The Beginner's Guide to Lesson Planning
One of the great things about teaching is being able to take students on a journey of learning a new language. Over the years, I have had to adapt lessons to different learners and curriculum standards to maximize each lesson. There are many different ways to build lesson plans. Some involve lots of different materials and resources, while others focus on being teacher-centered or student-centered. In this article, I am going to give you a basic template for creating lessons plans that are easy to comprehend and create on your own.
1. Warm Up
It has two sentences.Starting with a warm up gets the brain jumpstarted. Before the student(s) can begin to learn the lesson that day, they must prepare their mind to be switched into "language mode" A good idea would be to focus on a skill or concept from the previous lesson. If you are teaching a lower-level course, I would recommend to not preview a skill/concept for the current lesson to protect student(s) from becoming confused. The warm up should be something of variety to get students out of their comfort zone and ready to learn.
- Prepare a question for the class/student(s) to discuss/contemplate.
- Take a previous activity from past lessons to enforce skill mastery.
- Give a topic that was discussed in a previous lesson for small talk.
2. Present: What I want student(s) to learn.
During this portion of the lesson, you are focusing on the course objectives. You should have created these before the lesson to help the student(s) to understand what their "takeaways" are from the lesson. Be careful to keep your TTT (teacher talk time) reserved for this section. Too often, we are unaware that our ability to guide and communicate can inhibit the student(s) to understand.
- Show your student(s) something new pertaining to a skill/concept.
- Make sure that it is fun and engaging.
- Take time to prepare what you are presenting will satisfy the time you have reserved.
3. Practice: What I want the student(s) to grasp.
It is important to know here that students must be monitored during this step. Whatever activity that you choose, you must be able to check comprehension. If student(s) are working alone, come back together check comprehension. The student(s) will begin to grasp the lesson objective. It can help if you demonstrate to them a question/problem from the activity. After you have showed them how to practice, give them the space to try it and give feedback.
- Group activities can be really great here.
- Exercising language brackets work well, or guided questions.
- Create and activity to check reading/listening comprehension.
4. Produce: What I want to student(s) to master.
After you have student(s) grasp a skill/concept, you want them to create different ways of using language properly. Giving your student(s) room to be creative and master a concept is key to your lesson objectives. Here, you are focusing less on correction and more on retention (even though you should continue to check for comprehension).
- Writing Prompt
Things to Keep in Mind...
- Be careful not to single out one specific student(s) when giving feedback. Give a general assessment of what mistakes the student(s) are making.
- I have found that this lesson plan often shifts the focus from teacher-centered to student centered. Allowing the teacher to focus on comprehension and fluency.
- Make sure to give the student(s) enough time to practice. You are responsible to give them enough instruction to practice an objective. If you have to, keep a stopwatch handy to make sure you are allowing them enough time to practice and reduce your teacher-talk-time.
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