Tag: lesson plan

What Every EFL Teacher Ought to Know About Lesson Planning

What is a lesson plan?

A lesson plan is a framework for a lesson. If you imagine a lesson is like a journey, then the lesson plan is the map. It shows you where you start, where you finish and the route to take to get there. Essentially the lesson plan sets out what the teacher hopes to achieve over the course of the lesson and how he or she hopes to achieve it. Whatever the level of experience, it is important that all teachers take time to think through their lessons before they enter the classroom and write clear notes about what they will do through each lesson.

Why is lesson planning important?

One of the most important reasons to plan is that the teacher needs to identify his or her objectives for the lesson. Teachers need to know what it is they want their students to be able to do at the end of the lesson that they couldn’t do before. Here are some more reasons for lesson planning to be important:

* gives the teacher the opportunity to predict possible problems and therefore consider solutions.

* makes sure that the lesson is balanced and appropriate for class.

* gives teacher confidence.

* it is generally good practice and a sign of professionalism.

What are the principles of lesson planning?

* Objectives – considering realistic goals for the lesson, not too easy but not too difficult. You may find the following checklist useful:

  1. What do the students know already?
  2. What do the students need to know?
  3. What did you do with the students in the previous class?
  4. How well do the class work together?
  5. How motivated are the students?

* Variety – an important way of getting and keeping the students engaged and interested.

* Flexibility – expect the unexpected! Things don’t always go to plan in most lessons. Experienced teachers have the ability to cope when things go wrong. It’s useful when planning to build in some extra and alternative tasks and exercises. Also teachers need to be aware of what is happening in the classroom. Students may raise an interesting point and discussions could provide unexpected opportunities for language work and practice. In these cases it can be appropriate to branch away from the plan.

Effective lesson planning is the basis of effective teaching. A plan is a guide for the teacher as to where to go and how to get there. However – don’t let the plan dominate – be flexible in your planning so that when the opportunities arise you can go with the flow.

What are the three main elements of English lesson planning?

When thinking about planning an English lesson it is useful to keep in mind three elements: EngageStudyActivate

Engage
This means getting the students interested in the class. Engaging students is important for the learning process.

Study
Every lesson usually needs to have some kind of language focus. The study element of a lesson could be a focus on any aspect of the language, such as grammar or vocabulary and pronunciation. A study stage could also cover revision and extension of previously taught material.

 Activate
Telling students about the language is not really enough to help them learn it. For students to develop their use of English they need to have a chance to produce it. In the activate stage the students are given tasks which require them to use not only the language they are studying that day, but also other language that they have learnt.

And here’s the Five-Stage EFL Lesson Plan

If you want to plan your EFL lesson, follow the following five stages:

*First, set the instructional objectives.

These are what you expect your students will do by the end of the lesson.
Here is the instructional objective statement
By the end of the lesson; students will be able to
pronounce … correctly
write …. correctly
identify …
apply rules of certain structure
put certain words in sentences
change from active into passive
report certain sentences
compare two things or more
read a text fluently
answer some given questions
use a model composition for writing another
match words with …
distinguish elements
list …
classify …
contrast …
differentiate …

The above verbs are clear observable and measurable

*The second stage is warm-up 5 minuets
Teacher revises the previous lesson.
Teacher checks the homework.
Teacher corrects common mistakes.

*The third stage is presentation 15 minuets
In this stage the teacher presents his/her lesson through situations.
The teacher in this stage is the informant and the student tries to understand.
The teacher writes the steps of what he/she does in this stage.

*The fourth stage is practice 15 minutes
In this stage the teacher writes what the students do for example answering exercises.
The teacher in this stage works as a conductor.
The work is done by the students.

*The fifth stage is assessment 10 minutes
This is the findings of the lesson.
It is the effects of the teacher on his/her students.
It is the achievement of the students.
Teacher checks their learning according to the instructional objectives.
Here, the teacher will see whether he/she has achieved what he/she has expected or not. If he failed he/she should reteach the lesson in different technique.

Lesson Planning Basics:

* Know your school – What room are you in? – This may influence what kind of activity you can do. What materials and equipment can you use in class? What is the syllabus of the course? – And so on.

* Know your students – Base your materials and activities around the needs and character of your group.

* Know your subject – If it’s a grammar point, make sure you understand how that language is used and formed – If it’s vocabulary, check pronunciation and spelling and so on.

* Have clear aims – Set realistic and appropriate for your class.

