Presentation — Practice — Production (PPP) is a lesson structure, a way to order activities in your lessons.
Although quite old, and heavily criticised over the years, PPP is probably the most commonly used lesson structure in teaching English to foreign learners today. It’s also still widely taught to new teachers, and seen on initial teacher training courses like the CELTA and CertTESOL.
Most course books that you’re likely to use will structure their chapters in ways similar or the same as PPP, meaning that you’ll get a lot of exposure to this method.
As the name suggests, there are three stages to this lesson structure, which we’ll look at now.
The ‘Presentation’ Stage
This is where the language is introduced, or ‘presented’ to the learners, usually by way of introducing a context or situation. For example, you could:
- Tell or act out a short story or anecdote ( “I woke up this morning with a really bad cold… AHHH-CHOOO! I went to the doctor and…”)
- Play a short audio clip
- Show a clip from a movie or TV show
- Show objects you’ve brought in (e.g. newspaper cuttings, plane tickets, hobby materials)
The aim is to make sure students understand the context and to get them thinking about it. You could elicit ideas or suggestions from students, get them to talk to each other about what they know or think about the situation, etc. This also helps them start to remember the language and vocabulary they already know about the topic (or ‘activate the schemata’, if you want the fancy term for it).
The ‘Practice’ Stage
The ‘practice’ stage is when students use the language in a controlled way. This stage is sometimes divided into two — a controlled practice and a freer practice. Again, among many things, you could get students to:
- Drill sentences or sounds, chorally or individually
- Substitution drill in pairs
- Sentence matching activities
- Gap-fill exercises
- Pair work asking and answering questions