Each lesson begins with a Life Skills component to capture the students' interest and develp communicative competence. This pragmatic approach transitions then to a selected clip from the JESUS film aimed at spiritual development. In the process of acquiring a new language based upon The JESUS Film, the ultimate goal for these lessons is that students gain a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and make Him their Savior and Lord.
Warm-Up is an introductory activity that serves several important purposes: (1) to focus attention on the Life Skills topic, (2) to help build a sense of community, and (3) to lower the anxiety level in the classroom. From the start, it is essential to create a "safe" place for risk-taking. One way to make students feel comfortable and safe is to make the language learning as much fun as possible! In the most successful classrooms laughter is frequently shared-and learners are more willing to experiment with the new language-mistakes and all!
In the Presentation new language is demonstrated in context by means of multiple examples rather than explanations of grammar. Input becomes comprehensible through use of body language; pantomiming; authentic props; real pictures of real people, places, and objects; and/or drawings and charts.
Rather than creating language in these activities, students manipulate information that has already been set up for them. They practice using new vocabulary, a new function or grammatical structure until they get it right! With its emphasis on accuracy of form, this part of each lesson is structured and controlled-not with teacher-talk but with teacher-involvement as facilitator or coach.
Examples of focused practice activities include: information gap, cloze, strip story, fill-in-the blank, true/false, multiple choice, questions and answers, and Total Physical Response (TPR).
In these exercises students create new language by mixing the "old" with the "new." The focus is no longer on the language itself, but on a task to be performed using the language in line, circle, pair, and group formations. The students become so absorbed in what they are doing that they forget about the hard work of learning a new language! Their minds are so busy finding out information that they have no time to be afraid. Students are given authentic-not contrived-reasons for stating opinions or asking open-ended questions. The activities involve choice and hence have less teacher-control. Examples of communicative activities include interviews, opinion polls, role play, problem-solving, and games. These activities may involve writing as well as listening and speaking.
Supporting vocabulary for the film segment is presented as simply and clearly possible. A brief transition is made, connecting the Life Skills section to The JESUS Story. For more advanced students, do not linger with words they already know. For intermediate-level students, check understanding by asking them to create sentences using the new words listed in #B of the Student Study Guide. For advanced students, show them the story as recorded in NIV and ask about any words they do not understand.
A single guiding question prepares students for active listening. True novices will need the advantage of seeing the film clip once with no particular assignment, in order to become accustomed to hearing the story in English.
Whereas the first viewing is concerned only with the "big picture," the second viewing has students watching for details. Various techniques are used for this closer look: yes/no questions in Lesson One; either/or questions in Lesson Two; question-word questions in Lesson Three; and, beginning with Lesson Four, combinations of multiple choice, true/false, and fill-in-the-blank. Process questions are used sparingly, beginning with Lesson Eight. Please use your discretion concerning the ability of your students to understand and answer these how and why questions.
The Life Skills portion of these lessons places a major emphasis on the oral skills, listening and speaking, while reading and writing play only a supportive role. The JESUS Story component, on the other hand, has an emphasis on literacy skills as well. Reading is emphasized more than writing, since everyone in an English-speaking environment needs to do some reading, if nothing more than for food, medicine labels, and road signs. It is not as likely that everyone will need extensive writing skills.
Your copy of the lesson has only the answer key for the "cloze." The actual "cloze" exercise is in the Student Study Guide (minus the answer key). This activity, named for the Gestalt notion of closure, is a fun and effective way to check comprehension after students have read the story and answered all the questions
This lesson feature follows the cloze in every lesson. In your copy it appears immediately after the Student Study Guide. Students enjoy this activity that provides yet another way to manipulate the story content without the onset of boredom. Like the cloze, your copy has only the answer key. While serving as a further check of comprehension, the strip story provides practice also in listening and speaking. Students must collaborate in order to place jumbled sentences in correct sequence.
Here the lesson becomes personal as the students visit the story one last time to find larger meaning from the narrative. Activities link the two lesson components-Life Skills and The JESUS Story.
By design the pedagogical term 'closure' is omitted in the Student Study Guide. And, although the term appears for your information in your copy, you will not find 'closure' in the usual sense. The purpose here is purely to impart the truths in God's Word.
By this time, we pray that the whole of each lesson will have prepared the way for the Holy Spirit to speak to the heart of each student through the story of JESUS and the eternal truths from God's Word. While novice learners may not understand all the content, they can comprehend the reading of the scripture in their native language.
For your convenience, each scripture reference is written in full, both in your copy and in the Student Study Guide. Additional features in every lesson include the following:
With these lessons you will make varied references to the culture of your students. Every opportunity to connect with the learners' world view and experience will not only help to create a low-anxiety environment, but will help students value themselves as a part of their own culture.
Students can make notations about meaning and/or pronunciation in this student "text." The Student Study Guide provides a listing of Vocabulary words, the guiding question in the First Look, an activity to help students focus on details in Second Look, the JESUS Story in simplified text for Reading, a Cloze exercise, the points for discussion in Life Application, and the concluding God's Truths.
Duplicating these pages will minimize the need for writing on the board and/or using an overhead projector. To help your lesson flow smoothly, the handouts are numbered in the order you will need them. Given your particular time constraints, you might not be able to use all of the activities in each lesson. It is always better, though, to plan for more than you need than not to have enough!