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Mindful Learning - Intermediate Mid

Lesson Information

Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. talk about  the importance of mindfulness in learning. 
  2. set a goal to be more mindful in language learning. 
  3. describe how to use mindfulness to improve language learning outcomes.

Language Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. listen for specific information
  2. connect content to background knowledge.
  3. focus on pronunciation.  

Materials Needed

Overview

Before starting the lesson, invite students to put their phones completely away (ideally inside their backpacks), explaining that doing so is part of today’s lesson, and challenge them to keep from checking their phones during the whole class time. Explain that this will help them be more mindful of the present moment in class and avoid distractions. 

Activate Background Knowledge

Ask students what makes learning a language difficult. Have the students work with partners to discuss problems that they may have. After, discuss as a class. Possible answers may include: 

  • Distractions 
  • Trouble memorizing 
  • Difficulty understanding teachers 

As we clear our minds, we make room to expand our knowledge. Additionally, mindfulness will allow us to focus on what we are learning right now. 

Activity 1: Vocabulary  

Review the following vocabulary words, their pronunciation, and their definitions.  See if the students can come up with synonyms or other related words. 

  • Focus Attention
  • Distract Attentive
  • Distraction Alert
  • Memorize
  • Retain

Activity 2: Listening

Have the students watch the following video. . 

After watching the video, ask how well they stayed focused before talking about the clip. After this discussion, have them work in groups to answer the following questions:

  • What is the difference between the learning and the performance zone? 
  • Why is focus important in the learning zone? 

Help them understand that the key to improving is focus. If we practice without mindfully focusing, we will likely not improve.

Activity 3: Listening

Let's focus on a grammar principle.

Have students watch the following video and write down the words in the simple past. 

Kung Fu Panda 2 Simple Past 

https://youtu.be/z4B43IIq-Sg 

After the video, ask studetns how well they were able to focus on the simple past. 

Have a discussion about what was distracting. 

Activity 4: Pronunciation 

Help students understand that in order to improve with pronunciation, they need to focus on one aspect. 

Here is an aspect to focus on: 

Retrieved from: https://edtechbooks.org/-WwA

After reviewing the pronunciation of ed, have students read the following paragraph out loud: 

“When I got home, the kitchen was a mess. At our house, we have agreed to clean up after ourselves, so I asked around to find out who had cooked last. That person turned out to be my son. While he washed the dishes, I sat at the kitchen table and talked to him about his school work. Last year, he tested into an advanced program, and I wanted to see how he was doing. He seemed happy with it. He started telling me about his classes and what he learned that day.”

Ask students whether they were able to stay focused on the past tense -ed or if they were distracted by other things.

Activity 5: Listening/Speaking

Give students access to the Kung Fu Panda video previously watched. 

For this activity, students will mimic Goose’s narration of discovering Po in pairs. The goal is to mimic Goose’s voice exactly the same, so can rewind and pause as needed. Remind students to focus on pronunciation (‘-ed’), intonation, and phrasing-pausing. 

For this activity, you may also have students use their own smartphones to record themselves and then listen to the recordings. In this way, students will be able to focus on assessing the accuracy of their own ‘-ed’ production. 

Activity 6: Speaking

Have students brainstorm how else they can use mindfulness in their own learning. You might want to bring up the idea of removing distractions.

  • What other aspects of learning English would benefit from focusing on them? 

Activity 7: Listening (Meditation) 

Find Your Focus 

https://youtu.be/IReEu2kI6oI  

Invite students to stay focused and avoid distractions or thoughts that may come to their minds while meditating. If they notice that their minds are wandering, invite them to kindly bring back their attention to the meditation. 

Homework

Ask students to set a goal for their own mindful learning. Invite students to choose one aspect that they would like to improve. It might be one pronunciation skill, one listening skill, or memorizing vocabulary (help students make a specific goal). As part of this goal, invite students to set a time and a place to remove distractions and stay focused for 15 minutes practicing the skill they chose to work on. 

Follow-Up

Tuesday: 

Have students share their homework experience with mindfully focused language learning with a partner.  Praise students when they talk about coping with distractions, staying focused, etc.

Wednesday:

Ask students to discuss what the following quote means to them. Highlight any comments related to focusing one’s attention.

“The mind is just like a muscle - the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand.” - Idowu Koyenikan

Thursday:

Have students answer the following questions in small groups.

  • How has being more focused in your learning helped you this week? 
  • How have you removed distractions and how has this helped you be more present in your learning experience?

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