With these lesson plans I’m trying to design learning activities that are:
- Hackable – Teachers should be able to modify, remix and adapt these lessons for their own contexts
- Context-independent – The lessons should have broad appeal, not be limited to one setting or context
- Level-independent – The lessons should work across a variety of levels
What makes a lesson ‘decentralised’?
For a start, there’s no course book. I find that course books tend to drag everyone into their ‘orbit’.
As repositories of knowledge and power we set great store by books, and rightly so, but in the language learning classroom I think they are over-used.
As a result, we should be critical of the claim that ‘course books have their place’.
Why do they?
How can I recognise a decentralised classroom?
No central authority – The teachers acts more as a facilitator than an authority figure. The teacher provides the environment in which learners learn.
And shouldn’t we be striving for more democratic learning environments?
Power is devolved to the learner – Learners are encouraged to take on more responsibility for their own learning.
Responsibility is shared – The success or failure of an activity or project does not solely depend on the teacher but the active involvement of the learners.
This should free up some of the teacher’s mental energy to deal with more practical problems such as designing wonderful activities and syllabuses, and struggling with the ever-present ghost of testing and assessment.
So, enjoy the lessons – and if you use them – please leave a comment!
English for Special Purposes (ESP)
At Work: Speaking Activities for Business English
Lesson Jam! lessons
Week 11 Seinfeld lesson plan
Week 5 Refugees lesson plan
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