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NSE Senior High Course: Features, Benefits and Teaching Approaches. Bernadette Longley 20 November, 2005 Qingdao, China. Integrate skills, knowledge and strategies into unit themes and topics to promote holistic, natural learning. Course Principles.

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NSE Senior High Course: Features, Benefits and Teaching Approaches

Bernadette Longley

20 November, 2005Qingdao, China

course principles
Integrate skills, knowledge and strategies into unit themes and topics to promote holistic, natural learningCourse Principles
  • Foster learner awareness and responsibility in the learning process
  • Encourage learner motivation through relevant and meaningful contexts
  • Combine new teaching methods and approacheswith established teaching practices and situational factors in China
five components of language competence objectives structure
Five Components of Language Competence: Objectives Structure

‘General Objectives Structure’ 2003 National Curriculum Standards


Learning Strategies


motivation & interest



confidence & perseverance





collaborative spirit




national & international awareness



Cultural Awareness




history & geography

Language Knowledge




culture & traditions








arts & literature




social norms




value systems



Language Skills









Structure of Scope and Sequence Following Objectives Structure

7 NSE SH Course syllabuses

1. Language skills

2. Topic/ themes

3. Functions & grammar

4. Vocabulary

5. Pronunciation

6. Learner training

7. Socio-cultural awareness

sample unit 1 book 1 module 1 my first day at senior high
Sample Unit 1Book 1, Module 1: My First Day at Senior High
  • Unit topic:New schools
  • Unit task: Writing a brochure about your school
  • Target language:
      • Grammar: Adjectives ending in –ed and –ing
      • Function: Making conversations
      • Vocabulary: School subjects, feelings
syllabus 1 macro skill development
Syllabus #1- Macro skill development

“The four skills are complementary to each other; development in any of the four will contribute to the overall development of the other skills.”–English National Curriculum (English version)






Texts are integrated into: - topic & theme of unit - key grammar and vocabulary - other macro skills

Examples are used in following Grammar 1, vocabulary and speaking activities

‘anchors’ activities into a clear and meaningful context

Includes:1. Pre-reading activity 2. Reading for main ideas activity 3. Reading for details activity 4. Post-reading activity

beyond comprehension checks,

1. Checks that grammar/vocabulary are understood

2. Develops varied reading skills

a natural way of using English

pre-reading- introduces themes

ANCHOR 1: sets context for following vocab & grammar activities

reading for main ideas: develops skills to find general info

pre-reading- introduce new vocab & relate to experiences

Sample Reading Activity- B1M1, p. 2


Takes a guided-writing approach: 1. present model 2. highlights features, structures 3. use model to compose text, exploiting S’s experiences

demystifies text composition process

Enables students to produce creative, personalised texts

Focuses on:-varied written genres (e.g.narrative)- organising ideas (process writing)

builds upon JH curriculum standards:

- reinforces use of discourse markers

-helps Ss write different text types

Topics connected with: - reading and listening passages - unit themes

sufficient input for task

Skill integration and contextualisation

guided writing- reading text used as email model & built around unit themes

draws on personal experiences= meaningful

Sample Writing Activity- B1M1, p. 8


Topics & passages are used in following Grammar 2, Everyday English, Pronunciation, andSpeaking activities

provides opportunities to :

- develop comprehension

-practice new grammar and vocab

-develop varied listening skills (e.g. gist vs. details)

Includes:1. Pre-listening activity 2. Listening for main ideas activity 3. Listening for details activity

2nd ‘anchor’ to contextualise following grammar & pronunciation activities

Integrates language skills & knowledge

pre-listening activity- sets the scene

listening for details:find specific info

ANCHOR 2:context for following grammar, speaking & pronunciation activities

Sample Listening Activity- B1M1, p. 6


Personalised topics (Students’ own experiences, opinions, ideas)

Always in pair/group activities

Structured to include:1. controlled activities2. guided activities3. open speaking activities

provides relevance, meaning and motivation

helps achieve a balance of accuracy and fluency

maximised speaking opportunities

Develops collaborative learning

links to Module Task- write brochure

Qs relate directly to students’ own lives

Sample Speaking Activity- B1M1, ” p. 7

input provided in previous listening activity

syllabus 2 course topics themes
1. Personal information

2 Family, friends and people around

3. Personal environments

4. Daily routines

5. School life

6. Interests and hobbies

7. Emotions

8. Interpersonal relationships

9. Plans and intentions

10. Festivals, holidays and celebrations

11. Shopping

12. Food and drink

13. Health

14. Weather

Syllabus #2- Course Topics & themes

15. Entertainment and sports

16. Travel and transport

17. Language learning

18. Nature

19. The world and the environment

20. Popular science and modern technology

21. Topical issues

22. History and geography

23. Society

24. Literature and art

  • In line with 24 macro-topics specified in Curriculum Standards
  • Closely connected with skills, knowledge and strategies
  • Set in contexts relevant to students’ lives
syllabus 3 functions grammar
Cyclical approach

Balances discovery and traditional grammar approaches

Examples taken from reading/listening passages

Syllabus #3- Functions & grammar
  • Why the Discovery Approach?