* Engage your students – Keep the students motivated, warmed up and engaged.

* Involve the students in the process – Try to give them as much time using the language as possible. Personalize language work so they can use English for describing their own lives. Elicit where possible, don’t lecture. Always assess their learning and give them effective feedback.


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A Free Printable EFL Lesson Plan Template

All teachers should understand that a lesson plan is not an end but it is a means and indicator. For supervisors, a good written lesson plan indicates that the teacher has enough information about the lesson and he is well mentally prepared to teach it effectively because a lesson plan is like a road map for teachers to know what students should learn, the learning activities to achieve objectives, how to teach these activities, how students do practice and how to assess students’ achievement of the goals. In the previous post, we talked in more details about six things must included in a lesson plan. Please get a look at these things to know how to write a good lesson plan.

The next big question is: Do we need a lesson plan template?

I think the answer is: Why not? It means “yes” and here are the reasons:

  1. Some teachers need to write a detailed lesson plan to get the most out of the lesson study. Writing such a plan is a difficult work. In this case, using a lesson plan template saves time and effort especially when it covers all guidelines of the lesson.
  2. A lesson plan template – provided it is good – includes the main things that must be included in the lesson. it means getting a comprehensive lesson plan that enhance teacher mental preparation.
  3. A printed lesson plan helps teachers to stay organized and focused while teaching. They won’t find themselves elaborate or write things far away form main content of the lesson.
  4. With a lesson plan template, teachers agree upon the main things or headlines that must be included in each lesson (headlines such as objectives, presentation, practice, assessment, …..etc.) but each teacher reflects his personality and experience when writing the details under each headline. This agreement and variety at the same time can be very useful for discussion and peer evaluation afterwards.

Which template should we use?

Lesson plan templates differ according to the curriculum you teach, the facilities available for you, the learning environment and students’ learning levels. But even they are different, you should use the one that includes the main six things that must be included in a lesson plan.

Can we tailor our own template?

Yes, you can, and it is better to build the lesson plan template that works for you. But remember, your template should be organized in a way that makes sense to you. It should also be easy to reproduce and fill in. And to start building your template, you should consider how to include the essential six elements listed in the previous post. You may decide to place all elements on a single page or you may start with a two-page layout. Of course, you should take into account the spaces under each element according to the details you plan to write.

How does the teacher’s guide fit as an “optimum resource” while planning lessons?”

In case that the teacher’s guide provides you with the following information:

  • Learning objectives.
  • Suggested teaching aids to use to facilitate learning and attract students’ attention.
  • Suggested warm-up activities.
  • Learning strategies that facilitate lesson learning.
  • Class organization for each activity.
  • The best period for each activity.
  • The steps in sequence to introduce the lesson.
  • What students do in each activity.

In that case, we can consider the teacher’s guide as an “optimum resource” for planning lessons and so we recommend reading it carefully before teaching each lesson, and follow it when plan your lessons or when you build a lesson plan template.

Here is a printable lesson plan template that I created for the upcoming school year and include in it the six main things that must be included in each lesson plan.

Here is a link to download it for free and in a word file that you can edit.

A Free Printable EFL Lesson Plan Template

Let me know what you think of it. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment to give me your feedback.

P.S. If we are not connected on social media yet, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter.

Six Things Must be Included in a Lesson Plan

A lesson plan is like a map that guides you while you are teaching. Planning your lessons beforehand is a must as it is the proof that you know what to do in the classroom. You are not required to write all details in your lesson plan provided that you are expert enough and you can use just clues to prove that you are well mentally prepared. But whether you are a beginner or expert teacher, there are six main things you must include in your lesson plan. When preparation notes seen by professionals, they go directly to make sure first that the following six things are there as any discussion comes afterward depends on them.

  1. Details of the lesson:

First of all, you should mention in writing what you are going to teach and to which class. Write the unit and lesson number, which period and which class and the topic or the theme of the unit and the lesson.

  1. Objectives:

Setting the objectives of the lesson is the most important thing you must include in your plan. Select the most important and relevant three objectives students are required to achieve at the end of the lesson and write them carefully. Always remember, objectives here should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) and written from the perspective of the learner using action verbs. E.g. at the end of the lesson students should be able to write a 10-sentence paragraph about summer holiday.

