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Concourse 2

Lesson planning

board
Note: there is a guide to possible lesson structures which may help with this area.


why

Why have a plan?

Come up with three good reasons to have plans for a lessons and then click for a list of 4.


aims

Aims

If you are taking a training course, your tutors will have spoken about how they want you present aims.  There are, however, some general points.  The most important thing to be able to do is to distinguish between real aims and descriptions of procedures.  For example:
The students will ask each other questions about their families using Have you got any ... and answer using Yes, I've got ... or No I haven't got any ...
is not an aim; it is a description of what will happen but
The learners will become familiar with the names of relations (aunt, uncle, nephew etc.) and be able to converse about relationships by asking Have you got any ... / a(n) ... and stating, e.g., I've got two brothers / I haven't got any sisters etc.
is a real aim because it states what the learners will be able to do at the end of the lesson that they couldn't do at the beginning.

Which of the following are aims for lessons?  Check here.

  1. Students will exchange ideas about sports and pastimes
  2. The learners will be more confident speakers
  3. The class will practise making question forms with conditional sentences
  4. At the end of the lesson, the learners will be more aware of the importance of collocation
  5. The students will present the findings of their survey to the whole class
  6. The learners will be able to understand, use appropriately and pronounce the following 10 lexemes ...
  7. The students will improve their writing skills in terms of planning and selecting appropriate stylistic conventions
  8. I will present and revise the main uses of the present perfect progressive using a smart board
  9. The students will mingle to find someone who has selected the same three adjectives to describe their families
  10. Students will have gained a better understanding of the nature of verbs followed by gerunds and infinitives and be able to use them confidently

procedures

Procedures

Procedures should be internally logical with clear evidence that you have thought about what you and the learners will be doing and why throughout the lesson.  For example:
if you are going to focus on pronunciation in a lesson, make sure you do this before the learners have to use the language to communicate
if you know that there will be three words in a text that will cause serious comprehension problems, make sure you focus on them before you ask the students to read / listen and try to understand
Try this short test to see if you can order the procedures of a lesson logically.

Aims of procedures

It is useful at the planning stages to think about what each stage aims to achieve.  For example, if you have a stage in which the learners write down the six new words in a text, make sure you can say why they are doing this (probably to reinforce the form and spelling and to provide a take-away record of learning).
Try this short test to see if you can match the stage of a lesson to its aims.


things

Other things to consider for all lessons

Checking learning
At key times in the lesson you need to plan a stage which will allow you to check that the learning you hoped for has taken place.  If it hasn't, you need to depart from the plan.
Varying interaction patterns
Look through the plan and decide what the patterns are at each stage.  If it's nearly always teacher to students, you need to think more carefully about getting some student-to-student interaction
Records
What will the students take away from the lesson as a record and aid to learning?
Recycling
Have you thought about ways to recycle key language as the lesson progresses?  Will the students be given the chance to use target language items in speech and writing?
Materials
Have you checked that they are error free?  Will they actually assist the stages when they are used?  Do they address the language aims?


Related guides
step-by-step planning to see an example of how to plan a language lesson and a writing skills lesson
lesson structures to see how the overall shape of lessons can vary
activity types for a guide to the three essential forms of activities and what they do
task types to see how the types of task may affect what you are planning to do