Preparing TESOL lesson plans can turn into a teacher’s least favourite past-time. Some of the tips below seem to be little more than common sense, but when time becomes scarce we find ourselves cutting corners and taking care of immediate needs (such as photocopying or marking the latest quiz we gave our students) and we end up having less time to devote to lesson planning and preparation. This, in turn, makes certain small tasks more cumbersome and, before we know it, lesson planning becomes a black hole that consumes more and more of our time. If the following tips are followed consistently, lesson planning will become natural to you and take less and less time as you become an experienced teacher.
Taboos can bring up some interesting problems in an English conversation class. One of the major complaints that teachers have with ready-made materials is that there is a strong tendency to play it safe and avoid the typical topics we actually talk about in everyday settings. There is a good reason for this: certain issues will be more controversial for our learners than they are for us. This can lead to friction, anger and embarrassment in the classroom and can also do irreparable damage to the classroom dynamic. As new teachers, it is natural to be hesitant when broaching ‘dangerous’ topics in class. However, more experienced teachers are able to recognize the motivational value of subjects which better reflect real world issues.
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