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Concourse 2

Moving forward: planning a course


In some organisations, things like course materials, the syllabus and the timetable are planned for you.  All (!) you have to do is implement it.
In other settings, you may have to plan a course (or a part of it) independently.  This section aims to give you some help and advice.


Things to find out

think write Task 1: Before we start, what things do you think you will need know in order to plan?
What will you base a plan on?  Make a few notes and then click here.

finding out

Finding out

think write Task 2: OK.  How do you find out the answers to 1 and 2?
Make a few notes and then click here.


Using the data

When you have the answers to questions 1 and 2, you can draw up a list and make a plan.  It could look something like this, depending on the intensity of the course:

Area of need Priority Action plan
Listening to TV and the radio Medium Record the news in English from the TV and plan a lesson once a week using it.
Writing business emails High Spend two hours every week looking at the following:
Informal emails to colleagues asking for information
Polite emails to customers offering information
Formal emails to suppliers asking for deliveries and action
Method: Model text > Analysis > Planning > Writing > Sending > Receiving > Replying
Communicating wants and needs orally High Plan three lessons around:
Getting information about a holiday and booking it
Getting information about a new car and buying it
Getting information about something they are interested in
especially intonation
High Spend ten minutes at the end of each lesson focused on the intonation of the language which arose in the lesson.
especially tense forms
Medium Insert two lessons per week to focus on:
Past simple vs. Present perfect
Ways of talking about the future
Talking about habits and present states

and so on.
With luck, this will give you a blueprint to work from.  You can, of course, especially if your learners are mature, draw up a plan like this and then discuss it with them.



The final thing to consider in this area is the range of types of syllabus which you can use.  Nobody will properly expect a novice (or even quite experienced teacher) to write a whole syllabus from scratch.  That is one reason we use coursebooks, of course.
However, if you are interested in this area, there is, naturally, a guide to syllabuses on this site.

Now you can go on to the next part: using materials and aids.