HOW TO WRITE A TEFL LESSON PLAN

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There are many different ways to write a lesson plan and there are many different types of lesson. Besides grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation lessons, there are also skills lessons: reading, writing, listening, speaking. Usually, TEFL lessons end up being a mix of different types of lesson, as it can be difficult to spend an entire lesson on one skill and it can be hard to deal with one particular skill without incorporating some grammar, vocabulary or pronunciation. And why should you only have to deal with one aspect of English, when in real life everything is mixed together anyway?

The most common lesson plans for grammar and vocabulary follow the PPP template – Presentation, Practice and Production. After a warmer, the target language is presented in a context, either a spoken text or a reading text. Once the context and the meaning have been consolidated, there is a focus on form to make sure the student knows exactly what the structure looks like and how it is used. Then the students are given an opportunity for controlled practice. This is usually through grammar practice activities where the students need to insert the verb in the correct form in a set of sentences. Finally, for the production stage, the students are given a chance to produce the language in a more free exercise, such as through discussion questions or an activity which lends itself to the use of the language.

There are a number of varieties of this model and it can be valuable to play around with the sequencing of lessons, so your lessons don’t become predictable.

Skills lessons, in contrast, tend to follow a three-part plan: pre-activity, activity and post-activity. Basically, the text – be it a reading, writing, listening or speaking – needs to be introduced before the activity. This will involve introducing and discussing the general topic or situation it relates to. Then, the main activity will be done. Finally, a post-activity can include a follow-up or response task. Again, there are a range of activities which can be done for skills lessons and it depends on you to decide which route to take because, ultimately, you will end up in the same place.

Now, while it might seem that there is a lot going on in a lesson plan (and there is), the key is not to get too panicky about it, or else you will find yourself spending more time planning the lesson than actually giving the lesson! Before you do anything, think about the main aim of the lesson and focus on that; in other words, what do you want the students to be doing at the end of the lesson? Once you’ve figured that out, you can think about what is the best way to get them to that point. If you find you’ve come up with twenty-two different ways to introduce your topic, just remember that is probably not as important as you think and that whichever option you choose, as long as you achieve your main aim, it does not matter how you got there.

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