I passed my TEFL over a year ago and am just now starting to apply for jobs abroad. I have an interview next week, and prior to that have been asked to do some written tasks.
The problem is, I’m a bit stuck regarding the lesson plan they’ve requested. It’s for a 90 minute lesson, based around a very short article about the televising of criminal trials.
I have planned a few activities, but they are mainly reading-focused and a bit static. I’m not sure what my language focus should be for this particular article, or how to jazz up a reading lesson. Our focus on the TEFL course was getting students to speak, and lessons were usually 45-60 minutes, so this is a bit different to what i’m used to.
Obviously I don’t expect anyone to plan the lesson FOR me, but any suggestions for improvements or fresh ideas to help make it better would be gratefully received
I think the article would be a struggle for anyone below Upper Intermediate, so that’s the level I’m pitching the lesson at.
So far I plan to create interest with a picture of the criminal in the article, get Ss to speculate about who the person is and why they might’ve been in the news (pair work) and follow that up with text-based activities like skim-reading for facts to share with the group; gap fills, synonym matches, and maybe a card game with sentence matches.
After that I plan to have Ss highlight new vocabulary and work together to figure out what the words mean, before concept checking the new information, drilling pronunciation, etc.
Then they will play Agree/Disagree/Not Sure and follow up with a debate about the issues presented in the article (small groups) before reporting back to the class on what they’ve discovered about others’ opinions.
I want to end with a game that acts as a re-cap of what they’ve learned and forces them to use it- e.g. Throwing a beanbag and having to use a new word from the lesson in context.
I’m still about 10 minutes short of the full lesson, and really need a few ‘fun’ activities if possible.
So that’s it. Sorry for the long post! Need to be finished by Monday lunch time at the latest, so any help would be fantastic!
30 May, 2013 at 8:43
Total posts: 258
Reply To: Lesson planning help-urgent!
Just saw this post so I guess it’s a little late for your interview but I hope it went well. Maybe these comments will help for future lessons:
The activities you have planned sound great. Be sure though to think about what the main aim of your lesson is. Is it to develop students’ ability to understand the main idea of a text (reading for gist) or for detailed information, for example? Or is your main aim language-based (grammar or vocabulary). Having your main aim in mind from the beginning helps to focus your planning towards achieving that aim and bring cohesion to the activities that you include.
If the main aim is language-based, the reading skills work you do beforehand is still important, but won’t take up as much time in the lesson. if the main aim is skills-based (i.e. reading) then any language work you do (for example pre-teaching vocabulary) will take more of a backseat.
I think that’s the main point I would make – to keep things focused towards a main aim.
As I said, the individual activities you have chosen sound great – good variety, fun and engaging. You have some good pre-reading work with the picture of the criminal to activate the students’ knowledge and get them interested and motivated. Without this main aim in mind though, the lesson risks being a series of good activities one after the other but without any direction towards a goal.
One more thing – the activity you do with the new vocab – have you considered introducing some or all of these words before the reading activities? Think about the new vocabulary that they will need beforehand to help them understand the article and maybe do an activity with this language before your gist reading.
I agree with the points you made- the interviewer said something along the same lines, too. Luckily he allowed me the opportunity to explain how I would alter activities to gear them more towards a particular aim.
I won’t know if they want me to work for them until next month, so I guess now I just have to cross my fingers and play the waiting game!