Diary submitted by Charlotte C, Erasmus+ internship in Valencia
Planning a lesson in advance is essential. It is suggested that a good lesson plan is a ‘well thought out and detailed guide the teachers can follow’ (Lauren Sailsbury,2018).
Often, lesson plans involve a clear outcome of the lesson and will act as a bible for the duration of the learning period, outlining each activity, the time it should takes and the information you need to provide.
However, the planning process itself is a difficult task, which requires a large amount of time and thinking about all the aspects the plan should cover or include.
There are many things to be considered when planning a lesson. Some of which I have outlined. For example;
- What is the main topic of the lesson? It is suggested that if you adapt and you’re your separate activities to one main topic, the learners will find it easier to follow your lesson. (Jo Bertrand, 2010).
- How can you keep the students engaged in the topic/activities? Planning fun, engaging activities will not only make your lesson more fun, but also may improve the outcome of the lesson.
- How long is the lesson? Timing is probably one thing every new teacher struggles with the most and sticking to a strict time schedule will help your lesson flow and enable students to finish the lesson and fully comprehend the designed topic.
- The level of students, both as a group and individually. Of course, you may design a suitable lesson for the whole class but think specifically about those whom may require more help, or over achievers who finish early- how can you keep them entertained.
- What materials do I need, and how many? Preparing not only the lesson, but also the materials you need is also really important, as you may need to quickly add extras during the lesson if extra students arrive.
Importance of various materials:
Building on the previous point, materials are essential for an EFL lesson. Using different material types in all classes will keep the students engaged and will allow them to practise different skills.
Authentic materials are materials used in everyday live, not designed specifically for learning purposes, for example, a newspaper article, or Youtube video etc. (Sally Ianiro, 2007). The use of authentic materials, especially in EFL classes, are highly valued. They include natural, everyday language, and can be used to test students reading, listening and simply as a guide for another activity.
Alongside these materials, different worksheets and designed tasks such as speaking activities, role-plays, quizzes and educational games are all perfect materials that can be used in all lessons for different ages and levels. Of course, work/course-books are also a great way to keep track of lessons, and those specifically designed for exam purposes are perfect for those taking any exams.
Of course, there are many different things to consider when planning a lesson, and I have briefly touched on a few. However, with these in mind your lesson should be well suited, fun and well prepared.
I think as a final point, it is important to suggest that, If you are required to plan various lesson per week (as most teachers are), I would also suggest making a template, that can just be alternated and filled in each time you plan the lesson. Record each lesson in terms of date and time, and the topic in mind. Remember also that lessons can be adapted to different ages and levels. Re-using a lesson is a great way not only to save time, but also for yourself to revisit this particular topic, if it is something you struggle with.
S,Ianiro.(2007). Professional development, Authentic materials. California. Department of education.