For the International House Certificate in Advanced Methodology which I’m studying at the moment I need to plan and teach a series of lessons using a different lesson planning descriptor to ones which I’ve applied before.
I’ve been trying to find out about the “Observe-Hypothesize-Experiment” descriptor used by Michael Lewis in The Lexical Approach (1993) as an alternative to PPP (Present-Practice-Produce) and seem to have come up against a brick wall. Most of what I’ve read consists of the same quote from page vii of the book with no extra information:
The Present-Practise-Produce paradigm is rejected, in favour of a paradigm based on the Observe-Hypothesize-Experiment cycle.
This is what our notes have to say about OHE:
First of all they [learners] observe language in use, for example through listening to or reading a text. Then they make hypotheses about the way that language works and experiment with creating it themselves in their own contexts.
Observation isn’t just a case of receiving language input but also submitting it to critical examination. Otherwise, it will be impossible to make hypotheses about language behaviour. The hypothesising and experimenting stages involve activities such as identifying, sorting and matching and their aim is to encourage curiosity about language and among learners. We as teachers need to take a longer term view of learning and cannot expect to limit language to a single structure and presume this has been learnt by the end of the class (as PPP advocates) because language learning simply doesn’t work like that.
I’ve found a couple of other explanations:
From ‘Alan DELTA‘
The “OHE” or “III” model (Lewis & McCarthy)
1. Lewis and McCarthy’s view on PPP;
2. Observe, Hypothesize, Experiment;
3. Ss get an “Illustration” followed by “Interaction” with the lgg, which will hopefully lead to an “Induction”
Michael Lewis claims that students should be allowed to Observe (read or listen to language) which will then provoke them to Hypothesise about how the language works before going on to the Experiment on the basis of that hypothesis.
This quote sums up my problem:
In his own teaching design, Lewis proposes a model that comprises the steps, Observe-Hypothesize-Experiment, as opposed to the traditional Present-Practice-Produce paradigm. Unfortunately, Lewis does not lay out any instructional sequences exemplifying how he thinks this procedure might operate in actual language classrooms.
I seem to understand all of the words, but can’t make the leap from that to an actual lesson plan where I can clearly apply the descriptors. So these are my questions:
- What would an ‘Observe-Hypothesize-Experiment’ lesson actually look like? i.e. Does anyone have an example they could share with me?
- How much does ‘observation’ involve? What should be done to fulfil this stage?
- Can it only be used for lexical chunks since it came out of the Lexical Approach? Or could it be used for grammar / skills work too? This is a lesson I planned to practise writing an article which I think fits the OHE descriptor but I’m not sure – what do you think?
- I have to plan a series of four lessons applying the same descriptor. Does that mean each lesson should contain the full set of OHE with stages being repeated if necessary (I think this is the case) or should it be more of an over-arcing thing?
Apologies if this is not very coherent, but I’m really confused at the moment!
Thank you for your help!