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October 2020 - Year 22 - Issue 5

ISSN 1755-9715

An Online Lesson: Conflict and Resolution

Andrea Záhumenská is the Director of Studies at the Bridge, English language centre in Bratislava, where she is also an English teacher trainer, soft skills trainer and mentor for new teachers at the Bridge, passing on her knowledge and experience to younger colleagues. After graduating from Comenius University in Bratislava she went on to study English at Kingston College, London. She enjoys every bit of teaching and tries to make her lessons creative and fun, but also push people beyond their comfort zone. She believes that teachers can make a real difference and influence students in many ways. She knows that good teachers have to work on themselves their whole lives. She has participated in many courses and training programs, both in Slovakia and in UK.

 

Level: B2

This is a modified lesson plan. The full one includes a thorough needs analysis, description of students´ profiles, rationale for choosing the materials and aids, ways of catering for different skills, ways of assessing goals achievement, and a detailed description of timing and staging of feedback.

 

Communicative objective

Students will be able to:

  •  agree to go on a holiday with their peers based on their assigned roles in the role-play
  •  solve a conflict situation that could arise in the discussion.

Language objective

By the end of the lesson, students will have used different phrases for managing conflict situations.

e.g. I hear what you´re saying but try to see it from my point of view.

I´ve obviously done something to upset you, so I think we should clear the air.

 

Pronunciation objective

By the end of the lesson, students will have practiced the sentence stress.

  1. hear what you´re saying, but try to see it from my point of view.
  2. That´s not what I meant. You´re twisting my words.
  3. Alright! calm down! There´s no need to raise your voice.
  4. I´ve obviously done something to upset you, so I think we should clear the air.
  5. I don´t understand. What´s the point you´re trying to make?
  6. take your point.
  7. We don´t see eye to eye on......

 

Relevance of this lesson for learners

In my teaching context students come from different professional backgrounds: some of them work in an English-speaking environment, some of them don´t use English in their jobs at all, so I try to select the topics that could be useful for all of them.

As S. Mercer (2020) explains, there are 3 foundations for learner engagement: learners’ sense of competence, sense of autonomy, and sense of relatedness. A sense of competence refers to learners feeling that they are able to manage the learning tasks they are confronted with. A sense of autonomy is building in options for ‘choice and voice’ wherever possible. A sence of relatedness refers to the quality of relationships that learners experience both with their teacher and among their peers.

For this lesson, the sense of competence is based on the fact that students have prior knowledge of the phrases that can be used in conflict situations and we are building on those (Test-Teach-Test method). The sense of autonomy will be realised through offering them choices. The sense of relatedness is present in this group, the relationship they´ve been building with the teacher and with their peers.

This lesson offers a lot of opportunities for speaking. Students evaluate their success in language learning as well as the effectiveness of their course on the basis of how well they feel they have improved in their spoken language proficiency (Richards,2009).

Students have prior knowledge of the phrases used in arguments/conflict situations. When eliciting phrases (stage 2), I expect to hear phrases such as:  You´re wrong! You never listen to me! I don´t agree with you,…etc. Generally speaking, Slovak people’s responses are quite direct and when translated into English, they can come across as blunt and thus cause unnecessary problems in communication. Therefore, I have selected the phrases that would improve their ability to manage conflict situations more politely.

The pronunciation focus of this lesson is sentence stress. As Kelly (2000) points out, sentence stress is an integral feature of language which provides listeners with vital clues as to the salient points of the speaker´s message. We are aware of how variations in stress affect the message being put across, but we seldom need to declare what we mean, or elucidate and elaborate on how our stresses contribute to communication.

 

Procedure

You will find full table in attachment in section below.

 

Materials and aids

Picture (stage 1)

Worksheet (stage 3)

  1. I hear what you´re saying, but .......................................................................................

(my/ see/ point/ try/ view/ it/ from/ to/ of)

  1. That´s not what I meant. ................................................................................................

(words/ my/ you´re/ twisting)

  1. Alright, calm down .......................................................................................................

(there´s /voice/ no/ to/ need/your/ raise)

  1. I´ve obviously done something to upset you, so ...........................................................

(I/ clear/ we/ think/ should/ air/ the)

  1. We´re getting nowhere here. .........................................................................................

(circles /going/ just/ round/ we´re/ in)

  1. I don´t understand. ........................................................................................................?

(what´s / point/ you´re/ trying/ the/ make/ to)

  1. OK. Fair enough. .............................................................................................................

(take/ your/ I/ point).

  1. ........................................................................................................................................

(we/ eye/ to/ don´t/ anything/ on/ eye/ see)

 

Description of the roles (stage 5)

A family is going on holiday (father, mother, teenage child, grandmother).

Father – very dominant, adopts “my way or no way” attitude. His preference is an active holiday, e.g. hiking in the mountains or rafting on a wild river.

Mother – “quiet strength”, her preferred holiday is somewhere on a beach. She is stressed out from her job and looking after the family. So, she needs to rest. She will be happy if all the family spends the holiday together.

Teenage child – a bit spoilt, usually gets what he/she wants. He/she feels that they are old enough to go on holiday with their friends; not the family. For the teenager, family holidays are terribly boring!

Grandmother – no preference about the holiday. She will go wherever. Not strict with her opinion, agrees with everybody.

 

You can download the lesson plan from the section below.

Tagged Lesson Ideas 
  • The Pumpkin – It’s Halloween Soon
    Jamie Keddie, Spain

  • An Online Lesson: Conflict and Resolution
    Andrea Záhumenská, Slovakia

  • The Use of TV Game Shows in the Classroom
    Viktória Gergelyová, Slovakia