Once in a blue moon (or more) you may be tasked to teach the same group of ESL learners all day. It might not happen very often, but it does happen. For example, I taught a daily six-hour program at the Samsung Corporation in South Korea for three years. The class members enrolled for a 10-week English intensive course program. So, each day, we met for class from morning to afternoon. After every cycle, a new batch of ESL learners began another term. It was definitely challenging, but I discovered a way to manage such situations that you might be able to use. I’ll share below some insights I learned for developing a syllabus to manage all-day ESL lessons with the same class members. Read more
You spent two hours preparing your lesson on the present perfect verb tense. You have visual aids, handouts, and a reinforcing class activity ready to go. In class, you spend the next forty minutes of a fifty-minute class discussing the proper use of the present perfect tense and giving examples.
Your students listen attentively. There are a few nodding off, but for the most part they are listening. Some are even taking notes. You spend the last ten minutes of class engaged in individual seatwork activity with the class members.
After class, you go to the teacher’s lounge, have a seat, and reflect on how tiring that was. You grab a quick cup of coffee and prepare yourself for the next class. At the end of the day, you feel pretty tired. And why not, you worked a full day as an ESL teacher.
But what might the students say about it?
So many new teachers spend hours at a time preparing for a lesson they believe their adult students will appreciate. And why would they not appreciate it—you think it is a great lesson!
Then you bring your lesson to class eager to present it, and to finish it. Why? Because you know it is what the class needs! But do they need this lesson you have laboured over, or do they need something more?
More, you say—I have just spent hours working on this lesson, and I will finish it! Yes, more. Have we ever stopped to ask the question, should I be teaching the lesson, or should I be using the lesson to teach?
Lesson planning should follow ‘the rhythm of your class’ and your students’ needs. Finding this “flow” will require getting to know your students and the curriculum requirements of the school you teach at. You could get students who benefit greatly from structure or you could get students who need less structure. It is up to the teacher to read the students and to get to know them over time. Here are 3 tips to help you plan lessons that meet your students’ needs.
Having a clear objective is the most important element to consider when developing an ESL lesson plan. Having a clear objective is the first building block to the planning and development process. It’s the thing (or things) that you want your students to learn and take-away from the lesson. Having a clear objective will guide the rest of your planning process. The objective can be expressed in a variety of ways, but, for organizational purposes, it’s easiest to use the same template for most lessons. For example, you could start your lesson plan with the following phrase: “Students will be able to…” and finish with the objective(s) for the day. A good rule of thumb to have is that if an activity doesn’t bring your students to (or closer to) your end goal, modify it or nix it altogether.
When you start out teaching, one of the hardest things to do is to see the wood (the whole course of study that your learners will work through) for the trees (the individual lessons you’ll teach that comprise this course of study). Nevertheless, thinking about things from this wider perspective is a must if you are to achieve a balance of skills and activities that take place, as well as making sure that what you do fits in with the other teachers who are also teaching your class. Here are some points to consider when planning for the longer term.
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Writing, unlike speaking, is not an ability we acquire naturally, even in our first language: it has to be taught. In TESOL, Writing is often referred to as the ‘Cinderella’ skill because it’s the one that gets left behind while all the others ‘join the ball’. What this means for us as language teachers is that unless our learners are explicitly taught how to write in their new language, their writing skills are likely to get left behind while their speaking, reading and listening develops. Fortunately, there are ways we can plan effective writing lessons.
Our life is largely taken up with receiving information from outside sources, most of which enters our consciousness via our eyes and our ears. ESL lessons focusing on reading or listening require a variety of teaching strategies and activities, so there are many ways to design a lesson plan for these receptive skills. Despite the many ways in which reading and listening activities can take place, there are nevertheless general stages we can follow when planning.
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Although it does not get as much attention as grammar, vocabulary is as fundamentally important in developing English language proficiency. The benefits of a wide-ranging vocabulary are many, as learners can’t express themselves effectively with grammar alone. Nevertheless, teaching vocabulary can be challenging and creating an effective vocabulary lesson plan is key to successfully equipping learners with new words.
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While learning and understanding vocabulary is a vital part of language learning, all of these words lack any real sense of meaning without grammar; therefore, grammar is an essential part of language teaching and planning an effective grammar lesson is a necessary skill. This article will show you how to create a TESOL lesson plan using the P-P-P format.