Daniel McCarthy’s lesson


Setting Objectives
  • ·      The student is a Japanese diplomat studying English in Custom Language Programs here at MIIS
  • ·      The class is a hybrid tutoring/teaching environment where I craft my lessons around content from the student’s two core classes.
  • ·      The student has studied English in Japan for over 5 years, but has not studied English the 2 previous years before arriving at MIIS
  • ·      The student has high proficiency in reading and writing, but intermediate level proficiency in speaking and listening
  • ·      The lesson is 1.5 hours long

  • ·      Use the hashtag, video recording, and written tweet functions of twitter
  • ·      Discuss basic facts regarding the history of Monterey
  • ·      Notice differences between his own output and the target forms (past tense, passive)
  • ·      Complete a scavenger hunt

Context: This is the first lesson in a unit on the history of Monterey. For homework the night before, the student created a twitter account and read some of the introductory explanations of how to use twitter.

Time Activity Procedures/Actions
2-3 minutes Introductions and good news ·      T asks the S to share good news or any announcements
8-10 minutes
  • Review and Introduction to Twitter
  • ·      T asks the student to show his understanding of twitter, specifically the tweet (written), hashtag, and video functions.
  • ·      T notices the areas which the S does not fully understand Twitter
  • ·      T models how to take a video, how to hashtag, and how to tweet (dependent on what S does not fully understand)
5-7 minutes Introduce Scavenger Hunt/ Model first step
  • ·      T hands the S the scavenger hunt worksheet (see Appendix A) and explains the directions.
  • ·      T and S walk downstairs. T models how to complete the questions on scavenger hunt by recording a video, creating a hashtag, and posting it to twitter.
  • ·      T explains the map on the second page of the scavenger hunt to the S and makes sure the S has his GPS working on his phone.
  • ·      T asks S if he has any questions and asks student to paraphrase the directions to make sure they are understood.
30-40 minutes Completion of Scavenger Hunt
  • ·      S completes the scavenger hunt and returns when he has recorded or tweeted all the answers.
  • ·      While the S is completing the scavenger hunt, T watches the input (tweets, recordings) by using the hashtag function of Twitter.
  • ·      T writes examples on the board of both exemplary output and output that misses the target form from the videos and tweets of the S.
  • ·      T color codes correct tense and voice and incorrect tense and voice in the past.
12-15 minutes Focus on Form
  • ·      T hands S a graphic organizer (see Appendix B)
  • ·      T asks student to look at the example sentences on the board and if the S notices the differences between the two different colors.
  • ·      If S does not notice that one is correct, and one is not correct past tense usage, then T models one correct example and one incorrect example.
  • ·      Once student notices the errors in the incorrect language, the S must use the graphic organizer to write down and correct the errors.
8-10 minutes Focus on Meaning
  • ·      T hands S the correct answers for the scavenger hunt (including correct dates and names).
  • ·      T and S discuss the correct answers and any differences between S answers and the correct answers
4-6 minutes Conclusion and Homework
  • ·      T answers any outstanding S questions regarding the content from the scavenger hunt.
  • ·      Assign the reading (about the history of Monterey) to the S.
  • ·      Remind the S to answer the comprehension questions online for the reading.
*Contingency Plan Vocabulary ·      If there is extra time in this lesson, pre-teach the harder vocabulary for the reading. Specifically, cut up the definitions for the difficult words and have the S match the definitions to the appropriate vocabulary word. For words that the S cannot complete, pre-teach these words meanings. (This vocabulary will be the introduction to the subsequent lesson, but serves as the contingency plan if there is extra time). Also, if the technologies do not work for the LP above, adopt the reading as the LP and work through the vocab and reading with the student.

Appendix A

Scavenger Hunt: History of Monterey[1]

 Directions: To complete this task, you will find all of the following locations listed below. You will also answer the informational questions about the different locations using Twitter. There is a map of the different locations on the back of your scavenger hunt worksheet. We will go over this map in class and the teacher will show you how to use your GPS to find certain buildings. If you ever get lost, please call your teacher and return to the classroom. If you have any questions before starting, please ask your professor now. Remember to use the hashtag CLSMOFAJ after all of your tweets and videos!


  • -California’s first theatre
  • -Colton Hall
  • -Larkin House
  • -Cooper Molera Adobe
  • -Casa Serrano


  • Why is Colton Hall an important part of the history of Monterey? Please record at least two reasons it is important.
  • Which building was built first, the Larkin House of Casa Serrano? Tweet your answer.
  • What materials were used to build the Larkin house? Record your answer.
  • Record yourself describing at least two different past uses of the First Theatre of California.
  • Who was the first person to live in the Casa-Molera Adobe? Tweet your answer.

