A good lesson plan is an invaluable tool that helps teacher
s to successfully teach lessons throughout their course. This is true for all teacher
s, but even more so when it comes to inexperienced teacher
s who may still lack confidence in themselves and their ability to teach in a rational, orderly and accurate way. When teacher
s can rely on a good lesson plan they will be less stressed and more comfortable and productive, the lesson will have a nice flow and students will benefit from clearly presented and organized material that is engaging, useful and appropriate.
Lesson planning might be a little difficult at the beginning, but over time practice and a careful and constant selection of interesting and varied material (be it authentic or created) and fun and engaging activities will allow the teacher
to cut down on preparation time and write effective plans that can be used more than once (with additions or changes to adapt the lesson or update the material if needed).
There are many different kinds of lesson plans. Some are long and very detailed, some are short and with only a few points to follow, but most of them include key elements such as lesson objectives (what the students should learn as a result of the lesson), number of students and their level of english
, resources and materials the teacher
will need to effectively deliver the lesson (from whiteboards to CD player or OHP, from coursebooks and worksheets to pictures and other authentic material), timing of the various activities, the identification of any problems that may arise and their possible solution.
The main part of a lesson plan will actually describe the lesson as it should develop, giving details on the three or more stages that form a lesson, depending on the method or theory a teacher
In a straight ESA lesson plan there are three stages: Engage, Study, and Activate. They can be combined to expand into Patchwork and Boomerang plans provided that the lesson ends with Activate activities.
Each stage has a goal, so the teacher
plans the appropriate activities and timing to reach that goal. Common to all the stages is the need for the teacher
to give clear instructions in a language that is understandable and appropriate for the students' level.
Here is a brief description of each stage:
1. Engage. It's the very beginning of the lesson in which the topic is presented. The teacher
has to make sure that students feel comfortable in the classroom and participate (are engaged). Activities in this stage should be fun, interesting for most (if not all) of the students, and should entice the students to talk and express their thoughts in english
. The teacher
prompts the students and does not worry too much on accuracy or fluency.
2. Study. As the name says studying is involved through explanations, pronunciation drills and worksheets with exercises on specific aspects of the english
grammar or vocabulary. Controlled practice helps the students reinforce what they already know and acquire new knowledge; accuracy is required and the teacher
3. Activate. In this stage students have to put their knowledge to work and try to independently use the language as accurately and fluently as possible. Pair and group activities give the students a good chance to practice and use their skills and creativity.
To sum up, a lesson plan is an invaluable aid since it shows what teacher
s expect the students to achieve by the end of a lesson and how they plan to make it possible. By following a lesson plan, teacher
s feel more confident and less stressed; they know they are effectively using their time and communicating with their students in a clear and appropriate way, and students benefit from knowing what is required of them.
- Knowledge acquired while studying the course material