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Lesson Planning

lex

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Most teachers engage in yearly, term, unit, weekly, and daily lesson planning (Yinger, 1980).

> Yearly and term planning usually involve listing the objectives for a particular program.

> A unit plan is a series of related lessons around a specific theme such as “The  Family.”

> Planning daily lessons is the end result of a complex planning process that includes the yearly, term, and unit plans.

 

Richards (1998) stresses the importance of lesson planning for English language teachers: “The success with which a teacher conducts a lesson is often thought to depend on the effectiveness with which the lesson was planned”.

 

WHY PLAN?

Language teachers may ask themselves why should they bother writing plans for every lesson. Some teachers write down elaborate daily plans; others do the planning inside their heads. Preservice teachers say they write daily lesson plans only because a supervisor, cooperating teacher, or school administrator requires them to do so.

 

Lesson plans are systematic records of a teacher’s thoughts about what will be covered during a lesson.

There are also internal and external reasons for planning lessons (McCutcheon, 1980).

Teachers plan for internal reasons in order to 

> feel more confident,

> learn the subject matter better,

> enable lessons to run more smoothly, and

> anticipate problems before they happen.

 

Teachers plan for external reasons in order to

> satisfy the expectations of the principal or supervisor and

> guide a substitute teacher in case the class needs one.

 

Lesson planning is especially important for preservice teachers because they may feel more of need to be in control before the lesson begins.

 

Daily lesson planning can benefit English teachers in the following ways:

  • A plan can help the teacher think about content: materials, sequencing, timing, and activities.
  • A plan provides security (in the form of a map) in the sometimes unpredictable atmosphere of a classroom.
  • A plan is a log of what has been taught.
  • A plan can help a substitute to smoothly take over a class when the teacher cannot teach.(purgason, 1991)

 

HOW TO PLAN A LESSON

 

DEVELOPING THE PLAN

An effective lesson plan starts with appropriate and clearly written objectives. An objective is a description of a learning outcome. Objectives describe the destination (not the journey) we want  our students to reach.

 

GENERIC COMPONENTS OF A LESSON PLAN

           I.      Perspective or opening

          II.      Stimulation

         III.      Instruction/participation

          IV.      Closure

           V.        Follow-up  

 

IMPLEMENTING THE PLAN

Implementing the lesson plan is the most important (and difficult) phase of daily lesson planning cycle.

When implementing their lesson plan, teachers might try to monitor two important issues, namely, lesson variety and lesson pacing. Variation in lesson delivery and choice of activity will keep the class lively and interested. To vary a lesson, teachers should frequently change the tempo of activities from fast-moving to slow.

Pace is linked to the speed at which a lesson progresses, as well as to lesson timing. In order for teachers to develop a sense of pace, Brown (1994) suggests  the following guidelines:

(1)       activities should not be too long or too short;

(2)       various techniques for delivering the activities should “flow” together;

(3)       there should be clear transitions between each activity.

 

EVALUATING THE PLAN

The following questions may also be useful for teachers to reflect on after conducting a lesson (answers can be used as a basis for future lesson planning):

  • What do you think the students actually learned?
  • What tasks were most successful? Least successful? Why?
  • Did you finish the lesson on time?
  • What changes (if any) will you make in your teaching and why (or why not)?

 

For further clarification of the success of a lesson, teachers can ask their students the following four questions at the end of each class; the answers can assist teachers with future lesson planning:

  • What do you think today’s lesson was about?
  • What part was easy?
  • What part was difficult?
  • What changes would you suggest the teacher make?

 

FORMAT OF A LESSON PLAN

 

1.    Goal(s)

  • You should be able to identify an overall purpose or goal that you will attempt to accomplish by the end of the class period.

 

2.   Objectives

       Objectives are most clearly captured in terms of stating what students will do.  In stating objectives, distinguish between terminal and enabling objectives .  Terminal objectives are final learning outcomes that you will need to measure and  evaluate. Enabling objectives are interim steps that build upon each other and lead to a terminal objective. Consider the following examples:

 

Terminal lesson objective:

  • Students will successfully request information about airplane arrivals and departures.

 

Enabling objectives:

  • Students will comprehend and produce the following ten new vocabulary items.
  • Students will read and understand an airline schedule.
  • Students will produce questions with when, where , and what time .
  • Students will produce appropriate polite forms of requesting.

 

3.   Materials and Equipment

  • It may seem a trivial matter to list materials needed, but good planning includes knowing what you need to take with you or to arrange to have in your classroom.

 

4.   Procedures

  • As a very general set of guidelines for planning, you might think in terms of making sure your plan includes:

a.        an opening statement or activity as a warm-up

b.       a set of activities and techniques in which you have considered appropriate proportion of time for

                            I.      Whole-class work

                           II.      Small-group and pair work

                          III.      Teacher talk

                           IV.      Student talk

     c.   closure.

 

5.   Evaluation

  • Evaluation is an assessment, formal or informal, that you make after students have sufficient opportunities for learning, and without this component you have no means for (a) assessing the success of your students or (b) making adjustments in your lesson plan for the next day.

 

6.   Extra-Class Work

  • Whether you are teaching in EFL or ESL situation, you can  almost always find applications or extensions of classroom activity that will help students do some learning beyond the class hour.

Mon, 6 Jun 2011 @14:25

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