Reflecting on a Lesson Plan

by Zhenya

It has been a while since I posted here. Time flies! I am planning to catch up and get back to blogging, but meanwhile wanted to share a link to a guest post/lesson plan shared on another resource last month, and invite your feedback, thoughts and comments, of course!

Some background information:

As you might already know, Marek Kiczkowiak started a new section on TEFL Equity Advocates in order to publish free lesson plans and activities for EFL/ESL classes and teacher training aimed at raising awareness of ELF, World English-es, equality in ELT, as well as any other issues relevant to NNEST and NEST issues.

Encouraged by Mike Griffin, I had my pleasure and honor to share a short reading lesson plan designed for teachers participating in a training program for academic management/mentoring. The lesson’s reading material is based on Mike Griffin’s post (and in my opinion, the text actually holds 70% of success of that lesson)

The lesson plan can be found here

Mike Griffin’s original post can be read here

Candles Multiple

Now, the plan was shared, but I realize I keep thinking about it. This post below is a brief bullet point reflection and questions — please feel free to add yours in the comments!

  • the relationship of the lesson topic to the subject of (N)NS: all the teachers in that course (the ‘students’ for whom the lesson was delivered) were non-native speakers of English, all EFL teachers. Each of them was going to take up a new role in their schools after the course (the responsibilities varied, but for most of them it was about helping other teachers grow and develop — in different interpretation of this mission) Now, speaking/teaching/working in English as a foreign language brings some challenges (again, they are different from person to person, but are very well described in the reading texts). The (open) discussion about the feelings various teachers have about training courses in a friendly context was a good sharing opportunity, and brought a sense of community;
  • the link between the lesson activities and teacher training objective (in mind): you will see that the activities in the lesson are very simple (even simplistic) and don’t bring any novelty (simple questions, ‘think-pair-share’ discussions, small group work, True/False statements, etc. Clearly, this is something the teachers already know and do in their own lessons. Now, in a program for ‘senior teachers’, or mentors, one of the goals was to show that the lessons do need to be ‘perfect’ in order to stimulate discussion, thinking, and learning; in specific contexts this might also be very important (especially if your goal is to help them be more relaxed about the practical part of the course where lessons are delivered);
  • the lesson was planned and taught by a non-native speaking teacher/trainer: even though we planned it together with Mike, the actual lesson was taught by me, in order to demonstrate (remind!) that it is not about ‘being born’ to be a teacher, but more about other skills/qualifications. Have written this using a chance to thank Mike for being a fantastic team player on a course, and to say that ‘native’+ non-native teams of teachers, trainers, educators are perhaps ‘ideal’ for helping teachers grow long-term self-confidence and inspiration;
  • internationality: I myself taught the lesson twice in Korea (the version you can read now is the later one) and also shared the idea with colleagues/friends in the Middle East; also, there is a comment on Mike’s blog where a trainer promises to use it on a course in Ecuador. I am curious about the experiences in other places: how close are the personalities to the contexts where you work? Would it be the same for the teachers in your country? What other ‘texts’ can you add?
  • and finally, if we are speaking about reflections and questions: what would you modify in the lesson plan? How can you make it shorter (it was originally designed for 40 minutes)? Any other thoughts in response?

Thank you for reading!