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What You Need To Consider Before Planning Your Lessons

What You Need To Consider Before Planning Your Lessons | ITTT | TEFL Blog

The importance of a pre-planned lesson cannot be understated, having a plan is paramount to the success of the lesson and to achieve the desired teaching point in a structured way. Lesson plans act as a guide within a lesson so it should not be too complex in nature but should have enough detail to direct the teacher on the sequence and timing of the lesson.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Gerard L.

Why do you need it?

Depending on the experience of the teacher, it may be more heavily relied upon with a newly qualified teacher who is still finding their feet in the classroom, whereas a more experienced teacher is more likely to review it now and then. Although the lesson plan is a guide to the lesson it is important that there is some flexibility involved with the timing of the stages especially when students are having difficulties or fun.

A lesson plan also acts as a record of what was done and the materials used within a lesson especially to review it at a later date. It is also a useful guide for a substitute teacher to follow in case of teacher illness and they have to cover the lesson. In this situation, the substitute teacher will have the necessary notes and material to teach the targeted topic, they will also know what to expect from the students and any possible difficulties they might encounter from details and information listed on the lesson plan.

Also Read: Can non-native English speakers take a TEFL course?

What do you need to write in it?

Let’s have a look at some of the things that could be included in a well-prepared lesson plan in a bit more detail below;

Learner objectives

What the students should be able to accomplish by the end of the lesson based around the contents of the lesson.

Personal aims

What you would like to achieve by the end of the lesson, this could be to strengthen a possible weakness, to try a new teaching approach or use the whiteboard space more efficiently.

Language Point

The theme of the lesson, this could be a topic with vocabulary or a grammar-based tense or a mixture or the two.

Teaching Aids

This could be materials like worksheets or the of other teaching aids like Video, music or flashcards or even whether you need the use of the whiteboard.

Anticipated problems

This can be for the students or for the teacher, this could involve the complexity of the vocabulary, grammar, the size of the group, the age of the group, the activity, getting students to the participle or classroom management.

The procedure, Phase, and Timing

What activities the teacher will use within the lesson and in which sequence, This will be detailed in the procedure section. The phase section will indicate which stage of the ESA method will the procedure section take place (Engage, study, activate). The timing section carefully breaks down each stage to guesstimation which gives a guideline to work to.


The interaction for every activity and phase should be stated. Whether it will be a teacher to student interaction or student to student interaction or if students should work on their own based on the task or activity.

Class level, number of students

This can help to plan the exercises and activities based on the ability and number of students. Especially when choosing a suitable activity that all students can participate equally in.

Date and Time

It is also worth recording the date and time for your record to review at a later date and for any substitute teacher who might have to take the lesson, it will avoid any confusion.

In conclusion, it is important to take all of these factors above into account when planning lessons but also to incorporate a balanced lesson plan which covers the ESA method, which is firstly to Engage the students, capture their interest and grab their attention. Secondly, to incorporate a Study phrase where students focus on the language, information or grammar. Finally, every ESA should finish with an Activate stage where the students can put the knowledge they have learned into use through roleplays, communicative games or debates depending on the student level.

Do you want to learn how to plan lessons properly? Take your TEFL course

When planning a lesson you should always consider the material and aids needed and whether they are appropriate for the classes and ages you are teaching, remember lessons should be educational but also entertaining and interesting to keep student focus whilst making it an enjoyable experience for both student and teacher alike.

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