1 · Lesson 4 - How To Plan Lessons Monday, November 21, 11

· Lesson 4 - How To Plan Lessons
Monday, November 21, 11
In the past modules, you have seen a broad overview of what is
involved in teaching EFL/ESL. In this module, we will now look at
how you will prepare for carrying out that work in a class.
This involves a lesson plan, in either an outline form or in a more
detailed form, that helps you decide what to teach, how to teach it,
and what you will need in terms of materials and management
techniques in order to carry out the plan effectively.
Monday, November 21, 11
How to Plan Lessons
It is possible, though hardly advisable, to conduct a class by arriving
at school each day and, without much additional preparation, merely
instruct your students to open their books to where they left off
during the previous lesson.
In this scenario, the text in essence is also the lesson plan for the
teacher as the students trudge through the work contained therein
day after day. But imagine how dreary this routine would soon
become, both for the teacher and for the students, without the
stimulus of any new ideas or approaches to the work of learning
Nonetheless, this advice is not to detract from the very beneficial
use of the text or course book in guiding the new teacher in his or
her lesson plans. In fact, the new teacher can learn quite a bit by
paying attention to the way the book organizes teaching and
learning activities. Therefore, in the long run, the teacher should not
replace good lesson planning with over-dependence on a text or
course book.
Monday, November 21, 11
The language classroom, as you know, should be an exciting
experience for your students, where they are exposed to the
maximum amount of language possible while encountering a variety
of techniques and activities to maintain interest and enthusiasm in
the very challenging task of learning a second language.
A lesson plan allows you to take the work you want to focus on,
either from the main text or another source, and create the kind of
class that will most benefit your students with their unique needs
and preferences. It helps you clarify in your own mind how things
ought to proceed and, at the same time, provide some timing and
guidance, upon reflection, of the types of problems that may occur
in the course of the lesson.
Nevertheless, with experience, you will soon come to realize that no
class can be completely planned. Unexpected matters related to
circumstances that may alter your plans in one direction or another,
and this is fine. One of the most important concepts of lesson
planning for new teachers is learning to teach to the needs of your
students, not the needs of the lesson plan.
Monday, November 21, 11
How It All Works
The Plan Every teacher will devise a planning format that best fits
his/her teaching style. In other words, there is no universally
recognized form that you need to adopt in order to put together a
proper lesson plan. However, there are elements that go into the
thinking leading up to a lesson plan that are commonly recognized
as important to a teacher's defining how he/she will teach a class.
Objective: Why are you teaching this lesson? What is the teaching
point? Is there just one objective, or will there be several? Are these
goals just for today, or are they part of a bigger framework in which
they will be emphasized over a period of time?
Strategy: How do you plan to reach this objective? How will you
introduce/create interest in the topic? Will you do some drill work, a
role play, or a reading, etc.? Is there a variety of activities to
maintain interest? What is your approach? How much Student
Talking Time versus Teacher Talking Time will this involve?
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Appropriateness: Have you selected work that is appropriate for
this level or group? Will it work with the physical constraints of the
classroom in terms of the arrangement of desks and chairs? Will
you have the materials needed? Do you have the right amount of
time allotted?
Student Reaction: How will your students respond to the work?
Will they find it interesting and, thus, be motivated to do the work?
Although not a part of the written lesson plan itself, student reaction
should be foremost in a teacher's mind during the creation of the
plan, as he/she knows best the students and how they will react to
the work.
Anticipated problems: Have you thought carefully about the
problems that your students will likely encounter while doing the
work in their class activities? Have you planned for enough time to
deal with these? Examples could be troublesome pronunciation,
grammar, or vocabulary points, etc. that usually present difficulties
for your students. This area is critical to ensuring that the lesson
goes as smoothly as possible and shows the teacher to be a
professional for having taken the time to prepare.
