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21.11.2012

Express Publishing (ELT) Teachers' Corner - "Lesson management"

Lesson management

You may be using a Teachers’ book that provides you with detailed lesson plans including procedures and timings for each stage. This can be a great help, but classes are unpredictable, a particular lesson that works well with one class may be a bit of a disaster with another, and you may wish to select, adapt and add components to a lesson.

Here are some things I’ve found useful to remember in trying to provide effective learning experiences in lessons.

  1. Know what your objective is for each lesson – what you want the students to have done and learned by the end of the lesson.
  2. Know your students and teach them, not the book.
  3. Look through the materials you’re going to use and write brief notes of headings to remind yourself of what you want to, in which order and what reserve task you have in mind if you find yourself with extra time or an activity needs to be changed.
  4. Vary activities, but ensure they fit together to construct a smooth, coherent sequence. Activities may be fast or slow, easy or difficult, fun or serious. Students may work alone, in pairs or groups, or in a whole class interaction with the teacher. They may speak, read, listen or write.
  5. Ensure you’ve got their attention before you start the lesson and make sure they know and follow any routines you’ve given (such as always having books and writing materials on their desks, bags off the desks and are seated appropriately).
  6. When doing group work, give instructions and ensure these are understood before dividing into groups. You might demonstrate the task with some students as purely verbal instructions may not be clearly comprehended.
  7. Tell the students how long activities should last and keep an eye on the clock yourself. You don’t want to run out of time for key tasks at the end.
  8. Don’t wait till the bell rings to give homework. Students will start packing up and not be attentive. Give any homework earlier, ensure they’ve written it down and remind them at the end.
  9. With large classes, get students to help you distribute any handouts you’ve prepared.
  10. Ensure all students are engaged throughout the lesson. This doesn’t mean they are all speaking English all the time. Some learners may be quiet, but passively taking in a lot.
  11. Share experiences with colleagues – drop in on each other’s lessons and see how they manage lessons.
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