Overview - Novice High
Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes
- discuss the meaning of mindfulness.
- recognize the importance of mindfulness.
- identify how mindfulness helps language learning.
Language Learning Outcomes
- connect content to background knowledge.
- use high-frequency general vocabulary.
- understand voiced vs voiceless pronunciation.
Mindfulness is about being aware of yourself and your surroundings.
- How can you apply being aware to language learning?
Watch the following video:
Have students take a couple of minutes to think silently on the following questions:
- In what way do you feed your generous wolf?
- In what way do you feed your angry wolf?
- How can this apply to language learning?
Activate Background Knowledge
Help students understand the concept of mindfulness by contrasting “mindful” and “mindless”. You might review what -ful and -less mean.
- Write down things that you can do mindlessly (ie breathe, heartbeats, hiccups)
- Write down things that you can do mindfully (memorizing, paying attention in class, speaking English)
Explain that today we will talk about being more mindful (even of mindless activities such as breathing) and how it can benefit our learning and our lives.
Activity 1: Vocabulary
Write the following words on the board. Review definitions and pronunciations of each word.
You may use the following image to better understand the word “mindful” (Also found in slides)
Retrieved from: https://edtechbooks.org/-gLEw
Activity 2: Listening
Watch the following introduction to mindfulness. Have students pay attention to the benefits of mindfulness.
After students watch the video, ask first how well they stayed focused before talking about the clip. After discussing their experience staying focused, you can ask the following questions.
- How can we be mindful?
- What are some benefits of mindfulness that you heard in the video?
- How can mindfulness benefit your life?
- How can mindfulness help you learn a language?
Activity 3: Speaking
In groups, have the students answer the questions from the video. Afterwards, discuss as a class. Praise students when they talk about coping with distractions, staying focused, etc.
Activity 4: Pronunciation
One way mindfulness can help us is in pronunciation. When we are mindful of our body, especially the way our mouth is shaped or moving, we are better able to pronounce sounds that are unfamiliar or difficult to us. You can demonstrate this by being mindful of your voice when you say voiced and voiceless consonants. For example:
Retrieved from: https://edtechbooks.org/-srod
Practice this with the following words:
Breathe vs Breath
Fan vs Van
Tent vs Dent
Pot vs Bot
Sip vs Zip
Depending on the class, you may present how mindfulness can help us understand the shape of our mouth and practice sounds that we might commonly confuse. If we are mindful and aware of the movements in our mouths, we will be better able to pronounce instead of mindlessly making mistakes.
Retrieved from: https://edtechbooks.org/-FTA
B vs. V
Ban vs van
Retrieved from: https://edtechbooks.org/-sIgf
L vs. R
Rice vs lice
It might be helpful to have them place their fingers on their throat (approximately where the vocal cords are located) so that they can feel the vibration and understand the difference better. As they do this, encourage students to be mindful of their own body and its ability to produce sound.
Activity 5: Speaking
Place students in partners. Have students practice the pronunciation by reading various sentences. (These sentences can be found in the slides) You might practice these as a class as well.
Voiced vs. Voiceless:
Push the button.
Talk with a dog.
Zip your coat.
Sip your drink.
B vs. V
I bought a very nice volley ball.
Berries are very delicious.
L vs. R
I would love a little rice.
I really like rap music.
We really love waffles.
After reading the sentences out loud, ask how well they stayed focused on the pronunciation of those voiced vs. voiceless sounds. Invite students to share how that helped them with their pronunciation.
Activity 6: Listening
Explain that after practicing mindfulness in everyday tasks like pronunciation, we can also be mindful when we meditate. Explain that with each lesson we will do a short meditation to help us be more mindful. Kindly invite students to bring a slight but real smile while meditating.
Ask the students to participate in their own meditation. Provide them with the following video (or they might find a meditation in their own language). Have the students share their experiences. Invite students to pay close attention to the way they feel during the meditation exercise and to stay focused on the activity while they are doing it. It can also be helpful to remind them that it is okay if they get distracted, they can just kindly bring back their attention to the meditation.
Have students share their experiences with meditation from their homework. You can ask questions such as:
- How did you feel while meditating? And after meditating?
- How would you describe your mood before and after meditating?
Praise students when they talk about coping with distractions, staying focused or even when they open up about how they felt, etc.
Share the following quote and ask students what it means to them. Highlight any comments related to focusing one’s attention in the present moment. You can encourage students to briefly discuss what strategies they use to stay focused in the present and how this helps them be happier. Review what it means to be present.
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
Watch this one-minute nature meditation video. Before watching the video encourage students to kindly bring their attention to the present moment and to try to stay focused.
Help students make a plan to be more mindful during this semester.
- Meditate once a week. As a part of this goal you can invite students to set a time and a place to remove distractions and stay focused for 5 minutes practicing meditation.
- Be more present with friends by not checking their phones while interacting with them.
- Take a few minutes of quiet time without technology before bed
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