Miskito/Lesson structure

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Miskitu Aisas!

Miskito Language Course

Lexicon Lesson structure
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In this page we shall see what the standard elements of a lesson are and what is in each standard element. For information on the technicalities of producing each of these elements using the course's templates and conventions, see the Layout Guide.

How to start writing a lesson[edit | edit source]

Before starting a new lesson: First of all make sure you have read and understood this chapter, and look at some existing lessons to see in practice how they are organised and developed. Next, start deciding how many "points" there will be in the lesson and what will be in each component. At some point you also need to decide what the title of the lesson will be (try to make the title the same as one of the "model" sentences).

  • Some of the information you will need to take into consideration at this point is found in other pages such as the Proposed Syllabus and the Planned Lexicon, so you will want to study these too.
  • You will also need to look at the Table of Contents and existing lessons in order to see how to make sure everything "fits together" right.

The technical instructions needed to perform the layout of a lesson using the course's templates are to be found in the Layout guide. When you're sure you're ready to start actual writing, the next step is to create the page and its title, following the instructions here.

  • Remember to follow the instructions applicable to lessons.

Overall structure of a lesson[edit | edit source]

The generic structure of a normal lesson is as follows:

Structure of a lesson:


  • (point 1)
  • (point 2)
  • (point 3)
  • Vocabulary and review

There may be any number of "points" (not necessarily three!). A lesson is divided into the sections (with second-level headings) shown here. Each of the "points" is named in the heading by a reference to the linguistic concept (e.g. Adjectives), corresponding English language item(s) (e.g. Is, This and that) or Miskito language item(s) (e.g. "Lika" and "sika") covered, choosing whichever designation is most easily intelligible for most readers (and otherwise in this order of preference). For example, the sections of Lesson 1 is as follows:

Sections of Lesson 1:

Nini Mary sa

  • Is
  • This and that
  • The
  • A
  • Vocabulary and review

Each of the "points" consists of three "components": Model, Commentary and Exercise. The "Vocabulary and review" section has two components, of course: Vocabulary and Review. This gives the following generic component structure:

Components in a lesson:


  • (point 1)
    • Model
    • Commentary
    • Exercise
  • (point 2)
    • Model
    • Commentary
    • Exercise


  • Vocabulary and review
    • Vocabulary
    • Review

A note on layout[edit | edit source]

The standard structure of a point, as we have already seen, consists of three components: a model, a commentary and an exercise. These components appear on the page in the following layout:

Standard point layout:
model component
commentary component
exercise component

For details on the technicalities of editing these components (using the course's templates), please read the Layout guide.

The model component[edit | edit source]

Purpose[edit | edit source]

The purpose of the model component is to present a limited linguistic sample (such as a text, a conversation or a set of sentences, phrases or words) that illustrates, as clearly and succinctly as possible, the point to be studied.

Format[edit | edit source]

  • The items that specifically exhibit the point under observation are in bold in the model sentences. For example, here (from Lesson 1):
  • Naha John sa.
  • Naha tuktiki sa.
  • Baha Lucia sa.
  • Baha yaptiki sa.
the point being studied comprises the demonstrative pronouns, which are naha "this" and baha "that".
  • The translations of the model sentences is also provided, but are initially "hidden". The user may view them at will by clicking on "Show" and hide them again by clicking on "Hide". This is what the whole thing looks like:

What do they mean?
  • This is John.
  • This is my child.
  • That is Lucia.
  • That is my mother.
  • Naha John sa.
  • Naha tuktiki sa.
  • Baha Lucia sa.
  • Baha yaptiki sa.

NB Thanks to the course's template technology, all an author needs to write on the lesson page to get this is the following!

 * '''Naha''' John sa.
 * '''Naha''' tuktiki sa.
 * '''Baha''' Lucia sa.
 * '''Baha''' yaptiki sa.
 * '''This''' is John.
 * '''This''' is my child.
 * '''That''' is Lucia.
 * '''That''' is my mother.

Look here in the Layout Guide to see how such texts are laid out in the lessons.

The exercise component[edit | edit source]

Purpose[edit | edit source]

The purpose of the exercise component is to provide an opportunity to practise the point being studied.

Format[edit | edit source]

  • Different kinds of exercise are possible here. Translation (for comprehension) of a few additional examples, such as in the following example (Lesson 1), is just one of various possibilities:

What do these sentences mean?

  • Naha sirpi sa.
  • Baha nini sa.
  • Naha yaptiki sa.
  • This is small.
  • That is my name.
  • This is my mother.
  • As the example illustrates, formally such an exercise consists of an instruction (here, "What do these sentences mean?"), a list of input items (in this case the Miskito sentences) and a corresponding list of output items (i.e. correct answers). The latter are initially "hidden", but the user may view them or hide them at will by clicking on "Show" or "Hide".

Look here in the Layout Guide to see how such texts are laid out in the lessons.

The commentary component[edit | edit source]

Purpose[edit | edit source]

The purpose of the commentary component is to provide explanatory observations about the point being studied (or any other observations needed at this point in the lesson).

Format[edit | edit source]

Two different kinds of paragraph may be used in any number and order: comments and notes. The main information should be placed in comments and any less central observations in notes. Comments appear in large font, notes in normal-size font, bulleted, e.g. (in this example there are two comments followed by one note):

The general definite article ("the") is ba. The article follows the noun. There is another article na which denotes something near the speaker, and so is translated by "this".

  • Notice the parallellism between the demonstrative pronouns naha, baha and the articles na, ba!

Look here in the Layout Guide to see how such texts are laid out in the lessons.

Vocabulary and review[edit | edit source]

The Vocabulary and review section comes at the end of the lesson, after all the points, and covers the entire content of the lesson from two perspectives: a list of all the new vocabulary introduced, and an exercise that is useful for reviewing everything learnt in the lesson.

The vocabulary component[edit | edit source]

The vocabulary component lists all the new vocabulary items in alphabetical order in a three-column display. For each item the meaning is given, and for most a part of speech (POS) indication. (The abbreviations used for POS can be seen on the List of abbreviations page.) POS and meanings are all initially hidden, showing only the Miskito items, but can be shown or hidden individually as the user likes. Clicking on a word takes you to the lesson section where the word is first introduced. For example (Lesson 1):

Click on "Show" for meanings. Click on word to see section.
List of abbreviations
my father
a, an
my name
too, also
my child
she, he
my mother

See the Layout Guide for instructions on how to set up a vocabulary component.

The review component[edit | edit source]

The review component takes the form of an exercise (of any kind that has an input (or cue) and an output (or answer). Items appear as a vertical, numbered list. Answers (to the right of the corresponding cues) are initially hidden and may be shown or hidden individually. For example (Lesson 1):

Say in Miskito
My name is John.

Nini John sa.

My father is big.

Aisiki tara sa.

He is young.

Witin tyara sa.

My mother is young too.

Yaptiki sin tyara sa.

That is my child.

Baha tuktiki sa.

This is a book.

Naha buk kum sa.

The woman is my mother.

Mairin ba yaptiki sa.

The man is my father.

Waitna ba aisiki sa.

My father is a man.

Aisiki waitna kum sa.

This animal is a dog.

Daiwan na yul kum sa.

See the Layout Guide for instructions on how to set up a vocabulary component.