Posted on July 17, 2019 | By Alexa Randell
27th Nov 2018
When you suddenly start teaching a number of classes, a week’s worth of lesson planning can become a daunting and time-consuming task. Some teachers might avoid lesson planning altogether and try winging their classes on the day, but that can be even more stressful! (Not to mention, a not very effective way of teaching…)
We believe the best way to plan your lessons is to start by asking yourself a few questions about your classes…
Who am I teaching?
Who you are teaching is likely to affect your approach to the lesson and the activities that you will carry out. The fundamental aspects you need to take into consideration are your students’ levels, ages and learning styles.
If you’ve been teaching your students for a little while already, you’ll likely have a good idea what the answer to this question is. If you’re planning lessons for a brand new class, you’ll need to do a bit of research before you can answer this question. That may involve asking a teacher at school who has already taught this particular class or it may just mean researching lesson plans and activities for the same age group as your class.
What am I teaching?
The next thing to think about is what topic, subject or grammar point you are teaching. If you’re following a coursebook, you’ll know the next language point or skill you’ll be teaching or practising. If you’re not following a coursebook, make sure you know what you want to teach before you start planning the lesson.
How will I teach it?
Now you know what you want to teach, you need to think about how you will teach it. What approach or method will you use? For example, will it have a PPP (Presentation, Practice, Production) structure or maybe a task-based plan would be suitable for the skill or language being practised. In addition, think about how you could present the language clearly and what practice activities would be appropriate for the language and the learners you have. Also, it’s a good idea to think about how you could make the lesson engaging.
How will I know if the students understand?
You will need to check if the learners have understood the new language that you have taught them. You could do this by using CCQs (Concept Checking Questions) or you could use your practice and production activities to help you to see if they have understood. Don’t forget to factor in providing feedback and error correction into your lesson plan!
Now you know who, what and how you are teaching, you can now put more meat onto the bones of your plan. The first things you should think about are the main lesson aim and lesson outcome. What do you want the learners to achieve by the end of the lesson and what do want the learners to be able to do before they leave the class? You also might have your own personal aim for the lesson, such as improving how you break down your instructions for activities.
Talking of instructions, consider how you’ll deliver the instructions to the activities and tasks you’re going to create and allow enough time within your lesson plan to deliver these thoroughly and check you students’ understanding. Be well prepared, have examples of what to do where possible, and write your instructions clearly and concisely.
Now you have all the information you need to create your lesson plan! We recommend creating a simple table like the one below to plan your lesson.
|Timing||Stage / Procedure||Interaction||Students will…|
Speaking practise – Hot seat. Students have to speak for one minute about the subject/ question chosen.
|Students will make the transition into English while practising speaking and using previously learnt language.
A few more questions to ask yourself
Although the questions above should help set the foundation for writing a strong lesson plan, it’s not all about what you write down. Where and when you write your lesson plans can all affect how successful your lesson planning is.
Ask yourself the following questions: Does lesson planning make you feel relaxed or stressed? How long does it take you to write a lesson plan? When and where do you plan your classes? When planning, do the ideas come to you easily or do you find it difficult? Think about your answers whilst you’re lesson planning and try to make changes that have a positive affect on this.
Top tips for the writing stage of your lesson plan
Now you are armed with some top tips, try putting them into practice while planning your classes!
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