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.
- Students talking about themselves.
- Students talking about their work / studies.
- Students getting to know each other.
- Students getting to know the teacher.
- Thorough needs analysis.
- Response to student needs.
- Thorough diagnostic testing – of all skills and language.
- A mix of the four skills.
- A mix of 'new' language and revision.
- A mix of fluency and accuracy practice.
- Error correction.
- Functional language.
- Something students can use the same / next day.
- Something written down for the students to take away.
- An introduction to the school's / the teacher's methodology.
- A confidence boost for the students.
- An idea of where the course will go.
- Development of microskills (e.g. listening for gist)
- Classroom language.
- Learning something about how to study / learn English.
- Some motivation and guidance for students on self-study.
- Development of cultural awareness.
- Development of self-study skills (e.g. dictionary use).
- Students learning something about their specialist subject.
- Interesting topics / texts.
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.
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