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Lesson PlanningLesson planning is one of the most important skills for any teacher to have. While the idea of meticulously planning your lessons to the minute may seem rigid and inflexible, the value of always being consistent and prepared in class easily outweighs any negatives. For foreign language teachers, lesson planning is particularly important because of the nature of the job. Many foreign language teachers will be young and inexperienced. Many will not have any training in english or in teaching outside of their TEFL course. Lesson planning provides a level of comfort and security for the teacher by breaking down the classes into smaller, more manageable chunks through the use of preplanned activities. It also allows the teacher to more closely control the direction of the course as a whole, serving as a record of what has been covered and whether the students were able to comprehend the material. Overall, lesson plans can be broken down as serving three major purposes: as a planning aid, as a record book and as a teaching device. The most commonly viewed usage of lesson plans is as a planning aid?namely as an outline for a class or group of classes. Planning your lessons in advance gives you the advantage of preparing the material in an order that best meets the goals of the subject. This means teaching concepts that build on one another so that students are consistently using and applying knowledge that they gained earlier in the course. You can also identify areas ahead of time that you think will need additional work and supplement that material with extra lessons. An inexperienced teacher following strictly from the book will be unprepared for such difficulties even if they are able to correctly identify that their students are struggling. Using lesson planning as a record also greatly helps with your time management. Teachers who do not plan their lessons accordingly will often find themselves covering too little material by the end of the semester. Without planning it is difficult for an inexperienced teacher to see the year as a whole and the result will be a sporadic and ineffective style of teaching. Most teachers will view a lesson plan as just an aid to planning a particular class or group of classes, but its primary function is as a tool for keeping you on target as you teach. As with any subject english must be taught by first laying the foundation of basic knowledge and building on that as you progress. By thoroughly planning each lesson you ensure the material builds on itself so that students are not overwhelmed or asked to do something that they have not learned. As a teaching tool, a lesson plan serves that same purpose at a micro level, ensuring that the lesson builds on itself in a logical order with activities drawing on material covered in earlier segments. This is especially important for foreign language students because the material is so difficult and the idea of learning english can be so daunting. A proper lesson plan can alleviate many of those fears by ensuring that as you teach, the information will always be presented in an order that makes sense and prevents confusion?so that even if the students do not understand what they are supposed to be doing, they can always refer to the warm up activities and examples for aid. As we can see, lesson planning is a critical tool for the success of any teacher. As a foreign language teacher this is even more evident. Whether it be as a tool for properly structuring the course or as an instructional device, lesson planning is quite indispensable.