Are You Teaching About English or Helping People To Use It?

Teach English as a Language, Not a SubjectYou 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?

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Lesson Planning 101: How to Develop Meaningful ESL Lessons

Teaching English Using the Communicative MethodSo 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?

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Lesson Planning Tips for New ESL Teachers

Lesson Planning Tips for New TeachersLesson 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.

About the author: Clare is a new teacher in Toronto and she recently completed the TESOL certificate with Practicum.

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6 Elements of an Awesome ESL Lesson Plan

How to plan an ESL lesson - ESL lesson planningHaving 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.

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Planning a Series of Lessons

Lesson planning for the long termWhen 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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TESOL: Preparing a Writing Lesson Plan

TESOL planning  - Writing lesson planWriting, 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.

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TEFL: Planning Lessons for Receptive Skills

TEFL lesson planning receptive skills blogOur 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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TESOL: Planning To Teach Vocabulary

TESOL Lessons Teaching vocabulary 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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TESOL: How to Teach English Grammar Using a P-P-P Lesson Plan

Grammar lesson plan TESOL trainingWhile 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.

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Creating a Learner-Focused TESOL Lesson Plan

learner focused TESOL lessonsAs a language teacher, you have so many things to think about all of the time. We’re constantly under pressure to get through materials in our coursebook and get ready for exams. With all the things we have to think about, it can sometimes be easy to forget the real reason why we are doing this: our learners. For this reason, planning lessons is a necessity, particularly at the start of your TESOL career. Here are three things to keep in mind that will help you create lesson plans that keep the focus on your learners.

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