Lesson planning-revision&consolidation

Lecturer in English Language, Linguistics, TESOL and Teacher Training, University of Westminster London um University of Westminster
24. Oct 2010

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Lesson planning-revision&consolidation

  1. 1 Lesson Planning Revision and consolidation – 1LLT600 Mark Krzanowski
  2. 2 Organisation of the Lecture • Introduction • Interactive Discussion of Questions from Pre-Lecture Task • Break • Questions from Trainee Teachers • Review of specialist literature on lesson planning • Conclusions • Confirmation of date and time of next session
  3. 3 1. What are the most important functions of a lesson plan? • To logically plan the sequence of activities so that learners are meaningfully engaged in learning and teaching • To determine the suitability of what needs to be delivered to learners and make informed choices about: the topic, structures, skills, vocabulary and phonology to be taught, mats to be used and approaches, methods and techniques to be applied • To have a tangible point of reference while delivering a lesson • To reflect on its execution after a lesson, and if necessary amend it is ever used again • If produced by an experienced teacher, to act a model for benchmarking for a „starting‟ teacher
  4. 4 2. What advice about lesson planning would normally be given to a teacher who has just started teaching? • Write up a detailed verbatim (i.e. word-for-word) script • WHY? Initial teaching requires meticulous preparation and practice. A written blow-by-blow scenario aids smooth execution and is an excellent aide memoire should something go wrong in the process of the execution of the lesson • If possible, ask for the initial short sequences that you teach to be videoed, and ask for your teacher trainer to point to your specific „imperfections‟ so that you are able to rectify certain elements in your future teaching practice.
  5. 5 3a. How do you define aims and objectives for different types of classes, e.g. those teaching structure and those dealing with skills? Give some examples. Examples of formulation of lesson aims for lessons dealing with STRUCTURE: (1) To introduce the Present Perfect tense and provide learners with practice in its use or (2) To revise the use of Present Simple and Present Perfect Tenses in context Or: (3) Learning Aim: to be able to use, when prompted, „Shall I + infinitive‟ when offering help Teaching Aim: to present and give controlled practice with appropriate uses of „Shall I + infinitive‟ in contexts expressing offering assistance.
  6. 6 3b. How do you define aims and objectives for different types of classes, e.g. those teaching structure and those dealing with SKILLS? Give some examples. Main aims of the lesson („Body Language‟) to give students practice in the listening skills of: prediction of content  „T/F‟ listening to verify hypothetical guesses  intensive listening for factual information and note-taking to improve students‟ speaking skills by enabling them to communicate about the main topic in fluency-oriented activities  to give SS guided/controlled practice in converting informal written passages in English into more academic ones Sub-aims of the lesson to give SS practice in recognising what is relevant/redundant in listening  to consolidate/improve group cohesion through pair/group work  to continue raising SS‟s awareness of the importance of the „high‟ academic register  to increase SS‟s awareness of cross cultural issues  to continue teaching SS relevant academic skills (e.g. proof-reading or editing skills) by setting relevant homework
  7. 7 3b: Objectives By the end of the session the students will have: •improved their listening skills / made some further progress in listening comprehension •received more practice in speaking about the topic in question •gained a better understanding of how to converted informal passages into more formal and academic texts •been exposed to more pair-work and group work activities to exchange of information and enhance communicative language practice • acquired another insight into what constitutes a formal academic register in writing •reflected on the cultural issues linked to body language / extralinguistic communication • received more practice in proof-reading and editing skills in their prospective homework task.
