Margaret Whitt
Virginia
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Project:
  This lesson is part of an ESL unit on using measurement terms accurately. Other lessons focus on vocabulary terms dealing with weights (liquid and dry) and distance.

Subjects:
  English as a second language (ESL)

Learner Level:
  This lesson is designed for beginning level adult ESL students.

Time Frame:
  1 hour

Learner Grouping:
  Individual, Small group, Whole class

Setting:
  This activity was presented to beginning level ESL adult learners in a classroom at a work site. This class met twice a week for two hours a week. There were approximately twenty students enrolled in the class.

Email:
  Not available

Program:
  Roanoke City Adult Education

Type of Program:
  ESL (ESOL)

Student Population Served:
  ESL (ESOL)

 
Learning to use the words "inches," "feet," or "yards"

Learners use the new vocabulary terms "inches," "feet," and "yards" accurately by measuring objects in the workplace and reporting on these measurements, both orally and in writing. __________________________________________________________

Learning Objective:
Given a variety of measuring devices including a ruler, yardstick and tape measure, learners will be able to use the measurement terms "inches," "feet," and "yards" accurately, both orally and in writing, in order to be understood in the workplace and to perform job requirements successfully.

Primary Skill:
Speak so others can understand

Secondary Skills:
Convey ideas in writing

Learner Needs & Goals:
In the workplace setting, employees whose English skills were very low were having trouble communicating in English and carrying out simple job functions involving measurement vocabulary based on feet and inches instead of a metric system. The students needed to make accurate measurement decisions in speaking and writing in order to be understood and perform effectively on the job.

Learning Activity Description:
1. Give each student a ruler, yard stick, and tape measure. Write the new vocabulary terms "inches," "feet," and "yards" on the board, flipchart of overhead. Ask students, "Why is it important to use these terms correctly at work?" Have students identify the purpose of using the American system of measurement instead of the metric system of measurement.

2. Ask students to hold up the instrument (ruler, yardstick or tape measure) which would best be used for measuring the length of the right hand (or the height of a person). Monitor student responses. Have students count the number of inches on a ruler.

3. Divide students into pairs and have them measure each other's right hands (Warning! Measuring left hands or the feet would be culturally taboo for some groups). Each pair should accurately report their findings orally to the class using inches. This process should be repeated with the tape measure. Have student pairs measure height and report orally to the class using the vocabulary words feet, and inches. This process should be repeated using a yardstick (count the number of feet). Have student pairs measure a bolt of material and report their results orally to the class in inches, feet and yards.

4. As an added oral check, have student pairs measure a table, chair, workplace packing boxes, magazines and notebooks (or other applicable material in the classroom) and report their findings orally to the class in each instance.

Materials and Resources:
Tape measures, rulers, yardsticks, desks and chairs, student notebooks, overhead projector, overhead pens, transparency (or chalkboard/chalk or flipchart/flipchart pens), bolts of material from the workplace (optional) boxes from the workplace (optional), magazines Handout #1- Inches, feet, yards

Attachments:
Handout #1 - inches, feet, yards

Assessment:
To evaluate whether or not learners can use and relay the vocabulary terms "inches," "feet," and "yards" with 100% accuracy, the teacher can observe student oral responses in the paired group activities.
The teacher can also evaluate students' comprehension by assessing their written responses on Handout #1 - Inches, feet, yards.

Reflection:
In the future, I would also teach the vocabulary words "length" and "width." I would pair students of the same sex together for the measuring activity.
The vocabulary learned in this lesson helps students to be more easily understood in the workplace. They are also able to perform their jobs more effectively.

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