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Опубликован: 18.11.2015 | Уровень: для всех | Доступ: платный
Лекция 11:

Parts and stages of a lesson


This part is all about the support that is available for you. As an EFL teacher in the 21st century you are part of a global community and you should never feel lonely!

The INTESOL course is finished but your life as a teacher is not finished. Some of you on this course are already teaching in classrooms, some of you are about to start and others of you may be doing private lessons. Whatever you are doing you must never stop looking for ways to improve your teaching and learning throughout your professional life. You do not know all there is to know about teaching, nor do the INTESOL team. Be a lifelong learner! Be committed to continuing professional development (CPD)!


The most important person for ensuring that you develop as a teacher is you yourself. Always reflect on your lessons and be prepared for change and experimentation.

Some teachers keep a teaching diary where they note things down on a regular basis. They may keep a record of how they feel about their lessons, any good ideas they had, any lessons that didn’t go well and other details. Teachers who keep diaries report that they are an excellent way of focussing your mind on what goes on in your classes and they can be organised as you wish.


They are always around, but it is surprising how often teachers in the same staffroom do not talk to each other very much!

It is very easy for a non-sharing atmosphere to develop among colleagues who are pressed for time and feeling insecure about their teaching. Staff rooms become competitive and teachers keep all their best ideas to themselves. If this atmosphere develops or has already developed in the place where you go to work, then try to change it little by little. Make a notice board where teachers can pin up their new ideas. Suggest adding a five minute ‘new idea of the week’ section to staff meetings. Individually ask colleagues for assistance. Perhaps you have just thought of a new teaching activity which looks good. It may look perfect to you, but your colleague could help you develop the idea. Explaining an idea to a colleague is very useful practice for explaining to learners - if your colleague cannot follow the activity then probably the learners won’t either! Similarly, if you have been having a problem with a few of the learners, don’t be afraid to say so to a colleague. You may find that he/she had the same problem with the same learners last year. You can brainstorm a solution together! When you have a good relationship with colleagues, ask if you can sit in on their lessons. This is a good way to make yourself aware of the varied techniques that teachers use and you will definitely pick up some new tips.

Experienced colleagues, often with positions such as Senior Teacher or Head of English can be very helpful and reassuring and are often more available when you want to ask for help as their teaching load is less. However, if your Senior Teacher always looks busy and harassed then make a formal appointment to see them! Ask them to observe your lessons informally and to give you their advice, don’t wait for formal assessments!


Two words to set the hearts of teachers quivering. But lesson observation is a very important part of development if it is handled well.

  1. Show your proposed lesson plan for your observation to other colleagues and listen to their suggestions.
  2. Do not be overly ambitious and try to reinvent the wheel. As INTESOL trainers we have seen teachers going crazy with endless flashcards that end up on the floor, activities that are incomprehensible, video clips that are too complicated and so on and the ensuing lesson is a muddle.
  3. Don’t suddenly spring new techniques on your students just because your ‘boss’ is coming in. They will not understand what you are doing and you will make them nervous too.
  4. Include a clear language teaching point in your observation so that the observer understands that you can teach language.
  5. Most of all listen to what the observer tells you. Observers are not hostile people who want to fire you; they are there to make sure that you are coping in your classroom and that the students are getting a good experience.

Not all goes smoothly in teaching. Sometimes you can feel that the students are restless or uneasy. It may be time to get them involved in feeding back or evaluating what they are doing and how they see you as a teacher.


You want to find out what your learners think of :

  1. You as a teacher
  2. The teaching styles and activities you use
  3. The course or
  4. Any lessons in particular

How many ways can you think of for doing this?


The simple two word answer here is ‘ask them’. But it is how you ask them that is interesting. Read on.

You care about whether you are doing well or badly. It is very important for our professional development that we do not sit back and presume that we are doing everything right, or alternatively, plod on, depressed and thinking everything we do is wrong! Ask the learners.


Take an activity that you might wish to change in some way. Give out a questionnaire (example shown below), after the activity/lesson and ask the learners to tick the appropriate boxes. Tell them that you do not want their names on the paper and while they are filling in the questionnaire, stay at your desk to ensure their privacy. You can also tell them why you are using these questionnaires: to develop your techniques, to help them learn better etc. Find time in the next lesson to talk to them about the results.

‘Most of you enjoyed the roleplay, but you didn’t think the competitive ‘find the information’ was very useful.’


Please fill in the questionnaire about today’s lesson/ an activity:

Number the following stages:

  • 1= very interesting/ useful
  • 5= not interesting/not useful

The brainstorming before reading the text: Guess the title

The skimming activity: 3 minutes to change your title

The scanning activity: Who can find the information first?

The careful reading: Who was where at the time of the murder?

The roleplay: Act out one of the possible versions of the murder (groups)

Any suggestions/comments?


Using the results of the questionnaire, you can locate points in the lesson which were effective and those that were not very effective from the learners’ point of view.

However you get the information and whatever it is, use it and share it.

You can also organise discussions with students about their learning. It can work well if you leave the room for 5 minutes to allow them to discuss points they want to raise and write them on the white board. You can then return and discuss them. But you must be able to accept what they say and not get angry if they give their honest opinion of your ability with flashcards or your punctuality! Feedback is usually very valuable indeed as it clears the airs of any little points that are worrying the students and usually they have nice things to say about you as well.


Seminars and conferences are where you can pick up some of the latest developments in ELT and useful ideas for teaching. It is also fun to make contact with nationally or internationally recognised people in ELT. Many ‘big names’ in teaching, including the writer of your course text book Jeremy Harmer, can be found at conferences. Your access to such events will depend on where you live and how much money you have available to travel, but most big conferences also post their proceedings on the Web these days, so you can catch up on events you missed.

The International teachers and educators group IATEFL hold a big conference each year and have groups in many countries. Their contact details appear on their website.


Books are wonderful friends, especially for those of you who do a lot of private teaching and do not have as many colleagues. Harmer gives a comprehensive list of useful titles and INTESOL has a short list too. Books are great sources of ideas, but don’t neglect the journals, newspapers and magazines that are also around. Harmer mentions one or two major publications that you might like to subscribe to. The EL Gazette is a lively newspaper format publication looking at new developments in ELT and with plenty of information on study opportunities. That brings us to the web. There are hundreds of ELT websites; some are small ones that teachers have set up their own and some are huge organisations. Obviously new ones are developing all the time. Approach web materials with care as they are not always very professional but there are wonderful ideas out there. You may already have a favourite site.


The most obvious ‘next step up’ in terms of training and qualifications is a Diploma in English Language Teaching when you have had some more experience. Such a course goes into linguistics and developments in methodology in more depth and takes a serious look at such issues as phonology and culture in ELT. The more years you have behind you, the more you bring to a course at that level. When you feel up to the challenge, you might also look at the many university run MA programmes, some of which can be done by distance.

On the other hand you may want to specialise and take a course in Teaching Young Learners. There are also courses for special qualifications, such as the Certificate in Teaching English for Specific Purposes.

So development does not end after the course. There are many options open to you and many opportunities that you can create for yourself and your colleagues.

Your final task for this course is designed to focus forwards to your future development.

Вадим Бондарь
Вадим Бондарь
Как найти и выбрать тьютора?
Ирина Суханова
Ирина Суханова
здравствуйте! я прохожу курс учитель англ. языка. я отправила тест №1, как долго его будут проверять.
Артур Гибадуллин
Артур Гибадуллин
Россия, г. Нижневартовск