Essentials Home
What Language Teaching Is
Teaching Goals and Methods
Planning a Lesson
Motivating Learners
Assessing Learning
Teaching Grammar
Teaching Listening
Teaching Speaking
Teaching Reading
Teaching Writing
Teaching Culture


Planning a Lesson

Identify Materials and Activities

The materials for a specific lesson will fall into two categories: those that are required, such as course textbooks and lab materials, and authentic materials that the teacher incorporates into classroom activities.

For required materials, determine what information must be presented in class and decide which exercise(s) to use in class and which for out-of-class work. For teacher-provided materials, use materials that are genuinely related to realistic communication activities. Don’t be tempted to try to create a communication task around something just because it’s a really cool video or a beautiful brochure.

Truly authentic communication tasks have several features:

  • They involve solving a true problem or discussing a topic of interest
  • They require using language to accomplish a goal, not using language merely to use language
  • They allow students to use all of the language skills they have, rather than specific forms or vocabulary, and to self-correct when they realize they need to
  • The criterion of success is clear: completion of a defined task












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