Articles for Teachers
PPP stands for Presentation, Practice and Production and is a prescribed standard lesson format for many EFL teachers. It is commonly used as a basis for a lesson plan and its principles are taught on many TEFL or TESOL certificate courses. Whilst there are other formats to plan your lessons around, PPP is considered by many in the profession to be the basis from which others can evolve.
To help new teachers get to grips with the basics of this standard format here are a few of the main points.
PPP provides Presentation of new language, Practice of new language and Production of new language:
The teacher speaks up to 75% of the time, as they are presenting information
The teacher sets a natural context in which the language is hidden, in order to convey meaning, of new language
The teacher shows form - how the grammar is made
The teacher demonstrates and works on correct pronunciation and highlights stress and intonation patterns.
The teacher highlights spelling and any irregularities with the new language
The teacher focuses on accuracy when correcting students at this stage
The teacher asks concept check questions to see if students have understood. (If not, go back and review some of the process)
Students speak up to 60% of the time, teacher up to 40%
The teacher uses activities to practice the new language orally and in written format.
The teacher drills for correct pronunciation and accurate form, choral and individually
Written work focuses on accurate form/structure.
The teacher models and corrects when mistakes occur.
The teacher encourages lots of pair work and group work during this stage.
Students speak up to 90% of the time, teacher up to 10%
The teacher monitors but does not correct until the end.
Focus is now on fluency and rather than accuracy.
The teacher models the production task, gives simple instructions and encourages students to use old and new language.
Students use the language in a natural, everyday context, through a practical task within minimal input from the teacher.
N.B. At this stage learners show what they can actually do with the new language and how correctly they use it.
For an inexperienced teacher the PPP format provides structure and guidelines for a successful lesson in terms of presenting language and showing how it is used in context. Learners understand how the target language is made (form) and are then corrected first for accuracy (practice phase) and then for fluency (production phase), when they are encouraged to use the language in a freer, more natural way.
Some linguists and teachers are against such a strict format, feeling that is serves as a straightjacket. However, we all benefit from some kind of standardisation when we first start teaching and the PPP model is comprehensive enough to allow teachers to apply the basic principles of language learning in order to achieve maximum success.
Experienced teachers may play with the model. For example, they may start with a production task first to see how much their learners actually know and how they use the target language, without any formal training. Teachers would then return to the basic PPP format, repeating the production stage again at the end, thereby proving to students how much they have learnt/grown in language terms during one lesson.
Gill is an experienced English language teacher having been teaching and managing language schools for twenty years. She has also run her own TEFL training courses for new teachers. She is a now a freelance writer and is currently studying journalism. She has taught in Europe, Thailand and The Middle East and currently lives in Asia. For more English teaching related articles please visit her page at http://www.socyberty.com/writers/GillHart.14604