TEFL Changzhi

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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:

H.P & D.S - Hong Kong said:
When someone decides to pursue the career of teaching, one would always think, “How would I do it?” “How do I make sure that my lesson will go smoothly?” or “How do I anticipate the things that could happen in my class?” The answer to this is proper planning or proper lesson planning. What is a lesson plan? A lesson plan as defined by Linda Jensen in her article “Planning Lessons” defines lesson plan as “an extremely useful tool that serves a s a combination guide, resource, and historical document reflecting our philosophy, student population, textbooks and most importantly, our goals for our students.” Why do we plan? What are its advantages? As teachers, it is our responsibility to be prepared in class. Our preparation will indicate how the flow of the class will be and will help us anticipate the problems we might encounter, how we can manage our time, and how we can achieve the goals for us as teachers and for the students. A lesson plan serves as a map or a guide for teachers. Some lesson plans can be as simple as a checklist and some can be as detailed as possible. The main part is, that a lesson plan guides us teachers in knowing what we need to do or what we want do. The sequences in our lesson plan will help us achieve our goals and objectives for our lessons and for the students. Having a lesson plan will help us to manage our time and allocate the time to each part of the lesson accordingly. Furthermore, a lesson plan serves as a record for the teachers. As teachers, recording our lessons is important because we are able to reflect on these in future lessons. Keeping a record will serve as a valuable resource when planning assessment or evaluation measures and this will help us keep a reminder of what we have already taught the class. Lesson Planning in Teaching english as a Foreign Language According to the article “guidelines for Foreign Language Lesson Planning” by Benjamin Rifkin, foreign language educators must consider research in education more broadly as well as research in second language acquisition—the discipline that studies how individuals and societies acquire (and lose) second or foreign languages. As teachers, if we are going to teach english as a Foreign Language, it is important not only to know the fundamental aspects, principles, methods, practices of teaching english, but we also be familiar with the practices and methodologies of teaching english to Foreign Language speakers. According to the same article, there are guidelines for lesson planning when teaching a foreign language. The Five-Phase Lesson Plan covers the following phases: 1. Overview – provides a brief statement of the goals and learning objectives for the learning activity. 2. Preparation – discussions on language process strategies which involve the lessons being culturally authentic and can promote development of intercultural understanding. 3. Drill and Practice – opportunities for discourse or dialogue which can be based on interpreting of listening or reading materials. 4. Check (accountability) – students show their mastery of the skills and concepts taught. 5. Follow-up – cultural comparisons and strategy discussion The above phases in lesson planning will help the students to learn more effectively and will help the teacher to deliver the lesson to foreign language speakers more efficiently. Taking the course on Teaching english as Foreign Language had taught us how important lesson planning is. As teachers, lesson planning will help us to keep track of what we are doing in class. It gives us something to achieve and to reflect on. Reflecting on our lesson plan will help us improve our performance in the classroom. Furthermore, lesson planning will help us develop classroom dynamics and enable us to provide logical progression and will give the lesson a clear focus and framework. No matter how long or how short a lesson plan may be, a lesson plan will always be a map and a guide for us teachers. To conclude, lesson planning will always continue to be an integral part of an educator’s professional life. Sources: ITTT course material – Unit 9