Easy lesson planning
Easy Lesson Planning:
A/ Discuss, or think about these questions:
i) What's a useful, effective lesson structure for adult groups? Why?
ii) What's a useful, effective lesson structure for children’s groups? Why?
iii) What are useful, effective lesson structure for beginner groups and for intermediate / more advanced groups? Are they different? Why?
iv) Which lesson topics / areas of language would be good to tackle with each structure?
B/ Look at these lesson structures, with examples and see which you think are most useful and effective:
1) Words > phrases > task:
a) Words – we start each lesson with 10+ simple words – we show a picture to elicit / show the meaning of the words and repeat each word a few times, then review
b) Phrases – then we learn some useful phrases – we show a picture context to see the meaning of the phrases and repeat, and build up a dialogue with picture prompts, repeating regularly
c) (optional) Grammar focus - if the learners are ready for this, we then look at some of the grammar patterns – we look at tables to see how the language works
d) Task – we then use the language in a task where the students, in pairs can practise the new language in a real-life situation. If relevant/if the learners are ready for this, the teacher can show some language errors they made and see the learners can correct them.
2) Words > reading > speaking/writing:
a) Vocabulary – pre-teach some of the more difficult words/phrases in the reading to help with understanding eg. Showing pictures, laminated cards to match word and simple definition
b) Pre-reading – learners predict content of text from heading, accompanying visual(s), words you’ve just done, questions they’d like to find out about the topic etc
c) Understanding the reading – set a simple overview task for a first quick read (eg. Is it positive or negative? What’s the problem and the solution?), then a task that requires more detailed reading (eg. What? When? Where? Why? How?). Learners discuss each task in pairs after reading. Group feedback to check and guide.
d) Set a speaking or writing task related to the reading for learners to do in pairs or small groups
3) Test > teach > test / Task-based learning:
a) Get learners to do a task eg. Pairs recommend what food is best to grow in a small vegetable garden
b) Teacher write up all the words learners didn’t know / needed / used with errors in pronunciation or usage – focus on, repeat, check meaning
c) Teacher guide learners to phrases they can use to make recommendations eg. ‘I think you should ...’ ‘If I were you, I’d ...’ Learners think of more examples, repeat, practise.
d) Different pairs from stage a) do a similar task, using all the language they’ve worked on eg. Recommend to each other what food is best to grow in a farm
4) Engage > study > activate
a) Engage learners with a fun game
b) Focus on some phrases or words that learners needed or used wrongly
c) Do a more complex task that uses the new language
C/ Now look at these sample easy-to-use lesson plans:
Lesson plans for beginners: word-phrase-task format:
Lesson plans for intermediate learners: words-reading-speaking/writing format:
Media:4 intermediate lesson plans - reading, vocabulary, speaking and writing.pdf (texts and images from New Internationalist Easier English wiki)
Lesson plans for learners of pre-intermediate level and above: TTT (Test - Teach - Test) format:
In small groups, look at these suggested lessons:
• try out the lessons on each other
• think of other topics that could be done with the same lesson format
• plan another few lessons using the same format