Lesson Structure

Lead-in – Everything in a skills lesson is going to be themed. In the lead-in, we try to introduce the context that the main lesson will have. For example, if the theme of my lesson was films, we would ask our students to tell us their favourite genres of films and then their favourite film.

Pre-teach – Although the main goal of the lesson is not to teach anything new, we have to make sure the students have the knowledge to be able to complete the task. 

In the pre-teach, we try to elicit information from the students and ask them to explain things because our goal here is not ultimately to teach them, but to make sure they know it and fill in the gaps if they don’t.

Set up / Check understanding  – During the set up we explain the main task, issuing the relevant questions they have to answer at the end of the task (if there are any). Get the students to read the questions aloud if possible.

Checking understanding is key. Make sure the students know what you want them to do. The same as with a concept check, it requires open questions. Get them to repeat the questions they might have to answer to confirm they understand them.

Do activity – Set up the activity and control the class depending on what the activity dictates. It could mean controlling the CD player or laptop or moving around the classroom making sure the students are ‘on task’. You may need to think about corrections as well. The more active and interactive the teacher is, the better the activity will flow.

Feedback  If there are any questions we gave the students to answer, this is the stage that we go through the answers and discuss them. Alternatively, it could be when we ask the groups to present the results of their task to the class and we decide on a winner.

Follow-on activity – This activity should be themed with the rest of the lesson. It doesn’t need to be the same skill as the main activity and very often is based around speaking.