Tag: plan a lesson

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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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.

 

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