Skills for teachers

I have a report to hand in with the following topic:‘Planning lessons’.
Can you give me some ideas ,some references?
Thank you!

Planning and Preparation

Long- and Short-Term Goals
Long-term goals are what the children should learn over a long period of time, e.g. a semester, a school year, or longer. Long-term goals are usually broad in range. For example, “Children should be able to read and understand words describing objects”.
Short-term goals are what the children should learn over a short period of time, e.g. a class, a week, or a coursebook unit. These goals are more specific. An example is, “By the end of this unit, children should be able to read and understand the colours red, pink, yellow, blue and green.” The school where you are working or the book you are using may have already planned out these goals, but sometimes you will have to set them yourself.
To design short-term goals for your class, the first step is to ask yourself, “What do I want the children to learn?” Once you answer this, see if your short-term goal contributes to the achievement of the long-term goals set for the class. If it does, you can start planning activities to achieve this goal.
Remember to set goals that the children can achieve. Make sure they understand what the goals are, so they know what they are aiming for. You may need to support some children in activities, and challenge others by extending the goal if they finish and activity quickly. Give feedback on their performance to encourage them and give them guidance. Don’t forget to ask them what they thought of the activity as well. For example, you can ask, “Was that easy for you?” or “Was that interesting?”
Materials and Planning
The coursebook that you are using is a valuable resource. It can provide language, activities and a framework for lessons. It can also save you time. However, there are times when the coursebook doesn’t suit the needs of your students. You may wish to add activities, or change those in the book to help your students improve on their weaker areas or to keep them interested. For example, if your class are weak in listening, you may want to add extra listening practice. If they already know the basic colours, you may want to add some extra colours to the lesson to make it interesting. You should adapt or omit activities to suit the learning needs of the class.
When you are planning a class, you should think about what your students have already learned and how your lesson will build on this. Think about the language aims for the class; what do you want them to learn or understand by the end of the lesson? You should also think about non-linguistic aims. For example, a secondary goal might be: “To give students practice working in pairs”, or “To teach the students about Halloween”.
Once you know what your goals are, you can have a look at the activities in the book. Think about whether they are suitable in terms of level, interest, culture, etc. Adapt or omit activities as necessary. You should also think about how you will ask the children to work on each activity, for example, which should be done in pairs and which individually? In addition, think about what aids or resources you can bring in to help them achieve the aim, e.g. pictures or objects.
After the lesson is done, you should think about how well each activity worked and whether the aims of the lesson were achieved. Was the lesson enjoyable? Was there enough variety? You should also consider whether you need to review or recycle any of the language in the next lesson.
Presentation, Practice and Production
There are three main stages in any lesson: Presentation, Practice, and Production. A lesson which includes all these stages can help children learn more efficiently.
The presentation stage involves explaining the aims of the lesson so that children know what they will learn and why. It is also during this stage that the teacher explains the new language, including both its meaning and form, and how to say or write it correctly. A good presentation will be understandable, interesting and in a context the children can understand, such as a song, game or story.
The goal of the practice stage is to help the children use the new language you have just explained to them. The teacher can ask the children to produce sentences or answer questions that demonstrate they understand how to use the language correctly. In a good practice stage, language will also be in a context which children understand. It is at this stage that error correction is most important.
The final stage is the production stage. This stage can help motivate children to communicate meaning with the new language. Children should have the opportunity during this stage to experiment with the language, for example they can use the names of animals to make a story. You do not need to correct too much during this stage, but you can observe the children and give feedback at the end of the stage.
Not all lessons need all three stages. This is simply one way to help children learn new language in an enjoyable and effective way. This model may not be useful in some lessons, for example those lessons in which children are practising language they already know.
Variety in Lessons
Activities can be divided into two broad categories: stir activities and settle activities. Stir activities are those which make children excited. Speaking activities and competitions often stir children. Settle activities make children clam. Listening or colouring activities often settle children. It is important that a lesson use both types of activities. You can make a list of types of activities that stir and settle, and make sure you use a balance of both in your lessons.
You should also balance the focus on different skills in your lessons. Each lesson should have a mix of reading, listening, speaking and writing activities. This will give children chances to meet language in different contexts, and extra chances to learn. It will also help children with different learning styles. It may not be possible to fit all the different skills into one lesson, so try keeping a balance over a few lessons or a week.
Groupings are another thing which can be varied in lessons. You should think about using pair and group work to make lessons interesting; instead of having children face the blackboard for the whole lesson.
Finally, you should use transition activities between different parts of the lesson. Transition activities are a way of giving children time to come out of one activity and get ready to start another. For example, you can get the children’s attention after a speaking activity by asking them a few questions that will lead into the next activity. Another possibility is to tell children the title of a reading activity and ask them to guess what the story is about.
Teaching Aids
A teaching aid is any piece of equipment that can be used to help the students learn. Examples of teaching aids include: the blackboard, a tape recorder, a CD player, computers or a language laboratory.
The blackboard is usually the most fundamental teaching aid. While you are planning your lesson, you should also think about how you will use the board. You can consider different layouts, colours of chalk, size of handwriting, etc. If you want the children to copy something down, make sure it is easy to read. If you are talking to the children while writing on the blackboard, make sure to turn around often to hold their attention.
The tape recorder is another easily available teaching aid. It is useful because it gives children a chance to listen to English spoken by different people in different situations. Make sure you place the tape recorder in a place where all the children can hear. Be familiar with how to use the machine and make sure the tape is cued to the correct place. You should also have an alternative activity ready just in case the tape player breaks.
Another common teaching aid is the OHP (overhead projector). The OHP is very versatile, and the biggest advantage is that you can prepare OHTs (overhead transparencies) in advance. As with the tape recorder, make sure you can use the machine. And as with the blackboard, think about the layout and attractiveness of the OHTs you produce.
Staging Your Lessons
There are different techniques you can employ to make sure the pace of the activities flow well from the beginning to the middle to the end of the class. In the planning stage, you should think about how you will open and close your class as well as what transitions you will use between the different stages.
How you start a lesson depends on what your aim is. If it is to present new language, for example, you might want to start with a story, picture, song or dialogue which includes the new language. If it is to recycle or review language, you could start with a competition or game. For any lesson, you should keep in mind that children like routines, so you may wish to start your lesson off in the same way each day. For example, you can ask a different student to write the date on the board as a way to start the lesson.
Toward the middle of the lesson, children will usually need time to practise or produce the language they have learned. You can do this through pair work or group work. Your role in these activities is to support and observe. You can give feedback to children on their work after the activity has finished.
Finally, you will need to consider how you finish your lesson. It is important not to finish in the middle of an activity, so when you plan you must consider timing. Think about how much time each activity is likely to take, so that when your class ends, your activities are finished as well. It is a good idea to give children a chance to think about what they have learned at the end of the lesson. You can get feedback from them (in Chinese if it helps) about what they liked or found useful. Make sure you allow enough time to set homework and make sure all students write down what their homework is.

