Jun 22, 2010 Lesson Planning 3788 Views
Lesson Aims and Objectives
Not only is it important to have a clear idea of the materials and activities that you will be using in your lesson, but also to be clear as to the aims and objectives of the lesson. Clear aims outline what it is that you hope to achieve in the lesson. If you are being observed by a supervisor or a Trainer on a training course or at school, you will be expected to provide a clear outline of your aims in your lesson plan.
This careful preparation is excellent for helping you to decide which activities and procedures will best achieve learner outcomes. Furthermore, it is much easier for an observer to be able to evaluate whether you have indeed achieved those aims that you set for yourself. Usually, you will not write a statement of your aims and what you hope to achieve in your everyday teaching.
It is always a good idea to be prepared before stepping into the classroom. This will help you to better cope with any eventuality that may present itself. So, remember - prepare thoroughly and remain flexible and adaptable. If something is not working, be prepared to disregard the plan. Teach the learners and not the plan - always responding to what is taking place in the classroom. Formal planning is often a requirement on teacher training courses as it raises awareness and encourages teachers to think carefully through their aims and procedures. A formal plan usually consists of two parts:
I. Background Information: This usually comprises of:
• Main Aim(s)
• Subsidiary Aims
• Anticipated problems
II. Procedural Outlines: This usually comprises of:
• The description of the various activities
• The order of the activities
• The timing of the activities
• The aim of the activity
• The focus of the activity
Writing a Lesson Plan
A lesson plan is not merely just a list of activities to get through during class. It is a professional document which shows your understanding of your students' needs, as well as principles of teaching. If the plan is clear, another teacher ought to be able to pick it up and work from it. You need first of all to decide exactly what it is that you are going to teach. Although you may, of course, accept other items of language that students come up with, keep your aims clear in your mind. Decide, in other words, not only what you are going to teach, but what you are not going to teach. Before working out the staging of your presentation and practice of the language, you need to analyze it in detail and work hard to anticipate any problems that may arise.
An experienced teacher will, in most cases, write an informal plan. This may simply involve a basic outline and an ordering of activities to be used in the classroom. It is not 'economical' to take an hour planning a 60 minute lesson, especially if you may not use that particular lesson plan again.
Using a Course Book
A course book can be a good source of exploitable and useable material. Activities are sequenced and carefully thought out. Unfortunately, not all course books are that helpful but are a useful starting point. Students will probably expect the teacher to use a course book, so this may be a sensible idea. It must however be remembered that a teacher does not necessarily need to be a slave to the book. Material can be reordered, adapted, varied and omitted. Carefully select that which is appropriate for the students. That which is not appropriate should be rejected. Teachers may vary and adapt activities in order to give students the practice that they need. Teachers should use supplementary materials when needed. Furthermore, a course book provides a useful syllabus for students to follow and a devised course to help them learn.
Authentic & Non-Authentic Materials
A good starting point for any inexperienced teacher is to make use of a course book. A course book is written especially for students and is therefore non-authentic. Materials which are not specifically designed for classroom use, but which may be exploited in a language environment, are authentic. These may include magazines, airline tickets, time-tables, brochures, emails, letters, newspapers, etc... Semi-authentic materials may include readers as they are graded for different student levels.