sounds are produced in their mouths.
- learners will produce the sounds accurately
- learners will practised reading and producing the sounds in isolation /i:/ and within the
context of a word /ʃi:p/
From the teacher’s point of view:
- I will elicit the sounds from the students through mime and gesture
- I will only produce the sound myself after the students have done so and if necessary
In order to identify if these objectives have been met I will do as follows:
- I will device a questionnaire (appendix 2) which I will hand out in the last five minutes of the
lesson for the students to complete. This will allow me to see how the learners felt about the
way I presented the language and if they felt they learnt and saw the use of learning the
whole phonemic chart in one go.
- I will give an observation task for my colleagues to complete while observing me, and pay
attention to how the students react to my lesson, what thins are positive and what things are
negative about the lesson.


Hancock, M. (1994) On Using the Phonemic Script in Language Teaching. Available at

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/bf6e/707a5b998bd40a69170903b6703671626051.pdf (accessed

Underhill, A. (1994) Sound Foundations. Heinemann: Oxford

Underhill, A. (1995) Using the phonemic chart. Available at

http://www.macmillanelt.es/teachers_corner/using-the-phonemic-chart/#.WpXtR-jOXIV (accessed

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignments - Part B (Experimental Practice) 4

Section 2 - Post lesson evaluation (485 words)

I was happy with how the lesson went as the students seemed to really enjoy it and I managed to
meet my objectives. While it was a little time-consuming to teach in that it took up a whole hour,
from the students' feedback (see appendix 4) I discovered that they all found the lesson really
useful. They stated that having me mime and act out the sounds instead of produce them and
make them repeat after me was helpful in that it showed them (and made them think) how to
produce the different sounds.
Another strength of the lesson was that I used lots of games to support the learning which kept
the students engaged and provided plenty of practice for them to remember the sounds that the
different phonemes represent. Also, I managed to reflect on the use of the phonemic chart as a
whole class and encouraged students to download the sounds app. to promote learner autonomy.
However, I did take the students a bit of time until they got into the swing of the lesson, as they
felt slightly awkward at the beginning. Another weakness to consider, was that although I managed
to present all of the phonemes on the chart, and gave the students plenty of controlled practice
through competitive games, some freer practice would have been beneficial. However, their
phoneme knowledge could be consolidated throughout subsequent lessons with
awareness-building exercises of minimal pairs, for example. Working on the difference between /i:/
and /ɪ/ or /s/ and /z/ could be a good option.
I feel teaching this lesson was beneficial to me as a teacher as it took away some of the
discomfort and anxiety I felt towards teaching the whole phonemic chart in a lesson as it helped me
see that presenting it within a lesson is perfectly possible and students actually appreciate it and
see its use.
In the future I would definitely like to teach it to my students at the beginning of a course, as this
would imply that when clarifying problematic features of pronunciation on the board students will
actually be more aware of and understand what those ‘strange letters’ mean. However, I may
introduce the phonemic chart little by little in order to not overwhelm learners with so many sounds
and their corresponding symbols.
One way to get students more familiar with the phonemes is by playing games (such as
phonemic board race to practice phonemes students have real difficulty with or back to the board).
Focusing on pronunciation in an enjoyable and light way makes them feel more comfortable and
makes the topic less ‘scary’ and more manageable. This would be particularly good with teenage
classes. Young learners, on the the hand, often find the symbols too abstract, so in their case I
would only introduce the sounds that are are identical or close to the letters of the alphabet.

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Section 3

Appendix 1 – Lesson plan

Date and Time: 15th February 2018, 7pm Level: Advanced

Objective of the experimental practice: find out what the learners’ reactions to learning the whole
phonemic chart through mime and gestures are.

Main aim: By the end of the lesson students will be better able to recognise and produce the
sounds of the phonemic chart in isolation and simple words.

Subsidiary aims: To raise students’ awareness of tools they can use to practise English outside
the classroom.


Stage aim Procedure Interaction Timing Materials

Lead in What do you know about T-s 3-5’

To introduce the pronunciation?
topic and engage S-s
students Have you ever used the phonemic
chart? T-s
To activate

Presenting the Look at my mouth and say this sound: T-s 10-12’ Phonemic
Monophthongs in chart
the phonemic Silently mouth the /i:/ sound and use
chart gesture.

