Teach English in Renminlu Jiedao - Anqing Shi

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Why do teachers plan lessonsStudents who are learning english as a foreign language at any level need to have access to a learning environment which is vibrant, purposeful, challenging and supportive. Effective learning environments can be purposefully planned and it is the role of the teacher to provide such an environment in order for the students to develop into confident and successful leaners. Being well prepared, well- resourced and well informed allows the teachers to develop more meaningful, relevant activities. Good planning is key to making the experience of learning a new language exciting, varied, effective and progressive. It enables the teacher to build up knowledge about how individuals learn and make progress and also provides a chance for the teacher to consider how to sustain a successful learning environment. However there is another school of thought where some theorists suggest that it creates too much of a rigid structure and adhering to such a planned way of learning could stifle the creativity and flexibility of the teacher and students alike. In my view planning can be a great aid to the lesson where it provides a structure or framework in which flexibility and creativity can be worked around. Adapting your lesson plans in the classroom comes with experience and exposure to certain situations. When you to get to know your students you are aware of their likes/dislikes/interests and ideas on certain topics and the lesson can be adapted to suit. The reasons why teachers plan their lessons and the advantages of planning are as follows: For the teacher: ? Ensures that the lessons have a logical structure and gives your teaching a framework ? It is a working document and records what you have taught and what syllabus topics have been covered. ? It can be used for support staff or for colleagues to cover. ? To differentiate learning ? So the teacher is aware of expected timings ? Ensures that you hit the requirements in terms of course content ? Accountability for yourself as teacher and to the school ? Plan what resources could aid learning and will be appropriate to the lesson ? For your own professional development as a teacher ? Plan your key questions and target language objectives or aims ? Evaluate and monitor the progress of the students For the Student: ? Helps build respect as they realize that the teacher cares for their learning ? When they attend a structured lesson the information has been specially designed so they can assimilate the new knowledge and builds gradually on their previous learning. ? They see the teacher as a good role model and hopefully will work to imitate those characteristics of being well organized. How does the teacher plan? Written plans provide a basis for mapping out learning intentions, goals, future experiences, activities and achievements as well as being a record of student?s experiences, interests and progress. They are a useful way of recording significant information so that it can be shared with others and used for future reference. To be effective and useful a plan needs to be clear, concise and quick to complete and should contain the following: ? Clear learning intentions informed by prior learning The teacher needs to cover all the learning intentions of the particular level and address skills such as reading, writing, speaking, listening, vocabulary and pronunciation. ? A brief description of the range of experiences and activities- engage study and activate. ? How experiences could be adapted for different learners. For example perhaps you may have a student in the class who struggles with written words; you could make provision for the students who are more visual by adding picture prompts to written words or sentences. ? The role of the teacher. The teacher can plan how he/she may demonstrate a particular activity or use mime/gesture to aid understanding. The teacher can plan how he/she can correct during the lesson by board work, asking questions or by prompting peer discussions/correction ? The resources or equipment needed. Providing resources which inspire students to learn and encourage them to initiate discussion and extend their own learning. Materials such as visual prompts, flashcards can act as prompts or guidelines and can help introduce an activity or role-play. Using authentic materials can give students access to ?real language? situations. ? How the students might be organized and details of groupings ? Specific questions or vocabulary which might be covered or could aid in learning. If teachers can plan a stimulating environment which addresses the needs and interests of the learners then the development of language learning will be enhanced. As an educator I have found that in order for students to construct knowledge and develop as learners they need to have time and space to discover for themselves and practice skills in authentic situations. Providing students to hands-on activities and providing an environment which supports risk-taking and invites a sharing of ideas creates an opportunity for construction of knowledge to occur. Equally important is having the opportunity to study language and skills which are meaningful and relevant to their lives and interests. Developing and planning a curriculum around students? interests fosters intrinsic motivation and stimulates the passion to learn. When the students have ownership in the curriculum and content they are motivated to work hard and master the skills necessary to reach their goals.