To lesson plan more effectively, we need to learn how to be systematically asking the right questions of our students. If we truly understand what our students are trying to do with learning English and design lessons accordingly, we will see effectiveness skyrocket.
What questions will help you develop classes with higher impact?
1. What do you need to do each day? (Do you have a copy of your job description?)
2. How do you need to use English for each of the tasks/responsibilities listed in #1?
3. What are your gaps? Meaning: what can you do now, and what do you need to work on to do your job more effectively?
4. Specific Action (SMART Goal setting.) When you know what your students need to do each day, and what they need to use English for, what would happen if you started building SMART goals for each of their job functions that require English?
Example: Maybe your student is in customer care.
Key function: Maintain a customer database.
English requirement: Be able to ask for and record people’s basic contact information on the phone. Be able to engage in light, polite, and friendly phone conversations of no more than 3-6 minutes per call.
Set SMART Goals: It’s so important to always remind myself that goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound. In English teaching, I believe this is also true.
Recording people’s basic information
- By the end of Month one, student will be able to ask customers their name (first, last), phone number, and e-mail address. (Language: Could you tell me your first and last name please? Could please you tell me your phone number? Could you please tell me your e-mail address? )
- By the end of month one, student will be able to use information confirmation questions. (Let me read that back to you, it’s____________ . Was that B or V? V – like Victor? or B – like Beaver? )
Revise: Are these SMART goals?
How would you work up SMART goals for helping your student engage in short 3 minute friendly phone conversations?
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