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Communicative lesson plans

Each lesson is made up of five steps that promote communication in different modalities

Setting the stage:

A fun focus activity that motivates students and accesses earlier learning. Click here for examples.

Target-language input:

The teacher uses direct input strategies to model the new material.

Guided practice:

The students practice a new function using teacher-prepared materials.

Independent practice:

The students generate communicative language in realistic situations.

Evaluation, closure:

The students show evidence of what they have learned.

Thematic Units

  1. In School
  2. My Friends and I
  3. You Are Special
  4. Food
  5. Health
  6. My Leisure Activities
  7. Family Celebrations
  8. Home Tour
  9. My Community
  10. Going Shopping
  11. Adventure Travels
  12. Communicating with My World
  13. Fashion Show
  14. Living in My World
  15. All about Yesterday
  16. In the News
  17. On the Air


  • These communicative lesson plans are grouped into 20 thematic units.
  • Each unit presents a statement of the objectives, and lesson plans for 3-20 days.
  • The plans can be adapted to any grade level.
  • We provide them in English, but teachers should translate the materials into the target language for classroom use. Likewise they should adapt the activities to the culture and region of the target language.

How to Use

The teacher should use the target language (marked TL in the lesson plans) as he or she considers appropriate. The teacher writes down key words or phrases in the TL on the board, the overhead projector or flash cards, and writes the English translation directly next to or below the TL vocabulary. The teacher speaks the TL, uses body language and points to the English translation of the key vocabulary to assure comprehensibility.

Each lesson page offers downloadable versions of the lesson plan and supplementary materials. We encourage teachers to modify these files for classroom use, for example re-writing the text in the target language and modifying it in accordance with the local culture, geography, and climate. Please observe the conditions of the Creative Commons license listed at the bottom of this page.


Find tips for classroom activities in the Tools section of the website. Be sure to visit the resources for Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) and the short list of outstanding books on how to teach languages.


The lesson plans were created by consultant Florence Martin. She speaks two less-commonly taught languages and has taught languages to elementary, secondary, and college students. Mrs. Martin currently teaches foreign language pedagogy at California State University, Long Beach, and French at Chapman University. She is a member of the Foreign Language Project COACH: Teachers COACHing Teachers, and the California Language Teachers Association.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

  1. You may use and modify the material for any non-commercial purpose.
  2. You must credit the UCLA Language Materials Project as the source.
  3. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.
Creative Commons License