How To Create, Carry Out and Review Your EFL Lesson
A good teacher will bring their own passion, style, and experience in every lesson. Some teachers may have a great deal of teaching experience, while others may be new to the role. The teachers with less teaching experience may find great benefit in putting time and effort into their preparation through Lesson Planning. While more experienced teachers may be able to naturally feel their way through a lesson, perhaps even the syllabus, and frown upon Lesson Planning as being too rigid or structured, for a new teacher I believe it is a necessity to achieving their success.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Peter O. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
What is the Aim of Lesson Planning?
Lesson Planning acts as an aid in planning the learner objectives for the students, how the teacher will achieve these objectives and the timing of the flow of the activities and phases. Essentially, the Lesson Plan will be a working document for the teacher to use as a guide for the lesson to keep it on track and remind the teacher of what they are attempting to achieve. It should not be too rigid but instead allow for modifications and flexibility, allowing the class to have a natural flow if the students are taking longer than expected or enjoying a phase and it makes sense to extend that phase at the time. Importantly, the Lesson Plan also provides a teacher, their employer, and other teachers a record of both what has been taught and what is planned to be taught. This is excellent for the teacher or employer to review for both feedback and future planning, while also providing another teacher with the tools to take a lesson for in the absence of the regular teacher. This is particularly important as it ensures students are able to continue their syllabus in an orderly fashion, but also in a similar style they are familiar with.
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How to Write a Lesson Plan?
When writing out a Lesson Plan it is best to use a template initially, as this will provide both the requirements and structure needed for a successful Lesson Plan. It is important to remember that the Lesson Plan is the plan only, not the word for word script, so it should follow a structure the teacher is comfortable with and can maintain with future Lesson Plans. Within this structure, the teacher will build a smooth flow of activities and a balance of skills that fit together well and keep with a time frame. Again allow this structure and flow to have the flexibility, as mentioned before, to modify the lesson and encourage a natural feel. Once completed, to assist in the success of the Lesson Plan it is important to practice the Lesson Plan then review it ensuring all the aids and materials needed are present, the equipment is set up and works and the classroom is clean, tidy and seats arranged how is desired. Basically, the teacher needs to be completely ready for the students before they arrive, feeling relaxed and able to build rapport with the students as they walk in the class, making the students relaxed and comfortable.
It is best to source a template (an example template in ITTT 009 Unit 9 of Lesson Planning) or build a template that the teacher is comfortable with, as this will support ongoing structure of the lessons and also make writing the Lesson Plans far more efficient. The Lesson Plan template should include the 14 elements listed in ITTT 009 Unit 9 of Lesson Planning to cover all the requirements of writing a successful Lesson Plan.
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Lesson Plan Structure
- Learner Objectives, what the students will learn.
- Personal Aims, what the teacher wants to achieve.
- Language Point, this is the theme of the lesson, it is important this fits with the flow of your lessons the syllabus.
- Teaching Aids, list the aids and materials required for the lesson.
- Anticipated problems and solutions for the Students, list issues students may find problematic and the solution to these issues.
- Anticipated problems and solutions for the Teacher, list issues the teacher may find problematic and the solution to these issues.
- The procedure, these are the activities listed in order to achieve the learner objectives.
- Phase, this is the Engage, Study, and Activate (ESA) strategy.
- Timing, the teacher must give each activity in the Procedure list an amount of time it will take to complete, enabling the planning of the total length of the lesson.
- Interaction, just breaking up the lesson into different interactions including Teacher-Student, Student-Student, and Student (working alone).
- Class Level, English language ability.
- Number of Students, how many students will attend the class.
- Date/Time/Location, confirm the time, date and location of the class.
- Teachers and Observers Aims, list what the teacher and/or the observer aim to achieve.
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To assist in the teachers' growth it is very beneficial to go through the exercise of self-evaluation after each lesson by reviewing each element of the Lesson Plan and analyzing if goals were achieved, anticipations accurate, what worked well and what are the areas for improvement. This will assist in both the teacher’s own growth as a teacher and also the constant improvement of the Lesson Plans. As the Lesson Plans improve they will be able to bring a series of lessons together to create better flow and a fantastic learning experience for the students. Also, the teacher will be able to ensure your Lesson Plans follow the syllabus and achieve all the students need to achieve within the time frame the teacher has to teach them.
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Lesson Plans are essential for new teachers and still beneficial for even the most experienced teacher I believe. The Lesson Plan assists in many aspects of teaching and will continually improve teachers lessons, as they grow and develop their own style.
Speak with an ITTT advisor today to put together your personal plan for teaching English abroad.
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