Lesson PlanningLesson plans are an effective way to communicate the structure of each individual planned lesson, to follow a curriculum that is usually set for that specific group within a stipulated time frame, usually 1 year. Being organised is a sign of a good teacher, and to have a lesson plan to follow, albeit one that diverts from the core, this form of communication shows discipline and good communication is an essential and fundamental part to teaching skilfully and effectively. TEFL lesson plans are the core structure to teaching a language to groups of people who are relying on their teacher to make it as painless and problem free as possible.
The lesson plan is a tool which can be followed by anyone, so should the teacher be unable to attend on a certain day, another can step in, take the role over, and know exactly what is planned for that specific session. A well written lesson plan will show materials/resources required, objectives to be attained, context and focus for that day and time structure in place. A new teacher stepping in will have a hard enough time, not knowing the dynamics of that classroom, nor the exact level of the students, but if the lesson plan is followed, then the teacher should achieve what is expected. Another good point to make is that a lesson plan shows the makeup of the curriculum. Each year should tell a story starting at the beginning and building from there. It is a piece of history that is set and can be referred to prove the mode and content of learning and to remind the students what has gone before. With a well kept register, and a lesson plan for each session, the path of the TEFL course is clear.
As the TEFL course allows for only english language to be spoken, it is necessary to plan carefully, and to revise regularly, so the course work can include revision at various times throughout the course year, to re-establish knowledge.
The new teacher will find lesson plans, written in detail, beneficial, as the more detail given the easier to follow. As time moves on and the teacher becomes more proficient, then the lesson plans tend to work themselves out but still the basic structure should be used. To make them interesting, the lesson plans follow the dynamics of the class, as well as the personality of the teacher, therefore the classes are different every time. However, they still cover the ground that is expected of them.
To teach english as a Foreign Language, the structure of the lesson plan is even more important. The students are coming into a class whereby they may know no english at all, and yet their Mother tongue is not spoken within the classroom, therefore the structure has to be in place so the building of the grammar, vocabulary and language logistics follows a very specific format. Lesson plans can be written generically, and then redefined for different groups. Adults do not necessarily want to talk about Disney films, or going to the zoo, and children
are not too interested in how to make a menu up for a dinner party, but the format is the same. So each lesson plan can be diverted to suit the class, the numbers, the levels and the outcomes that the class needs. The student’s needs are all important. Its not about the teacher, it’s about the students.
Assessment and evaluation can be built into the lesson plans at specific times throughout the curriculum which will allow the teacher to focus on any weaker points that may become apparent. Parts of grammar that are more difficult to understand, can be revisited in a way that does not isolate those students who have trouble understanding, but can be used as a general revision for all. The lesson plan is a great resource and a crucial part of the teachers tool box.