Lesson Planning in the Esl Classroom

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What follows is a compendium of thoughts I have on the subject of lesson planning. As I want to make good use of this document when I start teaching again, I specifically formatted it like a “quick-look” reference sheet. In fact, its format speaks volumes about how I will apply what is listed below in the future.

A good lesson:
Has a sense of coherence and flow (i.e., it is not just a sequence of discrete activities) •Exhibits variety [*see varying a lesson below] – with some elements of predictability (e.g., text, classroom routine, etc.) •Is flexible (i.e., it is not immutable, nor does it dictate how and what I teach) (Jenson, 2001)

When planning a lesson, I must consider:
My own beliefs and principles about teaching and learning •My students’ needs, interests, wants, and expectations •How it will connect to what my students already know
My students’ backgrounds – to include different learning styles and how to address these •The proficiency level of my students and the lesson’s level of difficulty •The main goal of the lesson

The reasons why I believe it should be taught
The skills to be taught, what I want my students to learn, and my intended outcomes •What will help my students’ learning and what will hinder it •How well I know the content and what steps I need to take in order to teach it confidently •How I will communicate the purpose of the lesson and activities to my students •Ways to involve all my students actively

The way it will be structured, organized and sequenced
How I will begin and conclude it
The activities and reasons for using them
The materials and how I will use them
Transitions between activities
How much time I will need for each activity, as well as how much time my students will need •The grouping arrangements I will use
Where the lesson may break down and what to do about it if it does •Unplanned lesson changes (unanticipated directions) and any alternative plans I may need •...
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