Teaching and Testing Activities
Teaching activities are the types of activities that help children achieve the objectives of the lesson, course, syllabus or curriculum. For example, if a course objective is for children to be able to say what people look like, you will use activities which help them speak about people. The key word in all of this is ‘help’. You can help the children by showing them how to describe people, and then help them correct their mistakes, help them by giving them feedback and advice for improvement.
Testing activities are the types of activities that allow you to see if the children have achieved the objectives of the lesson, course, syllabus, or curriculum. The main difference between teaching and testing activities is that teaching activities involve support from the teacher, and testing activities usually do not.
When designing testing activities, make sure they reflect the learning objectives of previous teaching activities. For example, let’s pretend that your class has been practising speaking dialogues about food in their coursebook. If you want to test this, your test should also be about food, and should ask the children to speak. If the test is not about food, or isn’t done by speaking, the test isn’t fair because it isn’t testing what the children have learned.
You can use testing activities to help you see what strengths and weaknesses the children have, and what areas they need work on. You can then use this information to design teaching activities for the next lesson. A balance between testing and teaching activities will help the children achieve the class goals and help you understand what more they need to do.
Assessing Children
Assessment is a way of getting information about both the children’s learning and our teaching. While assessment includes testing and exams, these are only two of the many methods of assessment.
There are many reasons why you as the teacher need to assess your students. Assessment can help children identify their strengths and the areas they need to develop. It can also help children and teachers see if the children have reached a particular standard. Assessment helps teachers find out what their students like and dislike in their learning, and it gives teachers feedback so that they can plan their future work.
There are a number of things that can be assessed in class. These include language (grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, spelling), skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening), and non-linguistic skills, such as cooperation with classmates, study skills, effort.
Assessment can be done informally and formally. Informal assessment can be done by observing the students at work in class or by reading their homework and taking notes over a period of time. Informal assessment can also include asking the students about topics and activities they like, and asking them about how they like to learn. Formal assessment is usually a test or a quiz. We can also ask students to assess their own work through self-assessment.
Once you have conducted assessment, you can use the results to plan future classes. For example, if most of the children had problems with one area, you can work on that in the coming lessons. You can also use assessment to give children feedback on their strong and weak areas. Assessment will also help you see which children could benefit from extra work and which children are likely to find the classes not challenging enough. This information can help you plan for a mixed-level class.

Language Learning Resources
Language learning resources include visuals, objects or written materials that you or your students bring to class to help the class learn. These resources can include posters, pictures, flashcards, puppets, toys, masks, books and stories. Some resources can be made in class by the children themselves.
You can use resources if you think they will help the children learn. Pictures or puppets may be a good way to introduce a story, for example. Good resources will not take too long to find or make, and you can use them again for the same or different activities in other classes. Try to find a place at school where you can store your resources.
Flashcards are a particularly useful resource for the language teacher. You can have pictures, words or both on the flashcards, and these can be used to introduce or recycle new language. Flashcards can be used in guessing games, telling stories, and language drills. Make sure any words or pictures on the flashcards are clear and easy to see. You can ask the children to make their own in class, or you can ask them to colour ones that you have already made.
Making and using an individual dictionary is a useful education skill, and these personal dictionaries are an excellent learning resource. These dictionaries are ones that each child makes for him/herself, and they can include not only new words and meanings, but pictures, example sentences, and categories as well. Because each individual child decides how to organise his/her dictionary, they are personalising their learning and are more likely to remember the words. The teacher can help students develop their own personal dictionaries by showing them different ways they can record words and by giving them some time in class to add new words.

Hope this will do.