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Lesson PlanningAfter almost completing my 140 hour TEFL Course I have chosen to write about ?lesson planning? as it has been one of the most interesting and helpful sections of this course for me. The key to being an effective teacher is having a lesson plan. This entails what will happen in the classroom each day. It also entails what materials you will need for each class and this is very important from a professional point of view. The teacher should always be well prepared. It is also a reference for the teacher as to what has been done and what still has to be done. You should include the level of the students and the number of students. It should also include the date and time of the class and if possible the room number. It is also a guide for a stand in teacher as to what to do with the class should you be sick. A lesson plan involves setting realistic goals, deciding how to incorporate course books and other required materials as well as developing activities that will promote learning into the lesson. In order to set lesson goals you will need to identify a topic for the lesson, you will need to identify learner objectives, anticipated problems for the learners as well as set personal aims for yourself. This will help you to develop your goals. The topic may be taken from your workbook or it may be a topic chosen according to the needs of your students. It is good to work with a balance between the workbook and authentic materials. Once you have your topic you can then identify specific content such as vocabulary and grammar points to be introduced or reviewed. You can then create communication tasks to be completed by the students. These can be worksheets, questionnaires, short articles, gap fills etc. A lesson should include a variety of activities that combine different types of language input and output. Students at all levels benefit from such variety. An effective TEFL lesson has at least three phases: Engage phase Study phase Activate phase The engage phase is used to get the students interested and involved in the lesson. If the students are involved and interested then they will find the lesson stimulating and will become interactive. In order to achieve this we can use games, music or pictures etc. Ideally the engage phase will introduce the students to the target vocabulary to be introduced in the lesson. The study phase is used to focus on the language or topic and how it is formed. The teacher may in this section present the grammar form of the day?s topic. This is preferably done in a visual manner so as to reduce teacher talk time and to increase student talk time or student to student talk time. In order to achieve this we use board work as well as activities such as worksheets, drills, group work, pair work, text analysis etc. The activate phase of the lesson is used to get the students to practice what they have learnt in the lesson. This is the time where the students freely use the language they have learnt. In the activate phase there is no teacher talk time. In order to get the students to interact in this part of the lesson we have activities such as role plays, discussions, surveys etc. Normally you should plan that your lesson saves most of the time allocated for this phase of the lesson. Bear in mind that at the end of the study and activate phase you should allow some time for correction and clarification. Try to allow students to correct themselves or other students to do the correcting. Only if really necessary should the teacher then do the correction. During the lesson the teacher needs to monitor the students. This can be done by walking in-between the students, avoid doing any correction, take notes if necessary to clarify later. After the lesson you should evaluate your lesson from the students point of view and make notes for improvement.