By: Andriy Ruzhynskiy
Teacher Trainer (CELTA, IHCTL, SIT TESOL, local DELTA Tutor)
Timing in class is important because a Teacher needs to complete a certain framework to make a lesson effective. The most frequently used lesson shapes/frameworks are: PPP, T-T-T, Guided Discovery, Text based, Task based learning, etc., etc.
Systems lessons (vocab, grammar, functional language):
– must finish with some freer practice (= fluent use of target language)
– must have as much freer practice as possible
– freer practice must be prepared
– only the freer practice activity contains the evidence of achieving the lesson aim
Receptive skills lessons:
– must have the slot for most detailed comprehension
– this is when the lesson aim is achieved
A speaking lesson:
– must provide students with enough time for spontaneous and meaningful communication
– followed by feedback on content and language
– ideally, students should also have time for task repetition
A writing lesson:
– students are supposed to have time to write at least the first draft
– peer editing/feedback
– teaching without keeping the main lesson aim in mind is less effective
– in most cases, the main lesson aim is achieved at the end or very close to the end of the lesson, which makes time management very important
Some life hacks to save time in class are:
– Time to start the lesson ≠ time to come to class!
– Chat with students before the lesson
– Materials preparation (in a f2f course, put the materials in order on your desk; in an online course, all tabs and windows are opened and lined up before the lesson)
– during the lesson, prepare the next activity (and breakout rooms in an online lesson) while students are busy with the current activity
– prioritise activities according to the main lesson aim (which parts are worth spending time on? which parts of the lesson can be shorter?)
– find a good balance between explanations and practice. NB: students learn mainly from practice but not from listening to our explanations! Hurry up to provide practice activities: the more students practise, the more effective your lesson is ☺
– Make feedback stages as short as possible (ask ss to use the chat box (in an online lesson); use kinaesthetic feedback techniques (raise your hand if…; touch the correct answer; etc.); provide the key (not always effective!); have short feedback on content after a fluency work activity (no need to ask every student!)
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