Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Methodology Part Two: Important Information - Chapter One: Planning a lesson

Why is Lesson Planning Important?

  1. It helps teachers to prepare the lesson and to decide exactly what they will do and how they will do it.
  2. It helps the teacher to anticipate problems and think of p possible solutions beforehand.
  3. It gives students confidence in the teacher. 
  4. It helps teachers to organise their time and divide it among the stages of the lesson.
  5. It helps teachers to think about and prepare suitable audiovisual materials to use during their teaching.
  6. It helps them to evaluate their teaching and improve it after teaching the lesson.
  7. It can be used as a basis for planning the following year.

What are the critical questions in lesson planning?

  1. Objectives. What do I want my students to know or be able to do at the end of this particular lesson?
  2. Teaching Activities. How am I going to help students achieve these objectives?
  3. Teaching Aids. What teaching aids am I going to use to help students understand the meaning of the new language and achieve the above objectives?
  4. Assessment. How will I know that my students have achieved the objectives?
  5. Time. How am I going to organize my time? How am I going to divide the 45 minutes among the three stages of the lesson? 

What is the purpose of each of the three phases of a lesson plan?

  1. Presentation: It serves to provide input for active understanding and motivates children to learn. 
    • Students watch and listen as the teacher explains the new skill or content. 
    • This includes activities that activate our pupil's current or previous knowledge of the content. 
  2. Guided Practice: Teachers provide a task or activity that requires children to use the new language or skill under the teacher's guidance.
  3. Independent Practice: The children speak, write or interact with the new language but with less teacher guidance.
  4. SummaryIt helps children to consolidate the learning and to self-assess their achievement. 
What are the components of a lesson plan for language learning?
  1. Content/ Language ObjectiveWhat do students know at the end of the lesson? Is the behavioral objective measurable?
  2. Study Skill Objective: What study skill will I demonstrate to help my students learn better? Is my objective measurable? 
  3. Activate Prior KnowledgeHow will I help students to focus on their knowledge of today's lesson?
  4. Vocabulary: What vocabulary will the students be using? How will they use the vocabulary? 
  5. Language/Content InputHow will the new information be conveyed to students? How can I support the input with context?
  6. Guided Practice: How will I help my students practice the new information? How will I check their understanding of the new information?
  7. Independent Practice: What homework shall I have my students complete? Does it reflect the variety in my students' learning styles?
  8. Summary: How can I help my students to tell or write what they have learned today?
  9. Assessment: How will I know what each of my students has learned in this lesson?
What are the ways of creating variety in the language lesson?

  1. Tempo: Activities may be brisk and fast-moving (e.g. guessing games) or slow and reflective (e.g. reading literature and responding in writing).
  2. Organization: The learners may work on their own as individuals, pairs, groups, or a class.
  3. Mode and Skill: The learners are asked to produce (speak, write) or receive (listen, read).
  4. Difficulty: Activities may be easy or difficult.
  5. Topic: The language teaching point and the non-linguistic topic change from one activity to another.
  6. Mood: Activities vary also in mood (light vs. profound; happy vs. sad; tense vs. relaxed.)
  7. Stir-Settle: Some activities excite learners (discussions); others have the effect of calming them down (dictations).
  8. Active-passive: Learners may be encouraged in their own initiative or do as they are told.

Key Terminology
  • Objective: States what you want the students to know or be able to do at the end of the lesson.
  • Metacognitive Strategies: General learning strategies which enable children to plan, monitor and self- assess their own learning. 
  • Cognitive Strategies: Task-specific strategies closely linked to individual language learning applications. For example, classification and grouping are appropriate for vocabulary learning.
  • Social/Affective Strategies: They enable children to use the new language to question and cooperate with their classmates.
  • Elaboration of Prior Knowledge: A cognitive strategy whereby children relate their background knowledge to the new learning, perhaps making personal associations and analogies.
  • Imagery: A cognitive strategy whereby children draw or imagine pictures in order to learn new information.
  • Guided Practice: A part of the language lesson when children are assisted in their new learning through the guidance and/or modeling of the teacher.
  • Independent Practice: A part of the language lesson when children practice the new learning independently of the teacher while completing a homework assignment or working with a classmate.
  • Summary:  The section of the language lesson when students consolidate their new learning and self-assess what they have achieved.
  • Assessment: A method of checking the understanding of the children to determine if the lesson's objectives have been achieved.
  • One Question Quiz: A summarizing activity. The teacher asks one question and the children write the answer on paper.
  • Ticket to Leave: A summarizing activity. The children answer a question orally or in writing. They must give the answer to the teacher before they can leave the class.
  • Tutor (verb): To help another classmate learn the language, children tutor or teach each other vocabulary and language forms.