To familiarise Ss say the sound.

students with the
Ok, now listen to me.
symbols and the
sounds they Teacher says it once. Let ss take the
represent sound in and then make them repeat it.

Then point the phonemic chart and tell

them which sound they produced.

Now here’s another sound: /u:/ (repeat

the same process as with the first

Now move from /i:/ to /u:/ without

worrying about the sound in between.
And backwards.

Put fingers between lips. Repeat and

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ask ss what they noticed about the
shape of their mouths (smile/spread to

Now put finger against lips in the

middle/ what do you notice about your
lips? (lips come forward and go back)

Point to /i:/ How are your lips when we

say this sound? Spread and back

Raise ss awareness of position of

tongue and lips: when tongue forward
lips back and when tongue back and
lips forward.

Move from /i:/ to /u:/ again and stop

them at /ɪ/. Mouth.

Move from /i:/ to /u:/ again and stop

them at /u/. Mouth.

Mix up the phonemes and nominate

individual learners.

Now relax your face and try and look

like a zombie/idiot. Gesture as a model
for learners to copy. Signal for ss to
make a long sound

Model if any problems.

Now make the same sound but short:


/e/: Mime and mouth. Ss say it. I say it.

/ɔ:/ Mime and mouth. Make ss say it,

then say it myself.

Ask ss what happens to the mouth

when we go from /ə/ to /ɔ:/. lisp back
and then forward and mouth is more
open than before.

Point tot different phonemes before

going on to the next line.

Repeat same process as with other

phonemes with:

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/ɑ:/ mime as if I have a baby in arms


Go from /i:/ to /æ/. What happens to our

jaw? It goes up and down

And tongue? The same

Ask ss what type of vowels these are:


Write on board

Controlled Race to the WB: T-s 4-6’ Post-it

practice notes
Stick post-it notes with phonemes on S-s
To provide ss with WB. WB
controlled practice
in recognising the Divide ss in 1 groups and have them
phonemes for each form 2 lines.
When teacher produces a sound, they
have to come up to the WB and grab
the correct sound. (if odd numbers in
class, have one of the strongest
students say the phonemes instead of
the teacher)

The winning team is the one with the

most post-it notes.

Presenting the Point to /ɪ/ and /ə/. Tell ss to merge T-s 7-10’ Phonemic
Diphthongs in the them. Ss produce /ɪə/. Model and chart
phonemic chart correct if necessary.

To familiarise What type of sound is this? Diphthong

students with the
symbols and the We can make these new sounds with
sounds they the ones we’ve learnt up to now.
Repeat same process of pointing to
monophthongs to create diphthongs for
every one:

/ɪə/ /ei/ /əʊ/ (surprised look)

/ʊə/ /ɔɪ/ /aʊ/ (mime I hurts)

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/eə/ /aɪ/

Controlled Ask one ss at a time to come up and T-s 3-4’ Phonemic

practice of point after I mime/mouth one. Their chart
diphthongs peers can help.

To draw attention
to the physicality of

To give ss practice
in recognising the

Presenting the Start off with /s/: T-s 10-12’ Phonemic

consonants in the mime a snake with hand and mouth the chart
phonemic chart sound. What sound are you making?

To familiarise /z/: mimic a mosquito

students with the
symbols and the Put your hand on your throat. What can
sounds they you feel? Vibration, sound.
Is the voice ON or OFF? Off in /s/ and
on in /z/

/ʃ/ and /ʒ/

/ʃ/ mime finger in front of mouth for

silence. Point to phoneme on the chart.

Go back to previous phonemes (/z/

and/s/). Is the voice on or off?
Now look at /ʃ/ is it on or off? Off.
Now try to add the voice to it. Point to
/ʒ/ on the chart.
Ask individual ss to produce the sound.
Model if necessary.

/f/ and /v/

/f/ mouth it. Where do I put my teeth?

On my bottom lips

Now don’t change anything and turn on

the voice. Ss form /v/: point on chart.

