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Effective Lesson Planning Following the Principles of Course Design





CALL - Materials Writers -ISs






Language teachers today find themselves taking responsibility for more than just teaching classes in which content, materials and methodology are determined by the Institutions in which they work or by governmental authorities. Indeed, many are faced with the challenge of taking part in the design of activities, exams, lessons, materials, and even courses without having the proper tools to do so. As a result, it is important that contemporary language teachers be well informed professionals able to understand and apply the most essential theoretical and practical aspects involved in language teaching so as to view their pedagogical practice with a critical eye. Many language teachers can decide on what and how they are to teach a lesson based on answers to questions such as “Who are my students? What do they need this language for? What would be the best materials to adapt to their specific characteristics and needs? What kind of activities would benefit them more?” which reflect an evident concern for their students’ learning.


In this session we will be reading, discussing and reflecting on theoretical and practical aspects of Course Design which can guide us to effective lesson planning. Participants will have the opportunity to design their own objectives, create activities, select pertinent materials for their context, and finally design a lesson plan integrating all these elements. Some Web tools which can help teachers integrate technology into their CD will be presented.


Target Audience

This discussion session seeks to gather ESL/EFL/ESOL teachers from all levels and age groups to share experiences and discuss the challenges of writing effective lessons plans following Course Design Models. Anyone interested in building up a framework for designing courses, developing materials and planning unique lessons to strengthen their pedagogical practice is welcomed!


Weekly Content


Week 1


Getting Started

Participants and moderators will introduce themselves to others explaining their backgrounds and teaching experience, saying who their students are, and what fields and age groups they are in. They will share experiences on integrating Course Design Principles to their daily teaching. Participants with no experience in the area will be surveyed on how they would like to do so. Participants will be introduced to features of Yahoo Groups and the session Wiki (pbwiki).


Week 2


Analyzing Needs

In this first week Needs Analysis will be introduced as the first step in any planning and design process. Participants will be given some lead articles on NA and students profiles to start discussions.


Week 3

Identifying Goals and Setting Objectives

In week 3, participants will discuss devising goals from Students Profiles and Needs Analyses results and will write pertinent objectives based on their students’ real needs.


Week 4

Selecting, Adapting and Designing Materials

Week 4 begins with a discussion about how to select authentic materials to help students meet their goals once the objectives have been written. Participants will have practice sessions and discussions on adopting, adapting and developing their own materials for activities which meet their objectives


Week 5

Planning Lessons

In Week 5 participants will receive input on lesson planning and how to plan classes effectively. Week 5 will be devoted to Students’ Final Projects which will consist of the writing of a lesson plan, following the basic principles of Course Design, which fits into the participant’s own teaching context.



Week 6

Carrying out Evaluation

During the last week, participants will share their projects with other participants with the idea of exchanging feedback and discussing some of the practical considerations of course design and lessons planning. They will share the outcome of the projects and evaluation of this session. Those participants who are willing to receive feedback on their lesson plans can submit them to the rest of the group for evaluation using a rubric and/ or checklist



Moderators and Co-moderators


Leticia Esteves

Leticia Esteves has a B.A. in Modern Languages, and holds a MSc. in Applied Linguistics from USB. She has taught EFL/ESP/EST (elementary, adult, and university level). She works in the field of Course Design promoting the integration of technology to teaching and learning, and is currently taking part in the re-design process of the English for Architecture and Urban Planning Program at the USB in Caracas, Venezuela. E-mail: lesteves@usb.ve letisoles@yahoo.com



Rubena St Louis

Rubena St. Louis has a MSc. in Applied Linguistics from Simón Bolívar University, in Venezuela where she teaches in their graduate program and ESP courses (English for Science and Technology and English for Computer Science) at undergraduate level. Her interests include cognition and learning, Materials development and Evaluation, Language Teaching Methodologies, Information and Communication Technology in Language Learning and Autonomous Learning. E-mail: slrubena@usb.ve slrubena2003@yahoo.com





Tools to be used

Yahoo Groups will host this EVO session. Discussions will be conducted through YG and Yahoo MSN. A Blog will be used to promote collaboration and interaction among participants. A wiki will serve as content administrator. Some synchronous sessions might be planned if it is feasible (depending on participants’ time zones and availability.



Join this session


To join this group:


From January 1 to 14:
  1. Go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lesson_planning
  2. Click on the blue button: This is just an image. The real button is on the Yahoo Group. If you don´t have a Yahoo ID, you will be prompted to create one (it is free).
  3. Follow the instructions


Note: When you register for the group, you will have to be approved by the moderator. In order to reduce the possibility of "unwanted" members (such as spammers), please be sure to explain who you are and why you want to enroll in the session. This message will only be seen by the session moderator


TESOL Electronic Village Online (EVO)

A Project of TESOL's CALL Interest Section


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