Published 22nd November 2018
When EFL teachers plan their EFL lessons, they often concentrate on the middle of the lesson – the meat of the lesson, if you will. This makes sense in that this is when our students are introduced to a language structure and are practising using it. However, what are just as important are the beginning and end of your EFL lessons.
The beginning and the end of your EFL lessons provide the link between your lessons. Just as our EFL lessons need to flow in themselves, so too do our lessons need to relate to each other. What we teach in one lesson should not be in total isolation to what is taught the next lesson. Instead, our lessons should relate both forward and back to each other.
This flow is necessary to provide hooks for learning for our students. Learning new information is easier if it can be related to previously learnt information. So each lesson will build on the previous lesson. But how can we do this in a way that can become a natural part of our lessons?
An active ending for EFL lessons
Let’s start with the end of our lessons. To end your lessons you should ideally incorporate some form of revision. This is to revise the work done during the lesson. The reason this is useful is that often there is no time during the lesson for the students to catch their breath and digest what they are learning. A simple activity at the end of the lesson will provide reinforcement of the language just learnt.
An active beginning for EFL lessons
The same idea can be used at the beginning of your lessons. The first few minutes of your lesson provide the perfect opportunity to recap previously learnt language. This does not only need to be from the lesson immediately preceding, but even from a previous week. Doing an active revision activity at the beginning of the lesson will give your students a good start to the lesson. It will remind them of their known language and provide a foundation on which to build new language. The key is that you are revising language and not introducing new language.
As you may have realised, active revision activities are the same regardless of if they are utilised at the beginning or the end of the lesson.
Some ideas for active revision activities:
- Delayed error correction
- Flashcard games
- Ball games
It might seem like these are insignificant activities, but they are extremely important for your students’ progress. Repetition is key to language learning and incorporating these quick and easy activities into all your lessons you will be helping your students revise without them being aware of it!