10 lesson plan ideas for English Language Assistants
Trying to entertain a class of teenagers can seem daunting at times but it can be fun if you keep the lessons entertaining and engaging. Here are some of my lesson plan ideas for teaching English as a Foreign Language.
1. Gap Fills
You can use any medium to create gap fills. A great one to do is play your class a song on YouTube and blank out some of the lyrics for them to fill in. You can also use video clips if you want to make a transcript yourself.
2. Pen Pals
Get in touch with your old school and suggest that they start up a pen pal scheme with some of your classes. This is a great way for your students to apply their knowledge of English to a real life context and hopefully make some international friends too.
3. About Me
Throughout my year abroad my youngest pupils (6èmes, aged 11-12) compiled a biography on me. Each week we would cover a different subject and they would ask me questions. Some of the topics we covered included my family, shops in my town, my hobbies and what languages I spoke. At the end of the year they each had a book made with all the year's work in it.
For this game, one member of the class comes to the front and has to describe to the rest of the class a word (in English) without ever saying that word. Good words for this game include verbs, animals, classroom objects and weather.
5. Current Affairs Debate
Catch their interest with a debate on a current event. While I was teaching the US elections were taking place so we had a mock Presidential debate. I split the class into two "parties" and they each wrote a speech for their candidate.
Find some leaflets or flyers from your home town and get your students to make posters advertising local tourist attractions. I gave them a list of things they had to include in their poster to encourage them to read the information closely and pick out the necessary details. After they finished, I had them present their tourist attraction to the class.
7. Dialects, Accents and Idioms
The great thing about English is its many variations. I focused some role play activity on imitating and manipulating accents, dialects and idioms. Cockney Rhyming slang would no doubt entertain a lot of students too.
8. What Happens Next?
Show your class a clip from your favourite TV show or film and ask them to think about what could happen next. In groups have them act out their ideas to the rest of the class.
9. Comic Strips
The French love a good bande dessinée (comic strip) and there are lots to choose from on any subject you might want to discuss with them. They provide excellent new vocabulary too. For classes on Technology, try Bleeker Comics and for other free BDs try Daily Ink.
Don't forget to tell your students all about your life back home! Mine loved hearing about how I celebrated Christmas and sharing their own tales of how they celebrated various holidays throughout the year so bring lots of pictures and materials to show them.
Follow Emily's blog for more tips and tales of life as an English Language Assistant.