Every beginning English tutor has surely asked themselves, more than once, how to prepare a lesson plan quickly and efficiently while serving the highest quality of teaching to the students. If this profession is new to you, keep in mind that your dearest friends are time and experience. Preparation will get easier with each class you instruct. For the present, we would like to share a few tips that instantly help you to enhance and accelerate the process of creating your ESL lesson plans.
Start with the idea
Each class should find its anchor point in the main topic of the entire lesson. Focus on defining it as clearly as possible. It should refer to the previous topic discussed. In addition to the subject matter, also focus on the didactic content. Consider whether your students need a revision of the vocabulary or grammar topics or if they have acquired the material sufficiently to cover further issues of the syllabus.
Key to success — a clear lesson plan
If you have already defined the theme of your lesson, you need a structure to provide your students with the most crucial topics in an accessible form within a limited time frame. The simplest methods will work best here. Focus on five steps:
- Warm-up (with material from the previous lesson)
- Practice (you can split it between guided and independent)
By arranging the ESL lesson plan this way, you will be sure of not omitting any crucial element. In addition, it will provide you with confidence and allow you to conduct the classes more consistently. Over time, you will develop your teaching style by introducing little modifications to this scheme.
Build your resource base — starting from now
One of the best ways to make planning your lesson easier is to have your own resource base. By typing a few keywords in Google, you can find reliable materials in English on any topic. Authentic materials will allow you to introduce freshness and a bit of humor into the classes. You can also match teaching aids to the group (e.g. accountants, sports instructors) or person you will teach. Think of it as knowledge base recycling. One of the most popular sites in this manner is Ted.com — thousands of valuable awards on every topic, run by native and non-native English speakers.
Furthermore, do not hesitate to seek inspiration and use ready-made ESL lesson plans and authentic materials published on the Internet by other tutors. Why not use methods that have already proven themselves in your work? You should save the most useful of them in a separate folder on your laptop. Over time, you will be able to quickly retrieve the proper materials that have already proven themselves in your classes. It is worth expanding it constantly while gaining experience as a tutor. Usually, minor modifications related to the group size and the level of advancement will suffice.
Carefully check what you provide
Equally, remember to always (always!) carefully read selected authentic materials. They may inevitably contain unusual mistakes or professional vocabulary that your students are about to ask. A tutor should be able to clarify any doubts concisely and clearly. If you see fit, you may decide it is worth drawing some of them to your students’ attention during or after acquiring the material. You can also ask them to try to pick up specific jargon or linguistic errors of people appearing in chosen study aids.
Over time it will get easier
By applying these simple tips, lesson plan preparation will become exceedingly straightforward. Remember to always have a framework in place. Thanks to this, you will never lose the plot and significantly improve the amount and method of transferring knowledge to your students. It is inevitably your primary duty as a teacher. Don’t be afraid to experiment and check new solutions. It will allow you to gain experience faster and discover ways that suit you to speed up your lesson preparations. It will become second nature to you sooner than you think. Good luck!