At least a few times during the school year, you will hear yourself or other teachers talk about how the lesson for your English language learners didn't go well. For ESL activities to be largely successful, a teacher needs to find ways to motivate the students since some students may not love learning English as much as you enjoy teaching it.
Here are some issues that make up good and sound methodology and the transfer to lesson planning a bit smoother.
Issues of Lesson Planning
- Participation - how to involve all the students?
- Organization - how to organize an activity in terms of group work, full classes and activities.
- User-friendly - Is the activity inviting? Is it easy enough to understand?
- Cost effectiveness. Maximum profit for minimum cost. Can you use an activity again and again for different purposes?
- Flexibility. This involves reading the classroom atmosphere and responding accordingly especially when discipline problems can be on the rise. In some cases, you may need an SOS kit, which requires two important ingredients from the teacher: organization and tolerance. This could result in an alternative path for hyper kids.
- Providing guided activities using the gradation model from using easy to more complex activities. In other words, the principles of creativity should be applied but within a frame. Always make sure you have a pre (prepares for the main part of the lesson),while (the lesson itself) and post (the summary) sections of the lessons.
- Catering to different types of students including different learning styles.
- Make sure your lesson plan is integrative for the subject matter you are teaching. With regard to teaching ESL, make sure you include at least two of the four skills. These skills should also complement each other. Listening and reading are receptive skills while speaking and writing are productive skills. There should one of each and the student should be constantly active. For example, a teacher can have a learner listen to a dialogue and then that learner uses his or her knowledge of speaking skills to sum up what s/he understood.
- As a teacher, you can find creative ways of how to motivate your students. For example, if a majority of your students like Michael Jackson's songs, you can use the song "Heal the World" as a lead-in to discussing about social awareness and social actions to teach issues such as global warming, poverty, natural disasters and other theme related lessons.
You may have found already that these issues vary from different learning situations. Remember, a tighter lesson also helps reduce discipline problems