Teach English in Nicheng Zhen - Shanghai Shi

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Lesson PlanningIn order to examine why planning lessons is important it is necessary to consider what the overall goals of the english course that is being taught are. The most important ones would be to be able to communicate clearly and unambiguously using spoken and written english and within this it would include the correct use of grammar, to improve vocabulary and use the correct pronunciation amongst others. The reason that people choose to study english as a second language are many and would include, acceptance into an english speaking university, better job prospects, moving to an english speaking country, the list goes on. In order for a student who may not have had any exposure to english to achieve a level that would allow any of the above list of reasons to be accomplished then there has to be a well structured and above all well planned english course to study within. Planning therefore plays a pivotal role in providing a successful english course. Every aspect of a lesson needs to be considered when planning a series of individual lessons in order that they seamlessly introduce new aspects of the language to the student and that the said student sees the progression of his or her achievements. There are a number of factors to consider in planning lessons in order to produce a course that is captivating, motivating and not predictable. One of the most important introductions into the way that english as a second language can be taught is through the use of ESA-planned lessons. ESA, standing for Engage, Study and Activate was introduced by Jeremy Harmer in the late 1990s and now stands as the most widely used platform for the planning and structuring of lessons for teaching english (and could well be applied to other subject areas). Each of the components; Engage, where at the beginning of the class the students can be ?warmed up? through some simple captivating discussion or other tasks, the Study component or phase, where the students are provided with a learning period and finally the Activate stage where the students are encouraged to use what they have learnt in a fun and interesting way, can be specifically tailored to the content of that lesson. The ultimate sequence of the ESA can be mixed and is not a static entity repeated over and over. By combining multiple study and activate phases the plan can be used to reinforce areas that might be weak in the students and to maximize areas such as student talk time ? something acutely important to the learning of english. The ESA format of teaching therefore provides a modular, flexible backbone onto which can be attached many and varied individual ?units?. The planning of such lessons can be simplified and produced as a flow-diagram for the lesson allowing a clear and recorded document that can be used as record for what has been taught as well as fine-tuned for future classes. Another important aspect of a well thought out lesson plan is that it can provide a complete procedure for someone else to teach. It is quite likely that during anyone?s career there will be days of sickness or events cropping up that man the teacher is unable to teach the class. Having a fully documented lesson plan provides the very document that a stand-in teacher can follow and thus provide exactly what have been taught originally. One of the other important aspects of planning a lesson is to get feedback as to its success during and after the lesson. By observing how well the lesson actually proceeds and the feedback from the students through the ability to answer questions that are put to them it is then possible to further plan lessons or to alter the plans that have already been done. Planning is therefore not a fixed entity but very much a dynamic system by which lessons are organized.