Manitoba's Adult EAL Learning Network
Teacher Exchange Network

Dear EAL Professionals,

Recent watershed announcements cannot diminish the professionalism and resilience found in the EAL teaching community. As EAL teaching professionals, we are committed to providing quality language instruction and meeting the learning needs of newcomers. This is why Teacher Exchange Network exists.
 As they say, ‘April showers bring May flowers!’

Theme: Lesson planning
Tips and strategies for your professional practice

In order to assist learners in accomplishing their language goals and meeting course objectives, every EAL/ESL teacher needs a carefully designed lesson plan. Consider it your road map to help your students get there. There are many things to take into consideration when preparing your lessons .The following strategies are commonly used to design a good lesson plan:

  • Identify goals and determine the objectives. Read more
  • Research and decide on the lesson topic. Read more
  • Choose the instructional methods. Read more
  • Select supporting materials/resources and equipment needed for the lesson (technology, audio-visuals, library/community resources, guest speaker etc.)
  • Decide on the lesson flow, activities for learners. Read more
  • Consider how to begin and end the lesson
  • Think about derived conclusions from the lesson
  • Decide on evaluation and testing methods. Read more
  • Plan your time (per each part of the lesson and activity) Read more

When planning your lesson and choosing the language tasks, keep in mind the following aspects:

  • Students’ current needs and interests
  • Students’ short and long-term goals
  • Students’ experience, skills and knowledge
  • Students’ learning styles
  • Class/group proficiency level
  • Lesson/course objectives

With so many lesson plans available online, there is still no substitute for your own lesson plan that is custom-made for your learners’ specific needs, skills and interests. Writing a lesson plan is a creative process and does not need to be difficult. If you are just beginning your teaching career, it might take some time before you find yourself (and your supervisor/Lead teacher) satisfied with your lesson plans and figure out the way to make your lessons successful. The way to the top of this mountain lies between self-reflection and observation. Observe and be observed by more experienced colleagues and evaluate yourself (what worked, what did not and why) after each class. It will help you make changes and improvements where necessary and avoid making the same mistakes again.

Resources for your classroom

Special thanks to Ruth Klippenstein (WTC) and her instructors Jennifer Rausch and Shanne Szabados for sharing their lesson plans with T.E.N.!

Our next Newsletter will be dedicated to giving feedback and reflective teaching.


Be creative!
See you on TEN!

Further readings:

The Essentials of Language Teaching. Be Prepared: Survival Tips for New Teachers

Teaching approaches: task-based learning

Madeline Hunter's ITIP model for direct instruction

Instructional Design. Conditions of Learning
Article on Robert Gagne’s theory of different levels of learning

Constructivist Learning Design
Explanation of a constructivist approach to ‘designing for learning‘

Free Self Study TEFL Course
 Sequence of online units and audio podcasts to help you understand what ESL/EAL teaching is all about.

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Funding provided by the Manitoba Immigrant Integration Program.