What are the things that would make a perfect initial impact with a Business English or ESP class? Alex Case offers a wish list, drawn up from talking to other Business English teachers.

First impressions count, in class as much as anywhere else. From talking to colleagues, here is a list of points your perfect first lesson would include. Scroll down to 'related resources' at the bottom of the page to download a PDF version of the list, which you can use as a checklist when planning a first 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 four 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 could come up with a class that fits all of the above into 60 minutes. However, follow the link to 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 previous articles in this 'Teaching approaches' series.


Click link to download and view these files