Number one for English language teachers

First lessons: Wish list

First impressions count, in class as much as anywhere else, so I have drawn up a ‘Wish list’ of all the things the teachers in my school think would make a perfect initial impact with a Business English or ESP class.

Here is a list of points your perfect first lesson would include. The attached grid below can also be used as a checklist with your class.

  1. Students talking about themselves.
  2. Students talking about their work/ studies.
  3. Students getting to know each other.
  4. Students getting to know the teacher.
  5. Thorough needs analysis.
  6. Response to student needs.
  7. Thorough diagnostic testing - of all skills and language.
  8. A mix of the 4 skills.
  9. Pronunciation.
  10. A mix of 'new' language and revision.
  11. A mix of fluency and accuracy practice.
  12. Error correction.
  13. Functional language.
  14. Something students can use the same/ next day.
  15. Something written down for the students to take away.
  16. An introduction to the school's/ the teacher's methodology.
  17. A confidence boost for the students.
  18. An idea of where the course will go.
  19. Development of microskills (e.g. listening for gist)
  20. Classroom language.
  21. Learning something about how to study/ learn English.
  22. Some motivation and guidance for students on self-study.
  23. Development of cultural awareness.
  24. Development of self-study skills (e.g. dictionary use).
  25. Homework.
  26. Students learning something about their specialist subject.
  27. Interesting topics/ texts.
  28. Fun.

It is unlikely that anybody has come up with a class that fits all of the above into 60 minutes, but included here are a lesson plan and some materials that could make up part of a near-perfect first lesson, when combined with the needs analysis ideas included in the previous article.  

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