The PPP technique is a common way to introduce new words and concepts to students in the EFL classroom. The PPP method in English teaching is a three-step lesson plan and teaching approach that helps the student learn, understand and practice new vocabulary.
The three stages of a PPP lesson
Firstly, the teacher presents the new word, an event which involves the presentation of pronunciation and spelling, all in context. Next the teacher allows the students to practice the new word in a controlled setting, making sure the student has understood it properly.
Lastly comes the production stage, where there is a period of less-controlled practice and an informal assessment of learning. This is where the students get chance to use the new word or phrase in an original way and to relate it to their knowledge and experiences.
These three stages of a PPP lesson help the student to consolidate the new word in their mental vocabulary bank.
The sequence of a PPP lesson
This EFL teaching method of presentation, practice and production is an approach that follows a definite sequence:
- The teacher presents the new vocabulary and explains the form of the language in a meaningful context.
- The students practise this new vocabulary through controlled activities such as worksheets or question and answer activities to check comprehension.
- The students use or produce what they have learned in a communicative activity such as a role-play, communication game, or question and answer session.
Teaching English using the PPP technique
Each stage of the Presentation, Practice and Production lesson must be planned well to be effective. However, PPP is a highly flexible approach to teaching and there are many different activities a teacher can employ for each stage.
Presentation can include mime, drawing and audio. In fact it is a good idea to try to engage with different sense of the students to get across the meaning of the new word.
It is also important to make sure that students have understood the new word before getting them to move on to practise it. It is often fun and highly effective for students to play games to practise vocabulary and to produce it.
Current debate about the PPP technique
In recent times, there has been increasing debate surrounding the PPP method of teaching, with many critics asking if teachers should be using the PPP technique so often in the EFL classroom.
Some critics think it can be too formal and structured, with too little focus on student interaction. However, we think the PPP technique in EFL offers a very flexible base from which to construct a lesson that is highly student-centred.
- Is the PPP method old fashioned or is it still a useful and effective way to teach?
- Do you use the PPP technique?
- What is your favourite way to present new vocabulary?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.