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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > Memorable lessons.    

Memorable lessons.

United Kingdom

Memorable lessons.
Some lessons that we teach are more successful than others. Some lessons can be judged by feedback or testing after a long period. This is a big question about the brain learning language that intrigues me. So I want to get some feedback from other teachers. What lesson,  and techniques you used in the lesson, would you say is one of your best lessons for:- remembering the lesson quickly, long term retention, class enthusiasm?  How many times do you think you should recycle a lesson before it grows good fruit? Quality is always better than quantity because quality is the seed of success. A thing taught and not learned long term is a waste of everyone s time. Please tell me your thoughts about this as I am eager to know. Darryn. 

25 May 2014      

United Kingdom

Hiya Darryn. Some of the best lessons I ve had have been off the cuff, so idiosyncratic, can t draw out any specific do s and don ts. However, here is something that always works for me after reading a story, in terms of class enthusiasm. 
Make a few slides with just pictures of the main events/characters and have a question blitz, going through the wh questions with beginners and Blooms with more advanced students. Then print the slides out and put the students into small groups to annotate. After this, pick a main character and write questions for him/her. Are you...? Have you got...?  Do you...? or if a past tense recount, Did...? Then the students practise in pairs, then hotseat .... My students favourite hotseat is a game. They can t say yes or no , so this is excellent language practise. e.g. Did you climb the mountain?   I climbed the mountain. If they last 60 seconds, they have beaten the clock. I use the bin as a drum and if they are out (say yes or no) , a student hits it with a ruler. They never tire of this. 
One of my best impromptu lessons (I had nothing ready for the class!) was All about trees. ... There is so much about trees! 1) Draw your tree and label the parts. Compare it with your partner s tree. 2) Where do we find trees? Mindmap 3) What lives in trees? Think, pair, share. 4) Choose an animal that lives in trees, draw up a profile. Size/shape/colour/what it eats. what can it do? 5) Compare any two animals that live in trees. 6) Trees as symbols (higher level). You are asking some interesting questions! 


26 May 2014     

United States

There are just so many variables in an excellent lesson that are beyond the teacher s control. Quite a lot has to do with the students. Since I teach adults, my excellent lesson is going to be very different from that of a preschool teacher. The most important qualities of an excellent lesson are student interest and student learning.
The teacher needs to be prepared, but knowledgeable enough to be flexible to adapt to the students needs. As Lynne mentioned, sometimes the best lessons come from throwing the lesson plan out the window. Some classes learn better with lots of writing; others need lots of discussion.
Don t dismiss quantity of lessons so fast. It takes some repetition to move from short-term to long-term memory; some estimate that words must be repeated 20 times before they are learned. Be prepared to teach the same topic in different ways. (I ll admit I don t do as well with my kinesthetic learners because I m not sure how to do this with adults in an age-appropriate manner.) Try to connect a lesson to something the students already know.

26 May 2014