Whether you’re a teacher, a tutor, or a language exchange partner, lesson plans are a fundamental part of the classroom—not as a rigid constraint, but as a way to guide the session in the most beneficial way possible. With this in mind, it can be difficult to distinguish how to choose and construct these lesson plans. Follow these easy steps and you’ll be on your way to choosing the lesson plan that’s right for your session in no time.
Meet Students Where They Are
It’s obvious that you have a better understanding of English than your students do, so meeting them where they’re at is essential. Be sure to communicate with your student and find out where they stand in their learning so that you can help lead them to the next step. Don’t try and make them leap too far; building on prior knowledge is the best way to learn.
Make Sure Lesson Plans Are Well-Rounded
Be sure that when choosing or creating a lesson plan that you have all of the aspects of the lesson covered. Keep in mind that not one single feature of the English language is more important than another, and that they all work together to create fluency. So be sure that you don’t just focus on memorizing vocabulary and grammar rules. Ask students to practice using the vocabulary and grammar learned in each lesson by writing sentences or journal entries and holding conversations using the material in the lesson. Make sure that the student gets a well-rounded lesson on listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Keep Students Engaged
While choosing a lesson plan, include exercises and activities that relieve the pressure of learning a language while still including it. Sites like ESL Game World offer fun games that are relevant to learning English, giving students a break without sacrificing learning time.
Get Help from Online Lessons
There are tons of free online ESL lesson plans pre-made for your convenience. Make use of them! 5 Minute English has a variety of lessons and exercises available for your use, but they aren’t the only ones out there! Using online lesson plans as a guide gives you the opportunity to have a basic lesson plan that you can tweak to fit your student’s learning style and skill level. Sometimes all you need is an example to jump off of in order to make a lesson of your own.
Look to Textbooks for Examples
No need to invest in an expensive textbook to teach, but picking up an older copy at a used bookstore could be a valuable investment. ESL textbooks are generally separated into chapters that build upon one another, so take a look at the table of contents for an idea on the order your lessons should go in.
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