How to write an ESL lesson plan

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For ESL teaching, Confucius would have said: “A trainee or novice ESL teacher who does not plan long ahead will find trouble in his ESL class.” Bear in mind the sage’s words of wisdom, and read on to find out how to write an ESL lesson plan.

It is usually standard practice for an educational institution to have blank pre-prepared ‘lesson plan sheets’ as part of its stationery: if this is not the case, you can quickly make your own using one of the templates that are provided by some of the online word processors such as ‘Microsoft’s Word’ or ‘Open Office’.

The lesson plan itself should be written as follows: The header, which should appear at the top of each page of the lesson plan, must include the lesson title, syllabus references, the date and time of the lesson, and the ESL teacher’ name. The lesson may be conveniently divided into three stages: presentationpractice, and production – the so-called three P’s methodology.

The amount of time allocated to each stage should be clearly shown, e.g. for a forty-five-minute lesson this would appear as follows: 9:00 – 9:15 (Presentation) Causative form 9:15 – 9:40 (Practice) Causative form exercises 9:40 – 9:45 (Production) Quick review and oral quiz on causative form You must also include one or two lesson fillers to cover for the eventuality that the class finishes the assigned work before the end of the lesson. If any ESL tests or exams are to be done: make a note of it on the lesson plan.

Space should be left for a remarks section at the bottom of the last page: this can be used for the teacher’s personal comments or useful feedback concerning pedagogical comments that are relevant to the lesson. Typical comments might focus on the following aspects of the lesson: Was it successful or a failure? Was it interesting or boring? How can you improve on it? When you come to actually write your lesson plan, the three stages will probably require a little bit of expansion: you don’t have to write a book, though. However, you must have a plan about how you are going to teach these parts of the lesson.

Your lesson plan should be geared to making the lesson interesting and motivational; most important of all, your lesson plan must have a clear objective. For example, if your objective is to teach the past perfect tense: don’t teach any of the other past tenses or anything else that could cause confusion. If you are going to do handwritten lesson plans, they be must be legible and simple to follow because in your absence: a teacher will have to stand in for you.

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