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/θ/ and /ð/

Point to /f/ what’s your tongue doing?


Now bring the tongue forward in

between your teeth. Point to /θ/ on chart

Is the voice ON or OFF? Off

Now add the voice. Point to /ð/

Mime /p/ /b/ /t/ /d/ and ask is the voice

ON or OFF after each sound.

Now make this sound /t/ and this one

/ʃ/. Now mix them together. Is the voice
ON or OFF? Off. Point to /tʃ/ on the
Now add the sound. Ask individual ss to
model the sound to check they are
doing it right. Point to /ʤ/ on the chart.

/k/ and /g/

Point to /k/ and ask ss to make the
sound. Is voice ON or OFF? Off
Turn it on. Which sound have you
formed? /g/

/m/, /n/, /ŋ/

/m/: rub my tummy as if sth is delicious

Where’s the sound coming from? Nose
Where do I stop the air? Mouth

/n/ Where’s the sound coming from?

What happens with my tongue?

/ŋ/ stop the air in the throat.

/w/ and /j/

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignments - Part B (Experimental Practice) 10

/w/: Point to /u/ and make ss say the
sound then point /ə/ and make them
say he sound. Now combine them and
make the sound with a strong lip
What sound have you made? Point to

/j/: repeat same process as before but

with /ɪ/ and /ə/. Now combine them and
make the sound very quickly. What do
you get? Point to /j/

/l/ and /r/

Point to /l/ on phonemic chart ask ss

what sound it is. Is the voice on or off?
And where’s your tongue? Against
Now move it down a bit. What sound do
you have? /r/ I
s the voice on or off? On

Elicit from ss that the position of

phonemes in the chart reflect where we
make the sound (from front of the
mouth to back of the mouth. /p/--> /g/)

Controlled First point to some phonemes and the T-s 7-9’ Phonemic
practice ss form words as a whole class, e.g.: chart
/pɪg/ /aɪz/ /aɪs/ /bɪə/ WB
To give ss practice
in recognising all If time, play hot seat:
the phonemes in Divide class in 2 or 3 teams. S-s
the phonemic chart One person in each team has to have
their back to the WB.
I will write a word in phonemic script on
WB. The people looking at the WB have
to describe it to the person with the
back to it.
The first person to guess it, earns a
point for their team.

Write: /æktə/, /fɑ:mə/, /bəʊt/, /nɜ:s/,

/'ʃɔ:t/, /tʃaɪld/, /nəʊz/, /kləʊðz/, /wɜ:k/,

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Reflection Hand out questionnaire for ss to T-s 5-6’ Questionnai
complete. re
Tell ss to answer individually. If time
they can compare in pairs about what S-s
they thought of learning the phonemic T-s
chart this way. And if they thought it
useful, difficult.

Ask ss to give questionnaire back.

Tell them they can practice in their own

time by downloading the phonemic
chart app onto their phones (Sounds:
the pronunciation app)
Handout phonemic chart

Error correction Write any errors or nice language heard T-s 2-3’ WB
during discussion and hot seat on the
WB. S-s

If time have ss look at them in pairs and T-s

correct/upgrade them before whole
class feedback.


Phonemic chart
White board
Self-made questionnaire
Post-it notes

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Appendix 2 - Students’ handout


(New English File Upper-Intermediate 3rd Edition 2008: 158)

Some sound advice: Sounds: the pronunciation app also helps you study, practise and play with in
an interactive phonemic chart wherever you are.

Ana Padilla - Professional development assignments - Part B (Experimental Practice) 13

Appendix 3 - Students’ feedback handout

Answer the following questions individually. You can then discuss them in pairs.

1) How did the teacher present the sounds? Did they make the sound and then make you repeat or

did they show you how to do it by miming?

2) From 1-5 how useful do you think it was to present the sounds this way? (1= not useful, 5= very

useful) Why?

3) Do you think that familiarising yourself with the phonemic chart helps improve your English?

4) Would you like to have more lessons on pronunciation?

5) Which sounds are the most problematic for you?

6) Do you have any other comments about this lesson?

Thanks for you feedback!

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Appendix 4 - Observation task

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Appendix 5 - Student’s completed feedback forms

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