Monday, November 21, 11
By taking all of these into consideration, a teacher should be able to
lay the foundation for an effective and successful lesson. However,
in looking over these elements of a lesson plan, the new teacher
may be unsure about the amount of detail that will need to go into
producing a good plan.
The truth is that for a teacher with less experience, a good lesson
plan may involve quite a bit of work and, hence, a considerable
amount of time.
A lot of thought and preparation (writing the lesson plan, getting the
visual aids ready, searching for realia, making transparencies, etc.)
are usually required to get things right for class, and this process
can be a bit exhausting at first.
However, the experience will yield real skills in lesson-planning so
that as the weeks and months go by, less time is required to do a
proper lesson plan. In fact, an outline may be all that is required to
do a proper job in class. Moreover, by holding on to old lesson plans
(and visual aids, etc.), a teacher can begin to develop resources for
future lesson planning that will help to greatly speed up the process.
Monday, November 21, 11
Suggested Lesson Plans
The following are some suggested lesson plans that contain four
areas typically emphasized and included on the plan: objective, or
aim; procedures, or strategy; interaction; and timing. As you know,
the objective is the teaching point. The strategy is the way you hope
to assist your students in mastering the objective, whether it takes
one lesson or a series of them.
Interaction refers to who is speaking to whom. Thus T>S refers to a
teacher speaking to students, as when giving directions, for
example, and S>S refers to students speaking to other students,
as during a role-play, for example. Finally, the teacher notes the
anticipated time the activity should take.
Timing and strategy are especially important for new teachers and
will go a long way to make you more aware of how you will need to
improve in these areas. Remember, a lesson plan is as much for the
teacher's benefit as for the students'.
If you are not scheduling enough time for the students to be doing
most of the speaking, or if your planning for the length of activities is
too long or too short, then you can make notes of this on the lesson
plan for next time. Equally, you can note things that worked well in
this strategy section as well as things that didn't.
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One piece of advice! It is extremely important that you finish your
lessons on time. This will take some practice, but do not finish too
early or keep a good lesson going on longer than planned just
because everyone is enjoying themselves. Bear in mind that:
· Your students may have another class to attend.
· There may be another class waiting to use your room.
· Students may have paid for the lesson, in which case they
won’t be too happy if they don’t get the full lesson!
· They may have someone waiting to pick them up.
· Your students will appreciate and respect a well organized,
structured lesson which starts and finishes on time.
· If you always finish the lesson on a high, the students will be
keen to come back each week, and they will talk about it to their
parents and, most likely, your boss!
Monday, November 21, 11
Sample Lesson Plan 1
This is a simple lesson plan aimed to introduce the English terms for
countries of the world, flags and languages. The level is
intermediate, and the lesson is 60 minutes long. Notice that we have
categorized strategies/procedures into three areas: presentation,
practice, and production. In this module, we concentrate on
objective, interaction, timing, and appropriate strategy in lesson
Monday, November 21, 11
Lesson Plan Example
Date: 7th May - Class: Intermediate Duration: 1 Hour
Subject: Countries of the World
Materials: World Map, Country Flag Cards, Country Name Cards,
Lesson Objective: Students identify countries, flags, and location
from realia, globe, flash cards, maps, and drawings. Identification is
verbal and non-verbal (pointing, drawing, and matching).
Assumptions: Students know few country locations on the map.
They might use their own language to name countries and maybe
not English names. England is Angrit in Thai, etc.
Strategy 1
Interaction Patterns
T>S & S>T
15 min.
Purpose of Procedure: To interest students; to connect flags & shapes with country
names for clearer meaning; to practice new vocabulary
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1) Show map with country names blocked out. Elicit the country names.
Model some basic sentences. “This country is called....... It is known
for........” SS repeat and debate.
2) Questions about the language and people can be asked for extra
practice and activity, depending on SS ability. Elicit: “What do you call the
people of Ireland?” “What language do they speak in Ireland?” SS Repeat
and drill.
Strategy 2
Interaction Patterns
T>S & S>T & S>S
20 min.
