|CELTA-004b| Parts of a Lesson Plan: Receptive Skills [PART 2]

Hello Exam Seekers,

Last Friday, I updated a text I had previously written here about planning a lesson. I did that because I had decided to divide the topic into parts, since talking about Lesson Plan is not always easy or simple due to its many possible steps.

Many teachers usually decide on a lesson (reading, listening, speaking, writing, vocab, grammar), choose the material, and prepare it as if he/she would prepare any other lesson, with the same steps, usually thinking about the same abilities. However, we have seen the last post that it shouldn’t be like that, we shouldn’t be preparing Receptive Skills Lessons like Productive Skills Lessons.

So, today I decided to bring you some information about Receptive Skills and how to plan a lesson based on a reading or a listening activity. However, before moving on to explaining the steps, check out my last post Parts of a Lesson Plan: What are the steps? [ Part 1] so you can understand the following steps.

By the way, keep in mind that this text is interesting not only to those who are taking the CELTA but to teachers in general. Usually, Celtees like to check these texts because they are going through the CELTA process of planning lessons, and it certainly helps and guides them, however, teachers who didn’t take the CELTA can also take the advantage of making their lessons better planned! 🙂

To start with, I ask you: What are Receptive Skills?


There is a post about the differences between Receptive and Productive skills here: Check it out before moving on! But let’s keep in mind that for RECEPTIVE SKILLS, I am talking about listening and reading activities, okay?

These are the steps you will probably use:

Warm-up / Lead-in – First you start by connecting students to the English lesson that is about to start and make them be engaged with the topic. If you are going to give your students a reading activity, maybe it would be interesting if you started the lesson with an audio or a video. On the other hand, if you plan to give your students a video/audio activity, maybe it would be interesting to lead with sentences to read and talk. Remember that the lead-in is a 5-minute activity to make your students speak and engage, synthesizing with the topic.

Pre-teach vocabulary – this stage will help you with some words that may be an issue for learners when they get to the text or audio. Dealing with these words beforehand is a way to facilitate reading and listening so that the comprehension comes more smoothly for the following exercises. Let’s think of relevant words to the text/audio that you are sure that your students don’t know its meaning or that it’s not so clear for them to grasp in a text or a recording, that they wouldn’t get the meaning by its context. Keep in mind that this is a step, so don’t merely give them the words and their meaning, but show them in ways that make this step more exciting and connected to the lesson.

Listening/Reading for gist – before having students focus on the details and more specific questions of the text/recording, it is a good idea to have some questions that require students to grasp its general idea. These types of questions will help students lessen their anxiety or fear of not understanding everything and help them feel more at ease with the receptive skills. These questions could be related to the title or a general comprehension, for instance.

Listening/Reading for detail – this stage aims to have students focus more on the detail of the text, to pay closer attention to some specific information of the text. It usually comes after gist, since students have already read the text or listened to the track once and are more familiar with them. The questions here require your student to read the paragraphs more carefully and to pay close attention when listening to audios.

Follow-up – this is the last stage, and it is the part where students have the opportunity to react to what they have just read or listened to. There may be some group or pair activity with questions that can be answered on a sheet of paper or even in a discussion so that students can express themselves and give their opinion based on what they have just seen. They can be guided as to a specific topic of the content provided, or more open as to the whole text/audio.

I hope to have cleared some questions about the steps of Receptive Skills Lessons. You will understand the differences in comparison to the Productive Skills Lessons next week, okay? But if you still have questions about the steps given today, make sure to comment in the comment session below. And don’t forget to follow the blog at:

Have a great weekend,
Patricia Moura

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