  1. Teaching aids:

After that, you should set the tools that you are going to use to facilitate learning and attract your students’ attention. Unlike resources (student’s book, workbook, handwriting book, teacher’s guide, CDs, DVDs, the board, ….) teaching aids are often created by the teachers themselves such as pictures, drawings, flashcards, real objects, wall sheets, diagrams, charts, … . Etc. These aids should be adapted to your students’ learning levels and the learning environment. Needless to say that you should write down only what you are going to use not everything.

  1. Stages of the lesson:

We come to the framework of the lesson. I mean the content of the lesson which includes the new vocab, structure, function and the skill to be emphasized. After writing these things in focus, you should divide the stages of the lesson into four main stages: the first one is warm-up in which you should tell us in only one sentence how to prepare students to the new lesson. The second stage is presentation in which you should write at least three focused steps to introduce the content of the lesson mentioned before in the framework. The third one is practice where you write how students will use and produce the new language included in the lesson. You may divide practice into controlled, guided and free practice writing one sentence to show how to cover each type. Or you may add production after practice and writing evidence from students to show language production.

  1. Evaluation:

Evaluation is the four and last stage of the lesson. This stage should be divided mainly into two categories: the first one is assessment in which you write how to make sure that students achieve the objectives set at the start of the lesson. You may write a question students answer orally or in writing. You may write an assignment for students to do at home or anything else you see suitable to know to what extent students achieve the objectives of the lesson. The second category under evaluation is self-evaluation where you – as teacher – should reflect on your lesson after finishing it. So self-evaluation should be done after leaving the classroom immediately writing how things went on during the lesson. Were objectives achieved? Were students responsive or reluctant? Do students need more practice on any point in the lesson? …. Etc.

  1. Timing:

It’s important to achieve a kind of time management during your lesson. You should specify certain amount of time for each stage of the lesson and try your best to commit to this time. Write time specified beside each stage, activity or task.

In the end, there’s something I want to emphasize again. You should try your best to be focused in your lesson plan. Avoid elaboration and detailed procedures. Focus only on the main steps which represent clues for the details beyond. Before going to plan your lesson I recommend you to read the teacher’s guide. TG is considered an ideal resource for teachers to plan their lessons effectively whether in writing or more importantly mentally.

 

A Lesson Plan to Teach the English Novel

Objectives:

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  1. Read for fun skimming and guessing the meaning of difficult words.
  2. Read for scanning and answer some questions on details of the chapter.
  3. Answer the questions on the chapter on the textbook.
  4. Act the scenes included in the chapter.

Teaching aids:

Set-book, Class board, mind mapping, video film, …….. etc.

Learning strategies

Individual, pair and group work, Playing roles, Analysis, Summarizing, …

Warm up (Reviewing):

* Ask about the author and characters of the novel, and the location(s) where the events happened.

* Remind students with the main events of the previous chapter.

* Ask some questions on the main events of the previous chapter.

Presentation (Viewing):

* Target Vocabulary:

* Target Structure:

* Target Function:

Steps of Introducing the New chapter:

  1. 1. Before reading, ask students to guess (expect) what events are going to happen.
  2. Write one or two questions on the board on the main points of the chapter at hand and ask students to read silently and quickly the chapter to answer these questions and underline any difficult words.
  3. After answering the pre-questions on the board, give students a general idea of the chapter , presenting the new vocabulary through using synonyms, antonyms, mind mapping, full sentences, real situations and deal with target structures and functions if found.

Practice:

  1. Write more questions (different types) on the board on details or ask students to read the questions on the chapter on the textbook. Then ask students to read again the chapter but carefully this time to answer the questions they’ve read. Students can work in pairs to answer the questions.
  2. Elicit the answers from students.
  3. Show students the scenes of the chapter on a video film (if found).
  4. Divide students into groups and distribute the roles among them to present the scenes of the chapter.
  5. At the end, some students come to the front and present a summary for the whole chapter using, First, Secondly, Next, Then, Later, Finally, ……

Assessment:

* Ask: What have we learned today?

* Ask some questions to elicit the main events.

* Ask students to write a summary for the chapter as a homework assignment.

* Assign some more questions on the chapter for students to answer in writing at home.

* Ask some critical thinking questions on the chapter.

Previewing:

* Specify the next part (chapter) of the novel for students to read.

* Write one or two pre-questions (different types) on the next part or chapter and ask students to answer them after reading at home.

Self-Evaluation:

* Students enjoyed reading for fun, skimming and scanning. Or

* Techniques used were suitable and objectives were achieved. Or

* Students need revision and more practice on the chapter at hand.

A Lesson Plan to Teach Email Writing.

