Creating a really great lesson plan is what can make or break teachers. Anyone can put together a lesson plan, but creating an effective one which meets the requirements of your learners is the hard part! Here are 10 simple things to help you create the perfect TEFL lesson plan.
1. Think About the Outcomes
It sounds simple right? But it’s really easy to get tempted into using activities which you think are fun but don’t actually have any relevance to what you are teaching. You need to make sure that the activities and games you’re using have some purpose. Start by thinking of what you want to achieve from the lesson, ask yourself these few questions:
What do you want your students to learn?
How will you assess the learning?
What levels of students are you teaching? Will the activities work for everyone?
What age are you teaching?
2. Decide the Method(s) You Are Going to Use
It’s really important to decide on the methods you are going to use to teach the content of your lesson. For example, are you going to use group discussions, individual reading or lectures? Using a combination of these is usually the best way: beginning with an introduction to the lesson, followed by a group discussion or activity then a recap on what has been learnt. You need to give a lot of thought on this to make sure you choose the most effective methods for your lesson.
3. Think About What You Will Need
Once you have decided what methods you are going to be using in your lesson, you need to think about what materials you will be needing. There is nothing worse than realising you have forgotten a vital material which will make your lesson work. Write a list of everything you will need and prepare everything in time for your lesson.
4. Create Back-Up Activities
You might think the activities you have planned will take just the right amount of time and with a little bit of luck they will. However, there are always times when some students are super quick and finish sooner than others, so it’s a great idea to have some extra activities tucked up your sleeve to use in an emergency. There are some handy activities you can use here.
5. Create A Key Vocab List
Make a list of the key vocabulary that you want to introduce in the lesson. Use this list in your activities and tick off each word once you have included it. By doing this you can make sure your students are learning all the key words you want to introduce.
6. Plan Your Board
It sounds really simple, but you would be surprised at how many teachers don’t use the board effectively. Plan what is going to go where on the board. For example, you might want a list of key objectives on one side of the board and key words on the other. Make sure you think about how you will organise it so it is neat and tidy.
7. Plan But Don’t Over-Plan
You could spend a full day creating what you think will be the best lesson plan since sliced bread. But then as soon as you step into your class it all goes to pot. So you can actually enjoy your time overseas, rather than spending every minute planning lessons, you should spend just enough time so you know exactly what you want to achieve from the lesson and how you will do this. You don’t need to plan for every possible eventuality.
8) Think About Potential Problems
When you’re creating your lesson plan, have a think about potential problems that could occur. You don’t need to consider every single possible problem, just think of the main things that your students may struggle with and think of a way to overcome them.
9. Use All the Resources Available to You
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. There are already some great activities and games out there that you can incorporate into your lessons, which will save you loads of time when it comes to planning lessons.
Once you have written your lesson plan, ask yourself the following questions
Have the original objectives been met?
Are the activities appropriate to meet the objective?
Does the lesson work for different ability levels?
Once you have completed the lesson, you could ask for feedback from your class so you know how effective the lesson was for your students! This is a great way to get honest feedback and you can then focus on what works best for your students in your next lesson!
Need help with lesson planning? Why not check out our lesson planning guide!