The ABC of ELT

What lessons do I use more material in?

I had a strange realisation as I prepared for my open lessons last month [open lessons are lessons once a term where parents of students can attend and see how their children are doing, ask questions etc. (With the aid of translation)] and I made the comment that the worst thing about open lessons is the amount of material you have to prepare.

I soon realised that when I know other people would be watching, or for a new lesson I prepare more material than when it is a bog standard lesson. However, at least theoretically favouring an unplugged approach I wondered why this might be? Does it mean that Dogme is an excuse for lazyness on my part?

I don’t think so and here are some factors I can think of for why I default to more material driven lessons.

  1. Comfort: Material from a book is a safe option, tried and tested rather than these new ideas.
  2. It looks good to outside observers: Let’s face it seeing a teacher with loads of peice of paper suggest they spent a long time planning, they have considered what is best for the group and they know where to get things from. It also suggest value for money.
  3. Faster flowing lesson: continuing from the above point, when students have set statements to discuss they can start right away, if they have to think of their own sentences first and choose say 5 then it takes longer before they can start. If you are being observed this
  4. Saves time planning: Ironically It can easily save time to quickly photocopy some peice of paper than think of a more personalised activity.
  5. Back up plans
  6. Uncertainty over new students interests etc:
What about you? What lessons do you use more material in?

About Chris Wilson

I'm an English Language teacher based in Krakow, Poland. I enjoy writing, using technology and playing the Ukulele.

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