Two Great Ways To Organize Your EFL Lesson Plan
Lesson planning is, at least to some degree, a vital function of teaching. The degree to which a lesson plan is necessary is often directly proportional to the teaching experience of the teacher. The less experience the teacher has the more necessary and beneficial the lesson plan is and vice versa. Lesson plans give the class structure, hold the teacher accountable, and function as a helpful aide, overall adding to the effectiveness of the class and the student’s opportunity to learn.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Katie A. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
1. Structure of your class
Unit 9 from this course points out that lesson plans can range anywhere from a few notes scribbled on a sheet of paper to a more detailed outline of what will be presented in the lesson. Regardless of how short or lengthy the lesson plan is, more effective lesson plans incorporate a learning objective. A learning objective is a specific, measurable student outcome. If the lesson that day is using "by + gerund" to describe how to do things, the learning objective could then be, “Students will be able to use by + gerund to describe how to do things.” [a good way to improve your accent is by talking with native speakers]. Learning objectives tell the students exactly what they will learn that day and create a focus from which all other class activities can be centered around. This focus creates structure. The more organized and structured the class is, the more clear the lesson becomes and clarity makes it easier for students to learn.
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Having tasks are written down (i.e. lesson plans) holds the teacher more accountable in carrying them out. Completing tasks is rewarding and by being able to check them off, either physically or mentally, teachers gain a stronger sense of achievement as they go along. Having a visual format of the lesson plan can also give a better estimate of how much time to spend on each subsequent task, helping improve time management and efficiency with the lesson.
Teachers forget things too. Have a physical guide to refer to can pull them out of a “stuck” or “drawing a blank” moment. Having a lesson plan that hits on a few important points for the day might also serve as a reminder to the teacher what needs to be discussed and aid the teacher in a smoother transition from one topic to the next. This is especially beneficial in longer more intensive lessons. Furthermore, if the teacher can’t make it to work, having a prepared lesson plan to fall back on can reduce stress for the initial teacher and the substitute teacher, relevantly guiding the class regardless of who's teaching it.
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In conclusion, no matter what, which way a teacher plans a lesson, having something is better than nothing. The most effective lessons are well thought out and prepared in advance. This is lesson planning. Although incorporating a learning objective into the lesson plan is important, it is also important to keep in mind simplicity and flexibility when planning a lesson. Lesson plans are best for guiding the lesson not dominating it. Ultimately it is up to the teacher to decide how they want to plan their lessons and what works best for her/him in the classroom.
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