Welcome to the Buffalo State College site for Sociocultural Model Lesson Plans, a site dedicated to languages other than English (LOTE) lesson plans created within an understanding of the importance of sociocultural phenomena in language use and comprehension.
Sociocultural factors take into consideration the important and intimate relationship between mind, culture, and interaction. Unlike some other lesson plan models that promote the linear development of grammatical competence through often decontextualized activities and worksheets, the sociocultural lesson plan model helps teachers construct lesson plans that lead learners through the exploration of cultural differences; not for the sake of memorizing the names of significant individuals, the dates of historically important events, or even the favorite foods. Rather, the sociocultural lesson plan envisions the exploration of the linguistic and extra-linguistic phenomena on which meaning and appropriate interaction is founded.
The Sociocultural Model Lesson Plan (SMLP) is based on the following five steps:
Activation of Schemata
During each, teachers lead discussion of sociocultural language use via intensely dialogical processes that favor exploration of language over explanation of grammar rules. During the initial stage, Activation of Schemata, teachers present a speech or discourse event in the LOTE and pose questions that form the basis for sociolinguistic comparisons. It is here, in fact, that language learners begin to understand the important roles that the native culture (C1) plays in accurately interpreting language. At the next level, Text Interpretation, teachers lead a more thorough investigation into the sociocultural meanings of the text being studied. From here, teachers move toward Sociocultural Interpretation, the phase where in depth exploration of cultural and linguistic differences and similarities are explored and vocalized. At the next stage, learners use what they have learned to create their role-play situations or other presentational activity that demonstrates an understanding of the cultural phenomenon being explored. Following the presentation phase, students and teacher engage in conversations about the interaction and form a consensus on the overall appropriateness of the speech event.
We encourage you to start by exploring the SMLP (PowerPoint link) and reviewing the French and Spanish sample lesson plans. There is also a growing archive of sample SMLPs that you can explore for ideas. Once you become familiarized with the approach we encourage you to use the template linked above to create an original lesson plan based on the Sociocultural Model.