Appendix B

Graphic Organizer

Grammatically Correct Examples Grammatically Incorrect Examples

Corrections of grammatically incorrect sentences (please write the correct form of the grammatically sentences below):


The main aims of this lesson plan are to provide the student with an introduction to the history of Monterey, to conduct a mini-needs assessment on the student’s interest in different parts of the history of Monterey, and to provide a context where the student can use past tense and passive voice in an authentic manner. In order to achieve these aims, the student will complete a scavenger hunt using Twitter. Twitter allows the student to journey outside of the classroom and provides a time stamped record of his language use. It also is a tool that facilitates task-based language instruction in a fun and engaging way. Furthermore, the use of Twitter to complete this scavenger hunt can be classified as redefinition according to Puentedura’s (2013) SAMR model. Ultimately, Twitter enables the teacher to deploy a lesson that might not be possible without the mobile technology.

Before analyzing the intricacies of the SAMR introduced above, it is important to understand the background for the pedagogical choices preceding the scavenger hunt. The homework from the previous night was for the student to get acquainted with Twitter. Therefore, the first step in the lesson involves the teacher asking the student to demonstrate his understanding of the functionalities of Twitter. Using Twitter serves no purpose if the student can not use the functionalities properly; thus, assessing gaps in the student’s knowledge and then filling these gaps is crucial to the successful completion of the lesson.

The next main step of the lesson involves walking downstairs and modeling how to complete the lesson plan. As Ellis (2000) makes clear in his discussion of task-based language teaching, students must understand the desired target output and be able to produce the target output. Modeling is an excellent way of leading students to produce said target output. Ellis continues to explain that task-based language teaching involves a task that can either be successful or unsuccessful as determined by whether the student completes or does not complete the task. This idea of successful completion mimics real world discourse due to the fact that in real world discourse, a person is successful if he or she can be understood. Further, during the task (scavenger hunt), the student is focused on meaning (the history of Monterey) and not on form. This focus on meaning is important because it can help facilitate language acquisition (Ellis & Shintani, 2014).

While Twitter enables the student to focus on meaning, it also makes it possible for the student to create a time stamp of his language use. By using both the written and video functions of twitter, the student produces output both in written and oral forms in a way that can be kept over a long period of time. While the student is completing the task using Twitter, the teacher uses the output of the student to create a mini-lesson on past tense and passive voice. These two areas of English seem to be difficult for the student as seen in his previous classroom output. The mini-lesson therefore tasks the student with noticing his own mistakes and then correcting these mistakes. According to Schmidt (1990), noticing is necessary for acquisition to take place, and therefore, having the student notice the gap between his interlanguage and the target form is a critical step in helping the student acquire the language.

Like justifying the pedagogical decisions within, it is also important to look at the classification of the technology used during the lesson. Specifically, the use of Twitter can be classified as redefinition using Puentedura’s (2013) SAMR model. Redefinition refers to the creation of tasks that could not be achieved without the technology in question. In this lesson, twitter allows the teacher to receive the data in real time whereas the teacher would have to wait for the student to return to the room if a pencil and paper were used instead. Moreover, the use of Twitter allows the student to post video recordings in addition to written tweets, something unavailable with pen and paper or even a non-smart phone. The addition of oral production to the scavenger hunt (which already includes reading and writing aspects) facilitates integration of skills such as reading, writing, and speaking, a main component of communicative language teaching, which is the main method of instruction in this student’s program. Ultimately, Twitter permits the teacher to create a successful and interesting lesson that would otherwise not be possible without this particular app.

In summary, this lesson employs ideas from task-based language teaching to facilitate acquisition and uses Twitter to best reach the main student learning outcomes. Throughout the lesson, the student must find information to complete a scavenger hunt, which enables him to focus on meaning while producing the target language. Additionally, the student is led to notice the gap between his own interlanguage and the target language forms. Furthermore, the use of Twitter enables the teacher to organize and teach a lesson that would not be possible without the app. Ultimately, the pedagogical and technological choices of the teacher facilitate learning and acquisition.

Works Cited

Ellis, R. (2000). Task-based research and language pedagogy, Language Teaching     Research, 4(3), 139-220.

Ellis, R. & Shintani, N. (2014). Method construct and theories of L2 learning. Exploring language pedagogy through second language acquisition research. New York, NY: Routledge.

Puentedura, R. R. (2013, May 29). SAMR: Moving from enhancement to       transformation [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.hippasus.com/rrpweblog/archives/000095.html

Schmidt, R. (1990). The role of consciousness in second language learning. Applied Linguistics 11, 129–58.



[1] This scavenger hunt is still in development with the main teacher of the class. We are looking over the different maps and designing questions for the scavenger hunt. A few examples are listed above, but the final draft will be more extensive.