When we think of English skills, the 'four skills' of listening, speaking, reading, and writing readily come to mind. Of course other skills such as pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and spelling all play a role in effective English communication. The amount of attention you give to each skill area will depend both the level of your learners as well as their situational needs. Generally beginners, especially those who are nonliterate, benefit most from listening and speaking instruction with relatively little work on reading and writing. As fluency increases, the amount of reading and writing in your lessons may also increase. With advanced learners, up to half of your lesson time can be spent on written skills, although your learners may wish to keep their focus weighted toward oral communication if that is a greater need.
Lesson planning and preparation can take an hour or more for every hour of teaching, but the time required will be reduced as you gain experience, plan lessons that carry over week to week, and find good teaching materials such as textbooks or online lessons.
How to Plan a Lesson
Lesson Planning Tips
A variety of activities adds interest to each lesson and serves different learning styles. You will find sample games and activities in this guide for all ability levels and class sizes. Feel free to change their content or difficulty to suit your needs, or use them as a springboard to create your own activities. Many one-on-one or small group activities can be adapted for larger classes by using pairs or making alterations in the content. If you have an odd number of learners for a pair exercise, you can pair one learner with yourself or invite an advanced learner to assist you with monitoring everyone. Unfortunately, it's more difficult to adapt full class activities for individual tutoring, but with some creativity you may be able to glean useful ideas. If you see an activity you like at an inappropriate language level, make it more challenging by increasing the complexity of the language and adding elements of risk, or make it less challenging by simplifying the language and providing more guidance to reduce the risk of errors. In activities requiring peer interviews, be sensitive about the amount and type of personal information you ask the learners to share.
Warm-ups Games Miscellaneous