I have to admit I could not locate any written lesson plans for the current #ELTblog challenge because I did. not. do. any! Well, not the sort that my CELTA training told me to. So this post is really about my first lesson.
My first student was a total beginner, in his late forties, who ran a classical musical instrument shop. So it seemed natural to ask him the names of the various instruments that were displayed on the premises. That seemed to be a good start since a lot of instrument names are very similar in the two languages.
Then he started to say ‘le cors anglais’ (English horn). My ears picked up ‘les cours d’anglais’ (English class). The following 10 mins or so ended up quite confusing and my student must have thought I was very dense. I kept thinking he wanted to study something in particular. Note there was no English horn on display, I think the ones he had were in the back getting cleaned.
To get out of the impasse I decided to ask him about his personal life and family and even though he had some trouble understanding my questions the rest of the lesson proceeded a bit more fruitfully after I remembered to re-write my questions on paper which boosted his comprehension.
I had not heard of the Dogme approach at that time and so for the following classes I brought a beginner’s coursebook and played safe. I don’t think I ever managed to capture the not-knowing-what-would-happen-next excitement of that first lesson by following the book but naturally I did feel less stressed. So my lesson plans essentially became following relevant units in coursebooks!
So is there any morale to be drawn from my deficit in writing lesson plans? Yes more interesting-unexpected-unresolved lesssons follow but a novice teacher may not be able to handle this so lessons plans and/or coursebooks are needed!
Final note – during my search through old files I did come across my CELTA training evaluations and I may do a separate post of those if I am feeling brave!