Purpose of Procedure: To confirm new vocabulary and awareness of country and
location. To identify written vocabulary.
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Practice: SS in groups of 3. Complete worksheet by matching flag and
name to map area. SS can ask each other for details in English only.
Strategy 3
Interaction Patterns
20 min.
Purpose of Procedure: To produce vocabulary independently and reinforce previous
learning. To show knowledge of countries, locations, people and country flags
Monday, November 21, 11
SS in teams. They have to plan a world tour, choosing as many countries
as they want. They will, then, mention what they will do in each country.
Groups come out and put names on a wall map and talk about their
planned trip.
Game 2: SS in teams. Teacher will draw flags from a hat, and SS run out
and write name on the board. First to write the correct answer gets points.
Each SS must line up and take turns. Others allowed to shout out the
Monday, November 21, 11
Sample Lesson Plan 2
The following lesson is for teaching two grammar points: present and past
continuous. Please note that you do not have to have a strong knowledge
of grammar in order to teach it. You will learn the basics later in this course.
New teachers usually brush up on each grammar point when preparing a
lesson. Again, note the same Presentation, Practice, Production (PPP)
structure, which is the standard basic format for all lessons.
Monday, November 21, 11
Date: 7th May - Class: Elementary; Duration: 1 Hour
Subject: Present/Past Continuous - Grammar
Materials: Pictorial, Drawings, action.
Lesson Objective: Students identify actions with the grammar term. To
learn and practice using proper use of verbs.
Assumptions: SS have completed past tense lesson and should be able to
identify proper use of past tense and when to use present continuous.
Make sure they know I/am I/was
Anticipated problems: Some SS may confuse simple/past tense. SS may
arrive late due to heavy rain. Some students may be too shy for charades
Strategy 1
Interaction Patterns
T>S & S>T
20 min.
Purpose of Procedure: Get students thinking about performing actions now and forming
questions for past continuous actions.
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1) Ask SS what were they doing on Saturday/Sunday afternoon/Evening.
Elicit actions from drawings and flash cards. Use of... I am/I was
Strategy 2
Interaction Patterns
20 min.
Purpose of Procedure: SS practice asking questions and identifying actions with
present and past tense
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1) SS in pairs - ask each other what they were doing.
2) SS in pairs - complete worksheet and gap-fill exercise.
3) SS in groups pairs - in turns, they hold a Flash card and ask "What am I
4) Repeat and drill.
Strategy 3
Interaction Patterns
20 min.
Purpose of Procedure: To practice using the tenses and show good understanding of the
use. Create Fun game to reinforce the points and correct use of language. Encourage
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1) SS In pairs. Students write a daily journal for the weekend. SS ask each
other what each member was doing at a specific time.
2) SS in teams. Charades. Each team member must perform an action for
their team to guess and write on the board. If their team doesn't guess
correctly, other team can answer. Make sure students use full sentences,
i.e. "What is he doing?" "He is walking, running" etc.
Monday, November 21, 11
In this module, you've seen that there are many good reasons for planning
lessons. While the use of the text is important in class and can be good
help to the new teacher in structuring lessons, over-dependence on a text
should never replace good lesson planning. By bringing in a variety of
activities, some derived from the text and some from outside, the teacher
can make sure he/she is making class as interesting as possible and
appealing to all types of learners.
Other advantages of the lesson plan include having an objective for the
lesson, knowing that you have a strategy for reaching the objective, making
sure that the work is appropriate for your students, and being prepared for
the difficulties that your students are likely to have in class with the work
you're giving them. Nonetheless, even with a good lesson plan, a teacher
must keep in mind that it is critical to always teach to the needs of the
students, not the lesson plan, when circumstances change in class.
Monday, November 21, 11
Well done. You have just completed Lesson 4 of your iTEFL course.
Please now return to your iTEFL home page to register for the Lesson 4 Quiz and
Monday, November 21, 11