Presentation - Practice - Production (PPP) is a lesson structure, a way to order activities in your lessons.
Whilst pretty old, and heavily criticised over the years, PPP is the probably the most commonly used lesson structure in TEFL today. It’s also still taught on initial teacher training courses like the CELTA and CertTESOL.
Most course books that you’re likely to use will structure their chapters in ways similar or the same as PPP, meaning that you’ll get a lot of exposure to this method.
As the name suggests, there are three stages to this lesson structure, which we’ll look at now.
‘Scaffolding’ is help that we give learners by breaking down the task into manageable chunks.
The term itself is a metaphor for support - just as scaffolding is put around a building that’s being constructed, we provide support to learners while they work on learning.
By providing support, then gradually handing over more and more of the task to the learner, they will move from dependency to independence.
How do we know that what we teach is what our students are learning?
In his book, ‘Why Students Don’t Like School’, cognitive psychologist Daniel Willingham makes the point that what we think about is what we remember – so we have to do our best to ensure our learners actually think deeply about what we want them to learn.
How much time do you spend updating your knowledge? How many of your TEFL teaching beliefs are now outdated? New research is released daily, about language acquisition, linguistics, neuromyths that just won’t die. … how sure are you that what you know is really up to date?
Does it strike you as strange that as language teachers, we teach something that many of us have never done? I’m talking about learning second language to a high level.
For those of us that have learned or are learning a language to a reasonable level, we can empathise with our students and help them to a greater degree.
Ask anyone that’s learned a language to a reasonably high standard, and they’ll tell you that learning vocabulary is a pain in the backside.