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A Sample ESA Lesson Plan for English Teaching

A Sample ESA Lesson Plan for English Teaching | ITTT | TEFL Blog

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Thom P. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

First Step

Lesson Objectives: Students will practice recognizing homophones and practice the correct, indefinite, and zero articles.Summary of tasks/actionsWarm-Up: Vocabulary Review (10 minutes)

Tell students that they will play a game to review some of the words that they talked about last week. Divide the class into two teams. One person from each team stands at the back of the room, and one person from each stands by the board. Divide the board into four parts. Label each piece the following: nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Explain to students that the students at the back of the room must repeat a word that you tell them (or read what you write down) to their teammates at the board. The terms will all have suffixes attached to them, so students need to pay attention to the suffix to determine the part of speech. The teammates must then write the word under the correct section. The first team to get the word in the right area gets the point. Repeat for several rounds, changing the readers and writers every match.

Second Step

Grammar (15 minutes)

Board the following: a/an theAsk students if they know how and when to use these two types of articles. Ask them how many things they refer to (they both refer to one thing). Ask them if they know the difference between the two. Ask them if they can describe the difference between the two articles. If students are stumped, explain:


  • We use these when we don’t specify the things or people which we talk about.Ex. I met a friend. (We don’t know who the friend is)
  • We use a before consonant sound.Ex. a dog, a pilot, a university (note: although ‘university’ starts with thethe letter ‘u,’ it is not pronounced as such)
  • We use a before a vowel sound.Ex. an engineer, an elephant, an athlete
  • We also use these:
  • after what, such, and entirely with a countable nounEx. What a great photo! It’s a pretty small house. He’s such agood friend.
  • to describe jobs and identityEx. She is a doctor. He is an American.
  • with a possessiveEx. He’s a friend of mine.
  • before an illness (exceptions: the flu, etc.)Ex. I’ve got a headache/a cold.


  • We use this when we talk about a specific object that both the person speakingand the listener knows.Ex. The president is giving a speech tonight.
  • When we speak of something or someone for the first time, we use a or an. Thenext time we repeat that object, we use the.Ex. I live in a house. The house is quite old and has four bedrooms.

no article

  • We usually do not use an article with countries, states, counties,provinces, lakes, or mountains, except in exceptional circumstances.Ex. They climbed Mount Everest. I live in Vietnam. She has been to New.York.*We do not usually use an article with plural nouns and uncountable nouns.Ex. He writes books. Do you like jazz music?

Now tell the students that you will read them some sentences. Tell them that the sentences might be missing an article, and they need to listen carefully and decide if the sentence needs: a, an, the, or no article. Read:

  • I bought __________ pair of shoes.
  • I saw __________ movie last night.
  • They are staying at __________ hotel.
  • Look at __________ woman over there! She is a famous actress.
  • I do not like __________ basketball.
  • That is __________ girl I told you about.
  • __________ night is quiet. Let’s take a walk!
  • __________ price of gas keeps rising.
  • John traveled to __________ Mexico.
  • Juan is __________ Spanish.
  • I read __________ amazing story yesterday.
  • My brother doesn’t eat __________ chicken.
  • __________ love is such __________ beautiful thing.
  • I live in __________ apartment. __________ apartment is new.
  • I would like __________ piece of cake.
  • I was in __________ Japanese restaurant. __________ restaurant served good food.
  • Sarah can play __________ guitar.


  • a
  • a*a
  • the
  • no article
  • the
  • the
  • the
  • no article
  • no article
  • an
  • no article
  • no article; a
  • an; the
  • a
  • a; the
  • the

Pronunciation (15 minutes)

Board the following: there they’re

Point to these words one by one and elicit their pronunciation from students. Please make sure students understand that these words are pronounced the same (be careful with they’re, for some reason, many students refuse to pronounce it as the contraction and always say the extended form, they are). Explain that these are examples of homophones or words (or combinations of words) with different spellings and meanings but the same pronunciation. Read and board some more common homophones:

  • two/to/to
  • piece/peace
  • whose/who’s
  • genes/jeans
  • board/bored
  • you’re/your
  • there’s/theirs
  • knew/new
  • whether/weather
  • I/eye
  • wear/where
  • ts/it’s

After students have had a chance to review the words, erase the board. Now tell the students that you are going to play a game. Break the class into two teams again and invite two volunteers to come to stand by the board. Explain to the level that you will read a sentence with one homophone in it and then repeat the homophone at the end. The two students at the board must decide which spelling of the homophone is being used in the sentence and write it on the board. Their teammates are allowed to help them. The first person to write it down gets the point for their team. Repeat with two new students. In the end, tally up the scores and reward the winning team. Example sentences for you to read (feel free to come up with more as you see fit):

  • Where is my cla
  • Who's going to the party?
  • It’s 12 o’clock.
  • We are going to England.
  • I wouldn’t say I like to fish.
  • Can you give me a piece of cake?
  • Are you new here?
  • She sometimes gets bored in class.
  • It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose.
  • We studied genes today in biology.
  • There’s a good restaurant nearby.
  • Do you like your class?

Third Step

Cool Down (5 minutes)

With the remaining 5 minutes of class, go over any confusing grammatical aspects covered today (if you noticed that some students had trouble with them) or review vocab from last week. If you want, you could play another short vocab review game.

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