Hi everybody. I thought I would share my tips on how to think of a topic to teach and then to research it and prepare a lesson plan. Here they are:
- Thinking of a topic – Consulting a general grammar to see the different tenses and to choose one, thinking of a vocabulary building exercise with certain themes (e.g. free time) or focus on pronouns, quantities, comparisons, etc.
Google search under ‘images’ for the topic followed by ESOL or ESL (e.g. Past perfect continuous tense ESOL). I use this for summaries to hand out and also to find worksheets. I have also joined https://en.islcollective.com/ which is free to join and it has free worksheets to download. You can search by topic. The British Council also has useful information to copy for lessons and worksheets to download.
- Planning the lesson
After teaching at the front of the class on the topic, get the students involved. This can be by making them go through a worksheet, or putting them into pairs or groups and doing a group exercise where they apply the rules (e.g. by role playing). Try to incorporate games, for example matching exercises are particularly useful for vocabulary building where students match pictures with words.
- Varying the lesson
I do the writing and reading part of the lesson first and then go on to do listening exercises and talking. The structured listening is where I tell them something and then ask them questions about it at the end. I repeat the monologue twice. The structured conversation focuses around a topic such as food or films. This is at the end of the lesson.
- General features you can add in
-drilling, which is making students repeat words and to work on pronunciation
-role play and group exercises (e.g. if you are teaching about going to the doctor, one student can play the doctor and the other the patient)
- Creative ideas
Be as creative as you like. In the past I have had students do tasks on song lyrics and then listen to the songs afterwards. Other ideas I have had is to make students act out a play, or to play Pictionary. Make the lesson fun and memorable and move the students out of their usual comfort zones.
Please feel free to share any of your own tips or to make any observations.