On October 23rd, 2014, we updated our
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To encourage teachers to think of long-term
aims in their teaching, and to plan their
lessons as part of a continuing course.
To show the importance of using a variety
of different activities and techniques to
motivate students and help them learn.
Review techniques that were introduced in
The easiest way to teach is to plan one day at a time,
to follow the teacher’s notes closely, and to use just a
few techniques again and again in every lesson. This
approach to teaching has two drawbacks:
1) it will produce lessons which are well-prepared
and run smoothly, but which lack variety. As a
result, both the teacher and the students are likely to
2) different students learn in different ways; some
students learn best by listening, some by repetition,
some by actively speaking, some by learning
grammar, and so on.
If the teacher always uses the same
techniques, some students may not have the
chance to learn in the way that suits them.
in order to keep students interested in
learning English it is important to include a
variety of activities and techniques in the
lesson, and to vary lessons so that there’s
something different every day. To do this
successfully, teachers need to plan not just
the next day’s lesson, but think of their
teaching over a longer period.
It is not enough to introduce a range of
different activities into lessons just for the sake
of variety. The teacher needs to have a clear
What stage of the lesson different activities are
Which skills different activities develop;
What the learning value of different activities
is ( what and how do students learn from it? Is
it worth doing often or only occasionally?
What level different activities are suitable for.
Presentation Teacher presents new vocabulary and
Students begin to use the language in a
Students use language more freely, combining
new language with what they already know.
Teacher reviews language learnt in previous
Students read a text, and answer questions or
do a ‘task’ (e.g. completing a table).
Students listen to the teacher or cassette, and
answer questions or do a task.
Now talk about the four skills: speaking, listening,
reading and writing. Make these points:
At each stage of the lesson, activities usually focus
on one skill more than the others. for example: in
controlled practice the focus is either on speaking
or on writing; during a reading activity, the main
focus is on reading.
But there are opportunities to develop all skills at
any stage of lesson. for example:
in a reading activity, students can discuss the topic
before reading the text, they can listen to the
teacher’s questions, they can write answers or do
a gap filling exercise after reading the text.
When reviewing language from an earlier
lesson, the teacher can ask questions, get
students to ask questions and make
sentences, ask students to write on the
board, and so on.
To develop all the skills successfully, we
need to include a variety of activities at each
stage of the lesson.
When planning lessons, it is not enough just
to plan what activities to include. We must
also plan how to organize these activities- in
other words, what teaching techniques to
use. The same activity can be done in quite
different ways and with different results,
according to what techniques the teacher
1. Introduces the text with a short Reads out a vocabulary list from th
discussion of the topic.
book. Students repeat in chorus
2. Gives a guiding question.
Reads the text. Students listen
while reading, then answer the
3.Presents new words, using
examples in English.
Reads the text aloud sentence by
sentence. Students repeat.
4. Asks a series of questions on
the text. Students give short
5.Ask a few personal questions
based on the text.
Ask questions from the book, and
give the answers.
Students read the text aloud round
Asks the same questions again.
Students answer round the class.
To try bring out these points:
Both teachers present new vocabulary, read
a text, and ask questions based on it, but in
quite different ways.
Teacher A presents vocabulary in context,
makes sure students understand the text,
and gets students to talk about themselves.
Teacher B simply gets to learn the lesson by
Teacher A’s students would have practice in
guessing the meanings of words, reading in
order to understand, listening to words used
in context, listening and responding to
questions, and talking about themselves in
Teacher B’s students would learn a few set
sentences by heart, and know the set answers
to a few questions- they would not develop
any language learning skills from the lesson.
( except the rather useless skill of reading
There many different types of interaction
are possible in the class:
there are various ways in which the
teacher can talk to students, students to
the teacher, and students to each other.
What kind of interaction would be
suitable for each activity below?
Drills, question, answer practice,
answering questions on a text, role play,
guessing games, correcting written
Drills: a mixture of teacher to class (chorus
drilling), and teacher to individual students.
Question/ answer practice: teacher to
student, then student to student , the
Answering questions on a text: Teacher
asking students in turn, or students working
together in pairs and teacher going through
Role play:two students in front of the class,
or students working in pairs.
Guessing games: students asking the teacher
questions, or asking one student at the front,
or students working in pairs.
Correcting written exercises: teacher with the
whole class, or students working in pairs.
(correcting each other’s work).