1.Through discussing content = meaning & communication

2. Through active participation = learner autonomy & analytical skills

3. Through predicting the rules=Studentsrememberthe rules

prepares for exams + develops analytical & communication skills

grammar is anchored in a clear and meaningful context

reviews grammar from earlier unitsReflects natural way structures are used

example sentences are from previous reading activity= context

Qs to generalise rules

Involvement =

  • communication
  • Skill-building
  • retention

Sample Grammar Activity- B1M1, “Nice to Meet You” p. 4

syllabus 4 vocabulary
Always linked to a macro skill (e.g. L&V, S&V, R&V)

Presented and practiced throughdifferent activity types

Syllabus #4- Vocabulary

Explicitly built into - topics/ themes of unit - reading/listening passages

not taught in isolation: always embedded into meaningful context

integrated approach to learning new words

suits varied learning styles

Increases motivation through presenting new words in varying contexts, activities

Picture-Word MatchingBook 4, Module 3

Gap ExercisesBook 3, Module 4

Matching Definitions Book 3, Module 1

Classifying Word Groups Book 1, Module 1, p. 5

Sample Vocabulary Activities

syllabus 5 pronunciation
Closely linked with phonological aspects of listening activities

Examples taken are from listening activities and/or appropriate to theme

Syllabus #5- Pronunciation

embedded in a meaningful context

no new words to deal with

integrated, contextualised learning

Cognitive tips make connections, solve problems, find patterns

Metacognitive tipsplan, assess & reflect on learning processes

learningstrategiesoutlined in Curriculum Standards

Communication tipsgain & maintain effective and appropriate communication

Resource tipschoose & access media to improve learning

Syllabus #6- Learner Training: Learning to Learn Tips


  • learner responsibility
  • learner independency
  • learner control
  • positive studyhabits
Sample Learning to Learn Tips (Books 1-6)

Metacognitive Skills

  • Self-evaluation (B2M1)
  • Dealing with mistakes (B1M1)
  • Planning (B4M1)

Cognitive skills

  • Vocabulary tables (B3M3)
  • Categorising words (B5M5)
  • Memorising vocabulary (B3M5)
  • Following instructions (B6M4)
  • Note-taking (B6M5)
  • Predicting meaning (B3M6)
  • Understanding main ideas (B1M3)
  • Learning with sub-headings (B2M5)

Communicative Skills

  • Tone: formal vs informal(B4M3)
  • Group-work skills (B6M6)
  • Learning with others (B3M4)

Resource Skills

  • Researching on the Internet (B1M6)
  • Using tapes to improve speaking (B5M3)
  • Using readers to improve reading (B6, M2)
  • Learning through films (B2M6)
  • Learning through the radio (BM4)
  • Practicing stress with dictionaries (B55)
Syllabus #7- Socio-cultural awareness: Cultural Corner

Why Socio-cultural Awareness?

“Learners who are interested in the social and cultural customs of native speakers are likely to be successful language learners.”–Ellis 1995

builds on JH course: beyond basic understanding of cultural aspects towards recognising / appreciating cultural similarities & differences

provides flexibility: can be used as reading/ cloze/ jigsaw or omitted

Sample Module 2Book 5, Module 6: Animals in Danger
  • Unit topic:Animals in Danger
  • Unit task: Making a survey of endangered species in China
  • Target language:
      • Grammar: Review of attributive clauses
      • Function: Expressing concern
      • Vocabulary: Animals and their environment
language, grammar & skills of unit defined

vocab presented through definitions

discussion to enable personal connection to topic

Lesson 1 p.51

Lesson 1

pre-reading activity- predicting

ANCHOR 1context for following activities

Lesson 2, p.52-53

Lesson 2

discovery approach, in context of previous reading text

traditional grammar consolidation

Lesson 3, p.54-55

Lesson 3

pre-listening activity

ANCHOR 2:context for following grammar & vocab work

Lesson 4. p.55-56

Lesson 4

function: embedded in context of listening text

guided speaking: input provided in previous Function, Listening & Reading

Lesson 5, p.57-58

Lesson 5

unit output: skills, grammar, themes & knowledge come together in meaningful context

explicit reference to unit syllabuses

Lesson 6 p.59-60

Lesson 6

summary nse sh aims
Summary: NSE SH Aims




ppropriate choice of language and topic to ensure a suitable amount of input is provided

nformation processing- building skills find, gather, analyse and apply information to solve problems

eaning. Using language not just for tests but to effectively communicate

Thank you for listening!

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