  8. 8 4. How do you allocate time slots to different parts of the lesson before a lesson? Imagine that you have to teach a classic P-P-P (60-minute) lesson. What proportion of time would you give to each „P‟ – why? 60-minute P-P-P: Circa 20 mins for presentation • Circa 20 mins for Practice • Circa 20 mins for Free® Production Timings are not ‘cast in stone’, but this proportion is recommended for best synergies, and best effects. Teaching a three-hour block It is advisable to frontload creative elements of a lesson or productive skills to the 1st part when learners feel „fresher‟ A short break seems absolutely necessary (15 mins) Teaching an integrated-skills lesson (2 hours) -It is up to a teacher to decide on a meaningful sequence of activities and the amount of time required 5. S-T-T: T-T-T: ideally 80% - 20%
  9. 9 6. Think how you could show diagrammatically the interdependence of all relevant elements of a lesson for its practical execution – try to produce a grid or a table which contains these key elements, and how you would fill each „box‟ in. Timing Procedure Activity Interaction Exact duration Series of steps in chronological order e.g. information gap or jigsaw reading Describing specific classroom configuration
  10. 10 7. Lesson plans – individual sub-headings • Class profile: what information needs to be provided by the trainee to the teacher trainer or a college inspector? - age of learners; male-female ratio; level of literacy; interests; levels of maturity; classroom dynamics to date; personality clashes; willingness to engage in pair- or group-work; preferred learning and teaching styles; wherever possible, individual learning profiles (ILPs); special needs; ethnic composition; • Aims & Sub-aims • Objectives • Assumptions At the pre-planning stage of my lesson, I am making the following assumptions: a) There will be at least 10 students attending the class today so pair-work and group-work activities are justified b) The learners are not familiar with the vocabulary that I am going to pre- teach and drill in the lesson today c) All the students have done their homework so I can spend the first 5 minutes checking it with them.
  11. 11 7. Lesson plans – individual sub-headings (continued) • Treatment of Phonology How much space would you give to Phonology in a lesson, and also in your lesson plan? Justify your answer. • (New) Lexis to be taught How many items of new or important vocabulary would we normally bring into a single lesson? When planning a lesson, at which stage of the lesson would you deal with pre-selected vocabulary and incidental vocabulary?
  12. 12 9. Think of useful pedagogical strategies that you can use when in the lesson something does not go according to plan – what do you do? Give some examples. • Thinking on one‟s feet • „Extemporisation‟ of a successful solution or face-saving strategy • If lesson does not go to plan because of digression or deviation which is beneficial to class / lecture: tutor may exceptionally „go with the flow‟ (not in Teaching Practice though); such „departures from plan‟ may at times be desirable or welcome • Ability to foresee potential problems & „nip them in the bud‟ should they arise • „Hope for the best, prepare for the worst‟ • Reflection on the problem properly after the lesson & talking to colleagues you trust so that you are not “caught unawares” again next time • Preparation of fallback materials or emergency activities for a „rainy day‟
  13. 13 10. a, b & c • Time management is an integral part of lesson planning and lesson preparation. • An assessor will expect you to find ways or either (a) executing your lesson almost to the last minute so that the planned 60 minutes = executed 60 minutes or (b) cutting it skilfully to make sure that the 60 minutes is when the lesson ends, with the least possible damage done to the content of the lesson (sometimes a whole activity may need to be sacrificed). • A trainee needs to cover himself/herself re this in their lesson plan (the section which deals with time management).
  14. 14 11. There are normally at least 4 patterns of classroom interaction. Can you think what they are? What is crucial for to having a successful lesson when it comes to deciding on a pattern of interaction in lesson planning? •T-SS & SS-T •SS-SS •T-S & S-T •Silence •Skilful sequencing of various patterns of classroom interaction – key to success •T‟s ability to vary patterns of interaction from class to class for better synergies and better classroom dynamics
  15. 15 12. In some classes you may have students asking questions (this may potentially be time-consuming). How do you deal with such situations if you know that this may affect your lesson plan? Students‟ questions are evidence of involvement / engagement, and always need to be addressed. Time permitting, this can and should be done in a lesson so that learners can see that the teacher attends to their needs. Students‟ questions are „precious‟ and may often take precedence over certain elements of a lesson plan that might be skipped if necessary. Trainee teachers need to be careful about this and opt for such scenarios once they have gained more experience. 13. Give some examples of „over-planning‟ and ‟under-planning‟. What are the practical solutions to reach an appropriate balance? •Asking experienced colleague or assessor for observation & guidance •Videoing oneself, watching the tape/DVD is diagnosing where the problem is •Watching other teachers in action to see how they do it
  16. 16 14. Are you a good planner or bad planner? Or are you somewhere in the middle? How does it impact on your teaching ability? -varies from one individual to another 15. What do we mean by a „reserve‟ activity? - additional activity to be used an extension or replacement activity as and when required 16. Why is planning lessons meticulously and comprehensively, on a regular basis, extremely important for a beginning teacher of English (and any teacher/lecturer, anyway)? - Touches of behaviourism: lesson planning can be compared to habit formation. It can be compared to learning to drive or to swim – once properly learnt, the skill is there to stay. Planning gives a sense of direction to teacher, his/her fellow colleagues (if classes are co-taught) and to students. Good lesson planning enhances and brings out the best in teaching.
