II. Put it in a Context

Now that you have a lexical item, the next step is to put it into a meaningful context for yourself.  Note that this is not the final context that you will present to students but rather only the start of the planning process. 

The lexical item that I have chosen to convey through my activity is:

professional  (adjective)

I can immediately think of several sentences that I can easily work into a narrative or description.   Here are some that come to mind. 

"I would like to work with professional  computer software developers in the future."

"I used to work with a very professional group of people at the church."

"He is a professional hockey player." 

"It was very professional of her to ask my opinion before making the announcement. " 

All of the sentences are related to my knowledge or experience.  If I were talking to another proficient English speaker, I would have confidence that they would be able to understand what I meant when I use professional in each sentence above (assuming we have shared schema and context is established).

However, it seems to me that there are some small differences between the use of my target language among the sentences.  Look at how I sort the sentences into the two groups: 

Group 1

"I would like to work with professional  computer software developers in the future."

"He is a professional hockey player." 

Group 2

"I used to work with a very professional individual."

"It was very professional of her to ask my opinion before making the announcement."  

In the first group, the adjective conveys the core concept of doing something and getting paid for it.  The second group somehow has a more nuanced meaning.  It implies that there were certain qualities in the two people being referred to. 

 It is this second set of core strands of meaning that I would like to present to my students on this occasion.  And I have decided to use the following sentences to contain the target language that I wish to present. 

Watch Me Teach video sentence

She was very professional.

I am referring to my former colleague.  I want to either have my students listen to or read a story about some of the qualities of this person that I used to work with while employed by an ESL school. 

Contextual Gap Fill Sentence: 

The camp director was one of the most professional  individuals I have ever met. 

Here I will devise a gap fill based on my past experience working as a tree planter. Note that both target language sentences are set in the past and have different types of grammar attached to them. No problem at this stage.

Also note that I have decided to concentrate on the quality of the individual (i.e. the second group of sentences).  Now I need to do some analysis of the meaning, which is coming up in the following post.

%d bloggers like this: