Language teaching remains a process of continuous learning. One and the same lesson can be completely different, even though the plan was similar. You ought to prepare individually for each class, but there are universal and proven ways to increase the likelihood of a successful lesson. We want to share some of these tips with you. The advice in this article will increase the satisfaction of both students and teachers.
Define the goal
As with any particular goal in life, the purpose of each activity should be as clear as possible. Avoid overly broad and vague objectives (e.g. “students should improve their vocabulary.”). Make it possible to describe in terms of simple math. You should be capable of measuring the level of your success with numbers. If students need to revise some grammatical structure, your goal may be to work through x examples or to do exercises in pairs for a precise amount of time. An accurate, measurable objective of the lesson will allow you to efficiently move in the right direction during classes and provide a group with what they need most at a given stage. Moreover, the specific goal will make it easier for you to select the appropriate authentic materials and exercises for students.
Introduction — involved from the beginning
For many tutors, introducing the class accurately is overwhelming stress. As in many situations, this first step is often the hardest to take. One of the best ways to overcome it is to start with catchy, authentic material that will introduce students to the chosen topic. Such material will also help to set the pace and character of the next lesson’s stages. It should be engaging and entertaining, maybe somewhat intriguing. Emotions are up to you.
This study aid intends to be a starting point for further discussions and assignments. Depending on what you want to emphasize during the classes, adapt the exercises to this material. If your aim is to practice grammar — prepare an appropriate task in relation to the text or video you have presented. If you put emphasis on expanding your vocabulary — select the material in which new phrases will appear and reveal their use in a proper context.
The material should be a powerful introduction to the rest of the classes, which you should plan in advance. Speaking of planning…
Key to the success – English lesson plans
Planning your classes should be an absolute priority when it comes to lesson preparation. A proper schedule is a key to a successful class. Many tutors, as they gain experience, are tempted to teach on an ad hoc basis. It does not always have to end up as a catastrophe, but students will almost certainly learn less from such classes than from a well-thought-of learning session. It is worth thinking of the lesson as a cruise. In this metaphor, the teacher is a captain. Your students have trusted you and entrusted their development. With experience, creating English lesson plans can become much faster and easier, but you should never skip this part of preparation. A clear strategy will allow you to lead the group through its successive parts. A good class scheme will avoid wasting time and deviation. Thanks to the framework plan, you will never lose the thread during the classes. Otherwise, it could arouse negative emotions in your students and destroy the teacher’s self-confidence.
Our minds tend to remember the beginning and conclusion of an event. It is no different with language lessons. Utilize this feature of the human brain and end your classes with a noticeable accent. It should emphasize essential elements you wanted to pass on. It can be another authentic material or group or in-pairs exercise. You can also use the teaching aids chosen as an introduction. It is an equally great idea. By means of modified tasks, you can check to what extent the understanding of the presented content has improved. Such information will be beneficial in the last step that we are about to propose.
Use these 3 simple questions to self-check every session you teach.
- Has my goal been met? Did the timing reflect the assumptions of the lesson?
- Have unforeseen difficulties arisen? Did any activities take students more (or less) time than expected?
- How can I improve my following classes based on experience from the previous lesson? Which elements of my teaching need improvement?
Of course, we prefer to listen to praise than to hear criticism. We are also reluctant to reflect on our weaknesses. However, such activities will allow you to dramatically speed up the process of development. Evaluating your actions is an amazing tool for learning and, paradoxically, increasing your self-confidence. As you notice the progress of discovering your weaknesses and eliminating them methodically, your confidence will skyrocket.