Lesson Planning for Structured ESL Classes
The lesson plan is a structure of the course that you will give to your students, a clear guide as to what you want to achieve and how you are going to do it. A good lesson plan generally consists of learner objectives, personal aims, language points, procedure, phase, and interaction, etc. It is of great importance because it can help teachers to have confidence in class, make the class go more smoothly and help to improve the course.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Yanfen G. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
What is lesson planning for?
Firstly, it can help teachers be full of confidence in class. As is well known to everyone, people will easily get nervous and at a loss, if we are not well prepared. So do teachers. If we did not prepare for the lesson carefully, we will show our confusion and anxiety obviously in class, the students will also get confused and may begin to doubt teachers’ ability and authority. For example, if there are many instructional sentences at the class and the teacher does not memorize them all, the teacher may become wordless suddenly and feel very awkward. If a student puts forward a question that we did not consider before, we may also be unable to answer and feel embarrassed. However, when teachers plan the lessons well before class, they will be confident and calm to deal with emergencies.
Secondly, the lesson plan can make the class go more smoothly. As the aim of the class, the key, and difficult points, the activities are clear enough, the teacher will always keep them in mind during the whole class and know exactly what the next step is in the process. For example, if we want to give a class about animals. At the beginning of class, we may use some pictures and drawings to engage, ask students questions and write on the board to study. In the drilling part, if we did not design in detail before, there may not be so enough exercises for students to practice fully. Leading to the activated part of the class immediately may make students unprepared. Different parts of the lesson may not be so consistent. Only the lesson plan has been designed carefully before will the whole class be organized and managed orderly.
Also, the lesson plan can help to improve the course. Generally, the plan covers the whole procedure and the phase. A good teacher always wants to monitor the quality of his or her lessons. By paying attention to each lesson's strengths and weaknesses teachers will surely help themselves to develop. For example, when we reflect on the lesson we taught, we may consider that I can “improve my instructions by demonstrating rather than using verbal instructions”. Besides, if the activities we held could not arouse students’ attention and did not attract them to take part in actively, we can introspect and find more activities from other places and design more interesting games. Our teaching techniques will get better and richer and create better class effects by evaluating our lessons and make notes of what went well and where the lesson could have been improved.
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In unit 5 of the TEFL course, other lesson plan functions are mentioned such as an aid to planning, a working document, and a record. But from my point of view, the meanings above are more important. In conclusion, the lesson plan will benefit not only the teachers but also the students and the courses. The teachers will gain much more confidence. The students will learn more through the clear teaching logic and the course will be improved and developed. Through the detailed plan of each lesson, I believe that every lesson will be of great value to students.
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