10 May 2012
One of the most important aspects of TEFL teaching lies in rigorous planning. Lesson preparation is key and you’ll learn all about this during your TEFL Org teacher training course. The foundation of any successful lesson plan is identifying desirable outcomes and putting into place activities and tasks that help the student grasp a particular concept.
Your TEFL lesson plan is effectively a step-by-step guide to what you intend to teach during a particular lesson.
Keep your plan structured. Start with the date and title of your lesson. Jot down the class and level of ability you’ll be teaching. Identify the materials you’ll need during the lesson. This may include props, text books, worksheets – any materials that help to convey the points you want to teach your students.
Next, set out the aim of the lesson, what you intend to achieve during the 40 minutes or hour you have in class. A useful approach here is to literally state, “At the end of this lesson, the student will be able to answer questions about where they went on holiday last year”, for example. Don’t forget to include grammatical concepts you’ll introduce during the lesson.
TEFL Lessons – warm things up
One of the most useful ways to launch a topic is by introducing conversation starters. A lesson about the future tense, for example, could be started by the teacher asking questions to the group such as, “What are you going to do after class today?” This will help you to nail down the target language to be taught – key phrases and words you want the students to practice saying individually and as a group. This can then be backed up by getting them to practice this language through written exercises, and small group or one to one discussions rehearsing the phrases you have introduced.
Starting a group discussion and going around the class asking questions and eliciting a response can open up important concepts you want to teach in the lesson. This informal discussion gives you the chance to jot words and phrases on the whiteboard for the class to read and recite.
Create bespoke lessons to fit the class
Your lesson plan should cater for the type of group you’re teaching. A class of young learners will obviously respond to different conversation starters than a group of adult business English learners, for example. With this in mind, ensure the activities you use to illustrate a concept are relevant to the group you’re teaching. A good example might be when teaching business English to get the class to describe what their company does. This allows you to cover all kinds of grammatical topics and will be an exercise students in the class will find useful and relevant to their learning needs.
Just as you begin your lesson by following up previous topics learned and introducing today’s subject, make sure you recap at the end. This helps cement the concepts and language you’ve taught during the lesson, and may clarify any knowledge gaps students may have. This can be elicited through questions and answers, for example. You may also choose to use a game or short group activity at the end that covers all the important issues covered in a fun and memorable way that gets the whole class involved.