Lesson Planning Tips
Lesson planning will help you teach with confidence. The longer your class
session, the more important it is to have a good lesson plan. Here are some tips to consider.
- Plan Alternative Activities
Always have one or two alternative activities in case the material you've selected doesn't take all the time you thought it would. How will you fill an extra 10 minutes? 20 minutes?
- Build on Previous Material
Try to continuously practice material that you've covered recently. It's often possible to teach the same theme several sessions in a row which can help ingrain vocabulary and concepts.
- Balance the Challenge of Content and Activity Type
If your content is challenging, choose activities that are relatively easy to do like fill-in-the-blank exercises or guided discussion questions. If your content is fairly simple, try more challenging activities like role plays or problem-solving.
- Create Your Own Materials
Build your own library of materials to support your lessons. You can find
several ideas in the Lesson Preparation section of this guide. Be creative. If you invest some time into developing and collecting materials, you'll cut down on your preparation time when you are actually planning lessons.
- Center Lessons Around the Student
Keep the focus on the learners and minimize the time you spend talking as a teacher. In other words, make the lesson as interactive as possible. Focus on communication.
- Assess Needs
Periodically take time to think through your particular learners' needs. Think about cultural factors as well as language deficiencies. This can help you prioritize what you choose to study. Are any of your students dealing with culture shock? What kind of language skills might help alleviate it? Try asking the students themselves what they would like to learn.
- Keep a Log
After each class, write a brief log of what you did. Include notes about what
worked or didn't with ideas for improvement. Write down specific page numbers
you covered in a textbook. You could also keep your lesson plans collected
together, making sure to write notes on them about the success of various
activities and whether you modified the lesson during class.