Things to consider about lesson planning
1. What's your goal? What do you want the students to be learning by the end of the lesson?
2. Is it worthwhile/useful for them?
3. Do you have sufficient target language and a topic for your lesson?
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ESA - Engage Study Activate - PPP Present Practice Production. They pretty much mean the same thing.
Creating a good lesson generally involves introducing a topic, introducing target language (grammar, lexis, slang, new content...etc) studying the target language and finally having the students use the target language in a REAL discourse. This means questions back and forth. The goal of practically any lesson is to have the student be able to communicate somewhat freely and have that discourse sound as real and authentic as possible. Many teachers never get to this point because most textbooks don't/can't include it. Remember, your students are going to be communicating in the real world. Writing sentences or having them respond to simple questions isn't the same as actually communicating in long form. Let's look at the steps on how to get there. Times listed are just a general suggestions.
1. Introduction (Just a few minutes) This is how you introduce your topic. Don't worry about target language now. The key is to get your students excited. Surprise them. Catch them off guard. Don't start off by saying we are going to talk about 'travel' for example. Come in wearing a Hawaiian shirt, or put up pictures of different exotic locations, or come in with suitcases..etc Whatever it is, it is supposed to be interesting. You want to engage your students. This sets the tone for the rest of the lesson.
2. Lead in Questions (around 5-10 minutes) These are around 3-6 questions on the board that students talk about in groups related to the topic of your lesson. As the name implies, the goal is to lead your students into the topic, get them talking about it and interested in it, so you can slip in your target language later on.
3 Target Language (7-10 minutes) - This is essentially what you are teaching during the course. This can be grammar, lexis, pronunciation work, functional language work...etc. Usually it's a mix of many things. Ideally, you want this language to be new to your students.
4. Studies - (around 10 minutes) These are exercises related to building the target language towards fluency. The key is to work from closed to open. Closed meaning that you are practicing speaking the word itself on a basic level of understanding and open meaning towards fluency. So a matching game would be a closed activity because there's not much language involved, while creating questions and answering them with the target language would apply towards an open study. Most people have at least 2 studies per lesson.
5. Activation (around 10 minutes) - This deals with students using the target language in as natural as possible setting. It should sound real with students asking and answering questions to each other without the a lot or any teacher support. Think role plays, class discussions, presentations...etc. The key is to use the target language and have students create language on their own at this point. You will need a good set up to make it possible but not too much where they aren't thinking on their own. For example, having students read a paragraph of something that they've written IS NOT an activation because they are just reading. In real life we find ourselves in situations where we have to ask questions, answer questions, find out information...etc. Create environments like that.
6. Ending ( a couple minutes) End the lesson with a quick review of the material, go over errors that you heard during the activation as well as strengths and what went well. The better you are at really gauging your class's performance and seeing their improvements over a semester or year, the more that they'll see that you are training them and getting them better. That's what it's all about.
Ok, that is about as basic as it can get. Let's look at specific tips for each of these on separate posts.
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