  17. 17 17. Lesson planning is in a direct relationship with schemes of work and records of work, and a syllabus design – can you say why? There appears to be some incremental progression in one’s mastering teaching skills. An ability to design a good lesson plan feeds positively into acquiring sound skills of designing schemes of work, and an appropriate syllabus. Also, there is almost constant cross-referencing between lesson plans, records of work and syllabi (even if one’s lesson plans gradually evolve to become merely ‘skeletal ones’ or ‘mental’ ones). 18. Lesson plans, like any other sub-area of ELT, have their own sub- set of phrases, expressions, collocations, jargon/terminology that ELT teachers use. Try to brainstorm some of these and see if you use the concepts actively already now in your studies and / or your teaching. •elicitation; teaching aids; choral drill; pre-teaching lexis; reformulation; group cohesion; spiky profile; back-chain drill; receptive skills; productive skills; review activity; high frequency items; modal verbs; auxiliary verbs; relationship between tense and time in English; demo- ing; lead-in; seating arrangements (e.g. horse-shoe); realia;
  18. 18 19. Review of Specialist Literature on Lesson Planning 1. Penny Urr “A Course in Language Teaching” I. Ways of Varying a Lesson (p. 217) • Tempo • Organisation • Model and skill • Difficulty • Topic • Mood • Stir-settle • Active- passive II. Guidelines for ordering components of a lesson 1. Put the harder tasks earlier 2. Have quieter activities before lively ones 3. Think about transitions 4. Pull the class together at the beginning and the end 5. End on a positive note
  19. 19 19. Review of Specialist Literature on Lesson Planning 2. Marianne Celce-Murcia (Ed), “Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language” Basic Principles of Lesson Planning (p. 406) 1. A good lesson has a sense of coherence and flow (on a macro- and micro-level) 2. A good lesson exhibits variety (again at macro- and micro- levels) 3. A good lesson is flexible “Even failure can be a valuable lesson for both the novice and experienced teacher”
  20. 20 19. Review of Specialist Literature on Lesson Planning 3. Martin Parrott “Tasks for Language Teachers” [lesson planning] „Personal experience‟ (p. 127‟) “More time may be devoted to planning: -When the teacher feels unsure of himself -When using unfamiliar materials -With very demanding classes. For some teachers there is a kind of evolutionary cycle whereby they plan in very great detail to begin with, but then plan less and less until something „happens‟ (for example, a criticism might be made that the teacher is lazy) […] Planning ensures that there is some system and balance in the students‟ learning […] Although a teacher may have planned a lesson in great detail, he also needs to be sensitive to demands which arise in the lesson”
  21. 21 19. Review of Specialist Literature on Lesson Planning 4. Jeremy Harmer “How to Teach English” What Qs do we need to ask for each activity we intend to use in a lesson (p. 123): •Who exactly are the students for this activity? •Why do you want to do it? •What will it achieve? •How long will it take? •What might go wrong? •What will be needed? •How does it work? •How will it fit with what comes in before and after it?
  22. 22 19. Review of Specialist Literature on Lesson Planning 5. Jeremy Harmer “The Practice of English Language Teaching” Using lesson plans (p. 318) • Action and reaction (response of SS & T‟s decision: to continue or modify the lesson plan) • Reasons for modifying a lesson plan: • (a) magic moments (recognition & sustainability) • (b) sensible diversion (unexpected announcement & acceptance that it needs to be accommodated in lesson) • (c) unforeseen problems (boredom, time management, level of difficulty) • “A sensitive, insightful and conscientious teacher needs to take this on board when planning a lesson or a series of lessons” (MK)
  23. 23 Conclusions • Lesson planning is an integral part of a teaching repertoire of a new teacher of English and needs to be given sufficient prominence in teacher training courses. Trainee teachers are able to master the skill gradually as if in a behaviouristic-like „habit- formation‟ manner. Lesson planning, like anything else in ELT, is not „cast in stone‟, and it is not a science. It is an art, and may well be executed differently by various teachers. Good lesson planning leads naturally in due course to planning schemes of work, course syllabi and subject curricula. ELT teachers continue to practise the skills not only on certificate, but also diploma courses. MK