Published 10th August 2016

When you are learning how to become a TEFL teacher, you are almost guaranteed to learn one thing no matter where in the world you are learning TEFL: PPP. PPP stands for Presentation, Practice and Production and it has become the basis of TEFL teaching.

In a nutshell, first the language is presented by the teacher, then the students practise the language in a controlled manner and then the students are given an opportunity to produce the language in a freer context.

Now, we are not saying there is anything wrong with PPP and there are reasons it has stood the test of time, but what we want to introduce to you here is an alternative way of looking at lesson planning. You are probably aware of the alternatives to PPP, such as ARC and ESA, so let us add our alternative to the mix.

Let us call our alternative PTP: Pre-task, Task, Post-task.

For this lesson plan, the teacher first introduces the language through direct instruction or exposure to the language in some kind of a context (reading, listening or visuals). This is the Pre-task stage and it prepares the students to be able to accomplish the task.

During the Task stage, the students are given the task and they must accomplish the task however they see fit. The task should give the students the opportunity to practise the language.

During the Post-task stage, the teacher can review the success of the task by following up on common errors or highlighting good language. This stage can also give the students a chance to respond to the task in a personal, meaningful manner.

While the PTP planning technique can work for any kind of language lesson – grammar or vocabulary – you can imagine that it lends itself especially well to skills lessons. Reading, writing, listening or speaking lessons can easily be planned according to this simple template.

We’re not trying to re-invent the wheel but why don’t you give this lesson planning structure a go and plan your lessons simply and easily.