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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