Lesson Planning - Part 3 - What does a lesson plan contain?
Then, we have a set of objectives and aims. Here, the learner objectives relate to what we're hoping the students are going to be able to do by the end of your lesson and quite often, that can be a useful way of writing out what the objectives are. So, we would start the sentence "By the end of the lesson, students should be able to?" and then a list of two, three or four items that we're expecting the students to be able to do by completing this lesson. The learner objectives are different to the teacher aims the teacher aims are what you are expecting from that lesson itself. Now, when you first start teaching, quite a normal aim might be to complete the lesson successfully, to get through the whole thing without having any problems. As time goes on and you become more experienced, then what you would expect is that these teacher aims become more and more specific. So, some examples of things that might be in your aims here might be things like: to improve my board work, to increase student talk time and to reduce teacher talk time and so on and so forth. The next section is going to relate to what we might call anticipated problems and there'll be anticipated problems for both our students and for ourselves. The types of problems that we may anticipate from our students are that they will have difficulties with pronunciation. They may have difficulties with the level of grammar and being able to put it into context and so on and so forth. Anticipated problems for ourselves - types of problems that we can put in here would be things like: making sure that we stick to the plan, making sure that the focus of the lesson is maintained throughout the whole lesson and so on and so forth. So, a set of problems, anticipated problems for the teacher and for the students. Now, because this is part of the planning process, if we've anticipated problems then it's fairly reasonable to assume that we thought about what we can do if those problems do occur. So, one of the examples we have here was that we were anticipating problems with their pronunciation. So, a solution to that problem would be to do some form of drilling to help them with the pronunciation problem. One of the problems we had with the anticipated problems of the teacher was that we wanted to make sure that the lesson flows smoothly and so we need to refer to our plan throughout the lesson. Now, this doesn't mean that we stand up with a piece of paper in our hands. That doesn't generate any confidence from our students whatsoever, but there's no reason at all why we shouldn't have a set of bullet points on a piece of paper on the desk in front of us that every now and again, we can just refer to quickly to make sure that we're following our plan in sequence. So, these are some of the things that might be on our lesson plan. What we're going to do now is to fill out an actual lesson plan using this particular form.
Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.
Unit 17 explored the various types of equipment and teaching aids that are available to EFL teachers.
There are often vast ranges of differences (in this case, as far as equipment & classroom materials) in schools across the globe, affected by economy, student level, community and local cultural influences. While it is optimal to have access to Interactive White Boards (IWB ? smart boards where a teacher draws on a smart-board and the material is displayed on a screen) and Overhead Projectors (OHP ? material presented on transparencies are displayed on a wall or screen) as well as computers and printers and DVD players (all very useful tools) what is most important is that an instructor know how to use what he/she has. The use of the board, the ability to present legible notes and materials via White Board, chalk board, OHP is key to the most effective use of the tools provided.
The keys to presenting effective board work are really critical and so I will review those. A student teacher must begin with a clean board, write in a clear way (never all CAPITALS as they are difficult to read and often intimidate a student unnecessarily), making sure to only post essential and completely accurate information as this is often exactly what the student will write and go home to study. With all writing (and the use of other equipment like video, OHP etc.) the materials need to be clearly visible (and able to be heard) by all students. When writing on the board be organized about the information and utilize different colors to help create visual blocks as this helps students learn and retain information. Doing this in colors and in organized tables creates blocks of information (that stack on top of each other or coordinate), which reduces student anxiety (and teacher anxiety).
Key to effective application of classroom equipment is in knowing how to use it. If a classroom is fortunate enough to have an IWB it is important to know that not all IWB?s work the same. The same works for OHP?s or video/DVD/Radio & CD systems - it is the teachers job to practice with the equipment, know how it works before using it and knowing how best to use it for their specific student group. Also key for every new student teacher (and experienced teacher) is that they have a back up plan in case of equipment or materials failure. Students may have trouble with the way in which the material is presented so a back up should be written into the acting lesson plan.
Unarguably the most exciting portion of this Unit for me was the really extensive list of online resources available to the student EFL teacher. While it would be unrealistic to review all of them here in my response I will tell you that I looked at almost all of them and found renewed excitement for the field. It is very intimidating for this particular student teacher to consider the vastness of the material that I need to somehow process, prepare and transmit to my students. Having student materials grouped into learning levels and further in to accessible materials like work sheets, videos, flash cards, role-play cards that will help me really sort out what works best with my teaching style. I have (thus far) taught adults and the unique needs of the EFL classroom are not the same as a composition or creative writing class (my baseline instructing current experience), and are quite daunting. I know that I can pull from these pre-existing materials at the beginning and then develop materials that suit my own style and my student?s needs.
Frankly put, this unit renewed my excitement for the field.