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Email-writing aims ultimately at:

  1. Improving social skills ( saying “thank you”, sending an invitation, offering help or support, ………etc. )
  2. Asking for information informally.
  3. Exchanging ideas and opinions.
  4. Writing about some personal experience.

Here is a model for an email writing lesson plan

Objectives:

At the end of this lesson Ss should be able to:

  1. Compose a written text (an email) based on a familiar subject.
  2. Recognize the differences between writing a letter and writing an email.

Warm up:

  1. Discuss email-writing focusing on personal experience, reasons, advantages, feelings, form, expressions, ………
  2. Show the class a real model of an email (on a wall sheet, overhead projector or data show) and encourage Ss to talk about what they see.

Presentation (Introduce the rules of email-writing using the previous model of the email)

  1. Show Ss the box where we should write the email address of the receiver and how to write it.
  2. Show Ss the box where we should write the subject of the email.
  3. Point to the word “Dear” referring to the name of the receiver after it.
  4. Tell Ss what to write at the beginning of the email ( informal greeting and then tell what you are writing about )
  5. Ask Ss to read the body of the email and check their understanding.
  6. Tell Ss what to write at the end of the email (“Best regards”, …. and under it; the name of the sender )

Practice (Ss practise email-writing in pairs)

  1. Select with Ss a familiar subject to write an email about to a friend.
  2. Specify the email address and the name of the receiver and write them on the board.
  3. Elicit some suggested sentences to be impeded in the body of the email.
  4. Ask Ss to work in pairs and write the email (in a separate paper) as the model they saw before, go round to check and give help.
  5. Take some emails and show them to the class. Read out them and provide feedback.
  6. Each pair take their email to make the correction needed and then come to the front showing the class the final version and read the email aloud.

Finish the lesson:

  1. By reminding Ss with the rules of writing an email.
  2. By asking Ss to write another email at home after specifying the information needed for doing that.

Three Recommendations for EFL Teachers to Consider From the First Day Back to School

Presentation1

Teachers of English as a Foriegn Language are asked to take into account the following recommendations from the beginning of the new school year to make great success in their career:

1. Control your teaching and make it as effective as possible by:
* Getting to know the course materials very well by reading them through in advance.
* Getting to know the outcomes of each unit sticking them at the front of your preparation notes to adjust your teaching accordingly.
* Preparing your individual lessons well.
– Preparation notes of each lesson should include mainly the following:
Objectives – Warm-Up Steps – Presentation Steps – Practice Steps – Assessment Procedures or Homework – Self-Evaluation Note.
* Making sure that you have any important information about your students; their names, level of learning, weakness & strength points, ….etc.

2. Improve your teaching and facilitate your students’ learning by:
* Learning & applying new teaching methods, techniques and activities.
* Adjusting your teaching according to your students’ level and needs.
* Reflecting on your successes and difficulties in the classroom.
* Discussing teaching experiences with your colleagues.
* Assessing your students’ progress giving them grades, marking their written work regularly and giving them effective feedback.
* Designing and using simple teaching aids in the classroom to attract your students’ attention and facilitate their learning.
* Organizing your class in different and various ways; whole-class, individual students, pair work and group work, depending on the activity being taught at different times of the lesson.

3. Give your students the opportunity for language learning and practice by:
* Creating a natural context and real-life situations to use the language.
* Giving students the chance to hear and use as much authentic English as possible.
* Using more and more teaching aids to untie your students’ tongues & encourage them to talk in English naturally.
* Contextualizing the new language asking students to put new words in sentences of their own and utilize new structures in real-life situations.

Five Main Stages for a Lesson Plan

1- Setting objectives:

Write what you expect your students will do by the end of the lesson  e.g. by the end of the lesson, students will be able to ” pronounce, identify, put words in sentences, change into passive, compare, answer, use, match, …. etc ” or any verbs that can be observable and measurable in the classroom.

2- Warm up:  

Revise the previous lesson, check homework orally, correct common mistakes,  … etc or any other activity that can activate students and prepare them to receive the new material.

3- Presentation:

Present the new material using the suitable techniques, write the procedures that you will follow to explain the new material.

4- Practice:

It is the work done by the students whether it is controlled, guided, or free. Students answer some exercises based on the material presented. These exercises are often there on the set book.

5- Assessment:

Write some sentences on the board or distribute printed papers to see whether the objectives were achieved or not and to check whether students learned or not according to the objectives. If not, you should reteach the lesson using different techniques.

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