How to Organize
Your English Lesson

When you're planning your English lessons, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. You know your lesson must be focused on a specific topic and contain different kinds of activities to keep it interesting.

How much time should you spend on each activity? What should come first? How should you end your class so that your students will remember all the new information they've learned? Read these tips for some pointers and ideas on how to organize an excellent English lesson.

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All Tenses

smiling English teacher

How should your lessons be organized? There are two main factors to keep in mind: time and activities.

Of course, the time for your English class is limited! You want to use that time in the best possible way so that you can complete each activity. It is important for the students to understand each topic before you continue with the next one.

You also need to keep your classes interesting and fun by doing different kinds of activities. This helps your students practice different skills and remember the new information by using it in different ways.

Let's imagine that we have one hour for our English class. How should we organize that hour?

1. Greeting and review (5 minutes)

two ladies talking

Whether you are working with just one student or a large class, it is important to say hello! There are two main reasons for this:
  • It will help your students feel comfortable in class because they know you are interested in how they are doing.

  • It gives your students a chance to speak in English and practice very important skills.
Greetings are some of the most basic skills in English. You can also ask your students what they did since you last saw them to practice the simple past tense, or what they will do after class to practice the simple future tense.

After you greet your students, ask them to summarize what you did in your last class. What did they learn? What skills are you working on?

Write the topics on the board and have them create some examples. Now your students are concentrated on English! What you do in each class is a continuation of the previous class, so be sure to have a quick review before you enter the main part of your lesson.

2. Introduction of new skills (20 minutes)

smart teacher

Now you and your students are comfortable and you know what you did in your last class. Take a moment to explain to your students what you will do today.

It is an excellent idea to write a list of your activities on the board (if you have one). It can look something like this:

  1. Introduction and review
  2. New vocabulary explanation (topic)
  3. New vocabulary game
  4. Role play (or another activity)
  5. Wrap-up

In this example, we are working with vocabulary. Of course we can introduce new grammar, speaking skills, reading skills, etc. This is just an example!

You have used 5 minutes in your introduction. Now use the next 20 minutes to teach the new lesson.

First, give a clear, step-by-step explanation of the topic. Give lots of examples and write them on the board. Check the students' understanding by asking them questions and having them help you create examples.

3. Activation (25 minutes)

a woman dancing
At this point, you and your students are ready for the most important part of the class! In order to remember the new skills you have just taught them, your students need to activate them. This means they must use the new skills themselves.

You should spend about 25 minutes on your activities. Try to incorporate different kinds of activation exercises to keep your class fun and interesting.

Sometimes you can do writing exercises and worksheets, especially for more difficult grammar lessons. But you should try to keep your activities as fun and interactive as possible! When your students enjoy what they are doing, they will remember the information better.

Try to work with games, role plays, competitions, movement, or storytelling. There are endless possibilities! You should incorporate two or three different activities in the activation section of your lesson. Choose them according to the skill you are working on. 

Try to get your students moving around the room once in a while. Try one quieter activity, like a worksheet or a short story, and one more dynamic activity, like a role play, during the same class. Time will fly by as your students practice their new skills!

4. Wrap-up (5-10 minutes)

a woman watching the clock

So, let's review. So far, we have divided our class this way:

  • Greeting and review (5 minutes)
  • Introduction of new skills (20 minutes)
  • Activation (25 minutes)
So, we should have about 5 or 10 minutes left at the end of the class. It is very important to keep an eye on the clock! You don't want to spend your whole class explaining new information. That will be less interesting for you and your students. Plus, if they do not actively practice the new skills, they will not remember them very well.

During the last few minutes, wrap up your class with a short review. First, congratulate your students on their hard work. They have learned a lot and been very active!

Now do a review similar to the one you did at the beginning of the class. But this time, you are talking about the new information you just covered. Refer back to your list. Ask your students to summarize what you did in class today.

Can they make examples of the new grammar or vocabulary skill? Can they explain the new reading tips you worked on today? Whatever your lesson was, your students should be able to explain it in their own words now that they have practiced. 

a happy student with an excellent grade

Organize your lessons this way, and your students will do great!

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