Yingying Meng’s lesson

Yingying MENG

 In this 90min class the teacher will be teaching 30 college students of intermediate English level. The goal of the teacher would be to choose topics that would be of interest to the students, relevant to their life experience and be presented and integrated to classroom teaching using authentic materials from newspapers, magazines, social network systems etc.; incorporate text voting with the activities; familiarize the students with necessary words and vocabularies; facilitate group discussions; display and analyze the poll result with the classroom. The lesson plan concentrates on language acquisition and socio-cultural integration.

The considerations of using poll-everywhere are as follows:

  1. RELIABILITY: The concept is to use the simplest and most reliable tool to avoid or limit any potential threats like breakdowns, which tend to happen for almost every cell phone applications and internet-dependent electronics which would pose threat to the smooth transition of classroom activities. The fact that texting depends on telecommunication instead of internet is another guarantee of this purpose.

The standpoint of the class is not to introduce the most advanced, complicated or innovative application into the classroom but the most practical reliable and effective mobile device integration which will be applicable in the majority of the countries in the world.  A study by Ambra Neri, Catia Cucchiarini and Helmer Strik(2002) on technology on language ability training showed that “the choices made in these systems seem to result from a technology push, rather than from a demand pull”. Technology itself should not be the centerpiece of the classroom so much so as to lose the focus on the goal of language acquisition.

  1. ACCESSIBILITY/Affordability: This design takes into consideration classrooms in regions that do not have enough tablets for everyone. In Asia, data collected among youths aged between 12 and 17 in Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, and Tokyo in 2007 show that 96% of the teens being internet users, and having 6 years of computer experience on average. (2010) Nevertheless, teachers should take into consideration the minority of students that are not as privileged to include the maximum of the students as possible.
  2. SIMPLICITY: Cell phone as a personal device requires no training in using the texting function. No preparation time is required. No need to worry about different operation platforms either.
  3. INSTANT FEEDBACK: Poll-everywhere does a wonderful job through the integration of the most accessible device and can be used to assemble and provide prompt feedback on the screen. This also saves a lot of time for the teachers so that they don’t have to spend much time doing the calculations of the scores and making graphic charts of the results, especially when it comes to big classrooms. It also provides more information and student responses than clickers at the cost of nothing.
  4. BATTERY SUSTAINABILITY: Cell phones, compared with 3 hours’ battery sustainability for PC could be much more dependable.
  5. ECONOMICAL: No extra infrastructure or maintenance is needed. This is out of consideration of both its feasibility and institutional ecosystem.
  6. ANONYMITY: The application will gather responses from individual students, match or group them anonymously, and report outcomes confidentially to each student through tailored settings.

The incorporation of the technology into the lesson plan will still focus on language acquisition:

  1. Vocabulary checking:

When it comes to big classes, the answers from the students will be greater in number and more varied in content. When the poll is done anonymously, the possible rise of inappropriate answers should be dealt through sift function in the settings or simply a warning ahead telling the students that the sender of the inappropriate message will be disclosed despite the previous anonymous agreement.

  1. Debatable questions discussed through brainstorming of a big class will give everyone more ideas, perspectives and solutions. Students are generally interested to see the answers from other students too.
  2. Number-sensitive: The fact that the application can generate instant result and calculation serves the class in a revolutionary way above augmentation.
  3. Real communication: this lesson plan sees poll-everywhere as augmentation and even substitution in some aspects but focuses primarily on real communication. It would lose the goal of language learning if the whole class were to be turned into silent texting and result presenting.

I have all the confidence that this lesson plan can be easily applied in real classroom and generate good results. This could not be done through with only computers and thus not applicable for MALL application. My classmates’ presentations gave me the idea of using poll-everywhere to suggest topics of interest to the students at the end of the class. The only concern is that a projector in the classroom is a must and the effects would be much compromised if the results are shown from the teacher’s small laptop screen.


Lin, W. Y., Cheong, P. H., Kim, Y. C., & Jung, J. Y. (2010). Becoming citizens: Youths’ civic uses of new media in five digital cities in East Asia. Journal of adolescent research.

