Teach English in HongshAn Zhen - Hengyang Shi

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Lesson planning is essential for an English language teacher. It provides a lot of benefits for the teacher, for the students and for the lesson itself. As an unexperienced teacher I find lesson planning so helpful and useful. It gives me an opportunity to plan my activities and the pace of the lesson accordingly to students’ needs. It is a guide that helps me finding the right direction while teaching. If you spend more time on planning, then the probability of having a successful lesson is on a very high level. I’m not saying that you should follow it 100%, but it is necessary to know your aims and the activities that you would do with your students in order to reach these aims. Main and Subsidiary aims are important because they give you an idea of what is the purpose of the lesson. Personal aims are important too, because they give you an opportunity for improvement. As an English language teacher, I’ve learned that we all have good and bad lessons, but we need to keep doing it and work hard on our areas for improvement. For me the whole process of lesson planning is like creating a database. It helps you predict better next time as well as to prepare yourself before the actual lesson. I remember when I wrote my very first lesson. It was very simple, but it was a good starting point. Another aspect that I love about lesson planning is that it gives you an opportunity to think about the possible problems as well as about some solutions that you think could solve those problems. Time aspect is also important. If you plan well the stages- Engage, Study, Activate and most of the activities that you will include in them, you should be able to finish your lesson on time. While writing your lesson plan you can always improve your board work too. While writing my lesson plans, I always include what I will write on the board and how I will organize it. It helps me with writing the phonemes and stress on the words as well. Afterwards it is easier to have a good drilling session. Another important issue is that lesson planning is also required by Director of Studies in the schools. I remember that I was supposed to submit all my lesson plans when I was teaching Business English in a company. This helped me prepare better for my lessons and in case I was absent there was a clear idea and a document for the substitute teacher about the things and activities he/she was supposed to do with the students. They are also good for statistics and weekly meetings with supervisors. However, we cannot think that if you have a great lesson plan by default you will have a successful lesson as well. There is always something that can come up and as a teacher you should be prepared to modify your lesson plan. If students need more practise on something you should include it or you can get rid of some unnecessary parts. If you are teaching the same students for a certain period of time you will probably not have these kind of problems, but if your constantly teaching new groups of students or you are at the very beginning of the course you should be prepared to modify it and adopt it during the lesson. In conclusion English language teachers should be aware that lessons plans are probably a lot of work at home for a teacher, which is most of time unpaid, but it is so worth it, because they are providing us with good preparation prior teaching and the more you write the better you are.