Now on to the last part of the EPIK application, the lesson plan. Again if you have any previous teaching experience, schooling in teaching, or have taken your TEFL/TESOL/CELTA course, then this section will go a bit easier for you.
Basics first: Check the box for the grade level that this lesson plan is for and what their level of English is. Most English teachers here are placed in Elementary schools, but a few are placed in Middle schools. A high school teaching position is quite rare since most of the positions have been cut in the previous years by the government. Next, make sure the number of students is 30 (should be pre-filled in the application) because most classes are somewhere between 25-30 students.
Now comes the creating part of the lesson plan. Creating a lesson plan can be quite daunting when you have no previous teaching experience (well, I thought so when I created mine), but don’t despair. Here’s what I did (and currently do) when I planned my lesson. First, think of a topic you want to teach. In my lesson I chose to teach 3rd graders about clothing. In the next box of the application it asks about the previous class. Perhaps they learned about body parts or learned about the colors. Try to make it a bit logical as to why you’re on this current lesson and not a super random one. In the Additional Handouts box you’ll want to list the worksheets, handouts, or videos you will use. I found two worksheets about clothes, body parts, and vocabulary words where you had to match the pictures on an esl site (en.islcollective.com). Please see the EPIK’s instructions about the handouts and how EPIK wants you to add those sheets/info into the application.
The bulk of your lesson plan now begins with the next three boxes: Introduction, Development, and Conclusion. In other teaching methods or TEFL courses, the Develpment section of the lesson plan break down could be either PPP (Presentation, Practice, Production) or ESA (Engage, Study, Activate); all are the same in their function. Before I continue on, you should read through EPIK’s suggestions or prompts in the booklet on this section before creating the lesson plan. I will also add that in both my schools I’m required to create a lesson plan for all of my classes, and sometimes I’m asked to send copies to my co-teachers and the vice principal. Basically, this is part of everyday life for teachers here, so the more practice you get, the better and faster you’ll be able to create these. 🙂
Time limits. Before you start your lesson, you should know how long each class period is for each level of schooling here. Elementary: 40 mins Middle: 45 mins High School: 50 mins Knowing the times will help break down how long you should spend on each section. For this example, I will use Elementary school.
Greetings & Review: This section is a warm-up to get your students ready and engaged to learn English. In one of my classes, my co-teacher and I would use a song from the previous lesson or chapter for the kids to sing along with. Then we would ask about the weather, what day it is, etc.
Class Objectives: This is the new vocabulary or sentences/expressions that the students will be learning. On the very first (and sometimes second) section of a new lesson, my co-teacher or I will write the new expressions on the board and go over them with the students. In other classes, we will give our students a handout with all the new vocabulary and key expressions of that lesson. Before we begin a new lesson, both my co-teacher and I will do a listen & repeat through all the new vocabulary words and key expressions. Although, I’m not sure if this is what EPIK is looking for, in my lesson plans (this part is a bit new from my application for Spring 2016) I usually write out all the key expressions and vocabulary words of the new lesson in a section above the ESA or PPP part of the lesson plan. Please see their instructions for further info. This section of your lesson will be fairly short. Only 3-5 mins long or so.
When writing about the activities and such for the development section, you want to increase student talking time and decrease teacher talking time. Basically you want to have activities where your students will practice English for the majority of the class. (Side note: Great idea, but doesn’t always work in public schools. More about that in a different post.) You want to write about what your students will do and how they will practice the language.
Presentation: This is where you really introduce any new English words/expressions or have your students practice from a previous section of the current lesson. The best way to introduce new material is by using pictures. If you’re teaching about animals, for example, give out a worksheet with pictures of animals on one side and a list of words on the other. Have the students individually try to match up the words to the pictures, then have them discuss their answers with a partner. Another thing you could do is show a picture of an animal from a Power Point on the tv or screen, and then have the class guess what the English word is for that animal. There’s quite a few ways to do this, just try to keep in mind that you want the students to practice using English, whether that’s speaking/listening or reading/writing. This section should be fairly brief. Mine is usually around 5-7 min long.
Practice: This is where the students will practice the language a bit. Usually these activities are 10-15 mins long. Basically, the Production section of a lesson is the really big activity or game of the lesson (in my classes here, it is the last 15-20 min of class). These activities are usually done in partners or small teams of 3-4 people. In my example on my EPIK application, I used the game “Go Fish” and explained how the students will play the game. It is important to include the exact language the students will use in the game. Example: Student A will ask their partner, “Do you have a ___(shirt, hat, etc)?”. Then Student B will answer with either, “I have a shirt” and hands the card to Student A, or “I don’t have a shirt. Go Fish”. Please make sure that you use the key expressions that you listed above in the Introduction section of the application.
Production: This is the major activity or game of the lesson. This is where you want the whole class to practice the language and their new English skills with each other. As mentioned in the Practice section above, you want to include what kind of key expressions, questions, or sentences that you want the students to practice in this activity. You can choose to do a mill drill, a spy game, pass the ball game, a line game (like telephone) etc. If you’re confused on what type of activity you should use here on your application, feel free to research various ESL/EFL sites for game suggestions. One beautiful aspect of a teacher is that we’re very open about sharing our teaching materials and what works for us in our classes.
Summary & Closing: This section is very quick. 3-5 mins max. This is where you want to do a quick review of the key expressions or vocabulary that the students have been practicing. In my classes, for example, the expressions are usually written on the board. I’ll either do a brief listen & repeat (3rd and 4th grade) or point at the expression/sentence and have the students read it out loud (5th & 6th). Don’t forget to praise the students for practicing English (ie Good job! You did great! etc).
Evaluation of Objectives: This is a recap of what the students should be able to do after the lesson is completed. I’ll use the example above with the animals. “The students should be able to recognize common family pets and the matching English word.” Then I briefly recapped what the students did in their Production activity.
In a few sentences, explain what you’ll be teaching in the next lesson and how it related to the previous lesson. Example with clothes: In the next lesson, students will learn about the colors. Then they will describe the clothes they’re wearing by using their new words, the colors, and their old words, types of clothes.
Okay! Wow! That was a tl;dr post for sure. Again, I hope this info helps out any reader who is currently filling out an application or is considering it. If you have any questions or comments, please list them below.