Neri, A., Cucchiarini, C., & Strik, H. (2002). Feedback in computer assisted pronunciation training: technology push or demand pull?. In INTERSPEECH

STUDENTS : college level, intermediate English learners of Chinese L1 speakers

         CLASS of 30


TOPIC:  tipping culture



Texting vote

Topic discussion


Computer, writing board, projector and screen for the teacher

Papers, pens, cell phones for the students

Internet connection

Time Questions/ Content What students are doing What teachers are doing What this activity accomplishes

Send me a message of your name to #.

How were the weekends?

Do you have a favorite restaurant?

 Do you usually tip?

Send the message.

Raise hand&

Answer the questions.

Display on the screen everyone’s name

Propose easy questions to start the class.

Cover as many students as possible.

Make sure everyone’s cell phone is functioning at the very beginning of the class.


Get the students into “talking mode”



What do you know about tipping in other cultures? Give their opinions. Introduce theme-related question Set up a foundation by understanding what the students already know about the tipping knowledge/culture background and know more about their own experience.







in proportion to

Tip jar



make a contribution to




Example questions will pop up on screen instantly.

Students look for the words they already know and send a sentence including the word to #. “Which ones do you already know? Please make a sentence of those you already know and send them to #.”


Go over the sentences and correct the wrong if there are.


Address the words left. Go over those words more often consciously.

Students will be able to see what their classmates already know;

Teacher can correct sentences without addressing a specific student;

Words that nobody knows will be identified as difficult and will get more attention from the teacher by repeating them more frequently during class.



1.        How much percentage would you think appropriate to tip a waiter?


2.      If you are a waiter/waitress, how much would you think to be a reasonable tip for a meal of 40$?


3.       What would you do if the guest didn’t leave you any tip?


Answers from the students will be shown on the screen.

Students think about the questions and propose their answers using their cell phones;


Discuss the outcome of the first two questions.


Go over the answers for question#3.

Propose the questions;


Receive the answers for three questions and discuss the answer patterns from the students and propose some assumptions for the answer;


Ask the students for their opinion over the answers.

The answers for Q#1,2 will be very interesting to look at and discuss because they are real data from people you know, anonymously though. Differences between the answer will make the discussion more interesting.


More creative or interesting ideas for Q#3 will help student think freely.



1.    Customers cannot be forced to tip as a matter of law, but they are legally required to pay any charges that are clearly marked prior to service, and these may include mandatory gratuities (tips).


2.    Some restaurants have taken to adding an automatic gratuity for diners who are foreigners (and thus not accustomed to American tipping standards), while other have taken more drastic measures. According to one report earlier this year, a family was locked inside a restaurant in Houston after refusing to pay 17 percent gratuity.


3.    Keep in mind that all those who provide service often are very dependent on tip income and generally are grateful for any tips received, especially when prompt and exceptional service has been provided and acknowledged.

Students work in groups, read each other the paragraph;


Discuss the proposed questions;


Report the main ideas of the discussion to the other students.

Three paragraphs from three different articles are given.

Group the students in 3s.

Read the paragraphs to each other;

Discussions and report:


1. What do you think about the conduct of adding an automatic gratuity for diners who are foreigners?

2. What do you think about this piece of news?

3. If you are a waiter, would you rather get minimum wage or work for tips?

Short paragraphs with new information will stimulate their ideas and promote thinking and expressing.


What are the benefits of tipping culture?

What are the advantages of non-tipping culture?

Discuss with the same group. Propose questions;


Facilitate students with answers;


Share with them the teacher’s experience or idea if possible.

Coming back to culture comparison and touch upon the background information


What topics would the students be interested in talking about for the next class and homework for next lesson. Send topics they are interested in discussing to # Collect the topics and generate ideas for the next teaching class Revolve around the student and take their opinions along the teaching all the time. Give them a platform for them to contribute ideas and make proposals whenever they want to instead of one opinion poll at the end of the semester.
HW for the following lesson:

Find an article online about tipping, read it and talk about it with your partner in the next class.

Make a sentence of two words from the last class and send it to the# in the next class.



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