Mindful Learning - Novice High
Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes
- talk about the importance of mindfulness in learning.
- set a goal to be more mindful in language learning.
- describe how to use mindfulness to improve language learning outcomes.
Language Learning Outcomes
- listen for specific information
- connect content to background knowledge.
- focus on pronunciation.
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:
- 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 definition:
- Attention → pay attention
Activity 2: Listening
Have students watch the following video. Explain that this video will help them practice their focus.
Activity 3: Speaking
After watching the video, ask students to talk about their experience.
selectively focusing on something makes it easier to accomplish a task. Focusing on just one thing at the time (learning English, eating, working out,...) helps us understand things better.
Ask the students to discuss things that they might need to focus on and improve in their language learning experience.
Activity 4: Listening
Let's focus on a grammar principle.
Have students watch the following video and write down the words in the simple past.
After the video, ask studetns how well they were able to focus on the simple past.
Have a discussion about what was distracting.
Activity 5: 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 6: 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 7: Listening (Meditation)
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.
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.
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.
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
Have students answer the following question in small groups.
How has being more focused on 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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