Lesson Planning

Achieve aims, objectives: When a teacher succeeds in teaching what he/she has planned to teach.

Aim: What the teacher tries to achieve in the lesson or course.

  1. The main aim is the most important aim, e.g. the teacher’s main aim in a lesson could be to teach the present perfect in the situation of travel.

  2. A subsidiary aim is the secondary focus of the lesson, less important than the main aim. It could be the language or skills students must be able to use well in order to achieve the main aim of the lesson or a skill or language area which is practised while focusing on the main aim.

  3. A personal aim is what the teacher would like to improve on in his/her teaching, e.g. To reduce the time I spend at the whiteboard.

Analyse language: To think about language, e.g. what the form of the structure is and why it is being used in this way in this situation.

Anticipate language problems: When teachers are planning a lesson, they think about what their students might find difficult about the language in the lesson so that they can help them learn more effectively at certain points in the lesson.

Arouse, generate interest: To make students interested in a task.

Assumptions: When teachers think about what they believe their students will or will not know or how they will behave in a particular lesson. For example, a teacher plans to teach present simple using the context of jobs and daily routines. The teacher makes the assumption that students will know basic job vocabulary and so will not spend time in the lesson presenting these words.

Class profile: A description of all the students in a class, including their age, ability etc.

Components (of a lesson plan): The main parts of a lesson plan, e.g. aims, procedure, timing, aids, interaction patterns, anticipated problems, assumptions.

Consolidate: To return to something to understand and remember it more completely. For example, students can consolidate a grammar point by doing extra practice.

Enable: To make someone able to do something. A teacher can enable students to become independent learners by teaching them how to study by themselves.

Encouragement noun, encourage verb: When a teacher helps students to succeed by giving them confidence, e.g. ‘Of course you can do it! You are doing very well.' See confidence.

Feedback noun + verb, conduct, elicit or give feedback:
1. To tell students how well they are doing. This could be at a certain point in the course, or after an exercise that students have just completed.
2. To communicate to a speaker that you understand (or not) what they are saying.

Peer feedback: Feedback given to a student by another student in the class.

Focus on: To direct someone's attention to something. To make someone notice something.

1. To mark words on paper or on a computer screen using a colour so that they are easier to notice,
2. To focus on something so that students realise it is important, e.g. to highlight a mistake by underlining it.

Lead-in noun, lead in verb: The activity or activities used to prepare students to work on a text or main task. A lead-in often includes an introduction to the topic of the text or main task and possibly study of some new key language required for the text or main task.

Main aim: see aim.

Pace: The speed of the lesson. Teacher can vary the pace in a lesson by planning different activities in order to keep the students' attention.

Peer feedback: see feedback.

Personal aim: see aim.

Pre-teach (vocabulary): Before introducing a text to students, the teacher teaches vocabulary from the text which they think the students do not already know.

Procedure: The details of what is going to happen in each stage of a lesson.

Raise awareness: To help students understand something that they may not already know. For example, if you teach learning strategies, it can raise students' awareness of how they learn.

Recycle: To teach words or structures that have been taught before, for revision and more practice.

Reflect on teaching: To think about a lesson after teaching it.

Reinforce: To make a student's understanding of the target language more complete by going over it again. See consolidate.

Scheme of work: A basic plan of what a teacher will teach for a number of lessons.

Sequence noun + verb: A sequence is a series of things, e.g. activities in a lesson. Students can sequence pictures in a story i.e. put them in order.

Set a question, task, test: To give students a task or test to do or a question to answer.

Set the scene, the context: To explain or present the context of something students will read, hear, talk or write about, to make the situation clear for them.

Specification noun, to specify (aims) verb: A clear and exact description of what the teacher wants students to learn. Aims are specified at the beginning of a lesson plan.

Stage, step: A section of a lesson. Lessons work through different stages such as lead-in, presentation, controlled practice etc.

Stimulate (discussion): To encourage students to talk about something. This can be done in different ways such as through a text or a picture.

Student-centered: When the students are at the centre of the activities and have the chance to work together and think for themselves. See teacher-centered.

Subsidiary aim: see aim.

Syllabus: This describes the language and skills to be covered on a course, and the order in which they will be taught.

Teacher talking time (TTT): The total time in a lesson that a teacher speaks, compared with the total time the students speak.

Teacher-centered: When the teacher is at the centre of most stages of the lesson, controlling the lesson from the front of the classroom. See student-centered.

Timing: The likely time which different activities or stages in a lesson plan should take. When teachers plan lessons, they think about how long each activity will take and they usually write this on their plan.

Variety noun, vary verb: To introduce different things such as different types of activities or tasks, language skills, interaction patterns, pacing or timing into a lesson. Good teachers try to include variety in their lesson, so that students stay interested.

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