Lesson PlanningJeremy Harmer wrote: “The best teachers are those who think carefully about what they are going to do in their classes and who plan how they are going to organise the teaching and learning.”
Nowadays, there are many different teaching methods and approaches in the world of TEFL, but most of the teachers and linguistic experts have agreed on one thing and that is a benefit of lesson planning.
The definitions of a lesson plan can differ, but in general we can say that it is a framework of the lesson that helps the teachers to manage the lesson effectively and keep it organised. It is also a record of what a class has already done, what grammar has been practised or which topics have been discussed. It keeps the teacher in target and does not allow him or her to forget anything.
The teachers should keep in mind two main principles when they plan the lesson. These principles are variety and flexibility. The variety means that the teacher should plan and prepare many different types of activities and materials so that the lessons are never monotonous for the students. The flexibility deals with the fact that sometimes the teacher has to change the plan according to a particular situation in the class.
Before the real lesson planning the teacher needs to know some initial information such as: time, length and frequency of the lessons; physical conditions of the place and available equipment; syllabus; type and time of exams the students will take and philosophy of the school or the institution. The more information the teacher gets about the students, the better. It is good to know their age, sex, social and educational background, occupation, knowledge, students’ motivation and attitudes to learning english
and finally their interests. Having all these information in mind, the teacher can plan the lessons according to the needs of the students.
The good lesson plan should include the following things:
Every teacher should ask himself/ herself: ”What do I expect my students to learn?” It is very important to establish the realistic goal or in other words what the students should achieve at the end of the lesson. On the other hand the teacher should think of his/ her own personal aim or what he/ she would like to achieve, too.
This part describes a process of achieving the aims of the lesson. It means what exactly the teacher is going to do in the class and how. In this part the teacher describes an engage, study and activate phase of the lesson with appropriate and beneficial activities and tasks. It is useful to plan whether the students will be working individually, in pairs or in groups.
Many teachers rely on the course books only. This approach is not very effective. The teachers should use their creativity and prepare their own materials according to the needs of their students, and involve more authentic materials into the teaching process. The right materials can increase the interest of the students.
4. Other information about the students and the class
The basic information that every teacher should know is a level of english
and number of students in the class.
5. Anticipated problems
If the teacher thinks about the possible problems and their solutions in advance, he/ she will be prepared to deal with them when they appear.
It is important to plan how much time is needed for each activity in order to see whether he has too much or too little time for all of them. However the teacher has to stay flexible because in reality the students might need more or less time to finish the task. It is always better to have more activities prepared than less.
It is good to make the record of students’ homework, too, especially if the teacher has a lot of different groups.
The effective lesson planning is beneficial not only for the students, but it gives a confidence and a support to the teacher, too.
Harmer, Jeremy. The Practice of english
Language Teaching. 3rd ed. Longman, 2001.
ITTT, Lesson Planning, Unit 9