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Trainer with local teachers

Background

The English Language Teaching competition grew out of our work with teacher educators, both pre and in -service, in the state sector in Sri Lanka.  This work falls under our larger TRANSFORM programme. From 2017 the Improving Teacher Education in Sri Lanka (iTESL) Project has been running. Materials were developed based on the needs of both sectors. Teacher educator courses were delivered to over 100 teacher educators in the National Colleges of Education and mentoring and ELT methodology courses were delivered to over 200 in-service advisors and senior teachers.

A Community of Practice (COP) was initiated to assist these teacher educators to share best practices and to give them a forum to collaborate. One of the events that the COP was keen to run was a competition aimed at collecting best practice in English teacher lesson planning and English teacher educator session planning.  The group lesson plans which formed a key part of the Continuous Professional Learning and Development for Teachers (CPLDT) Project currently running are also eligible for entry. The group session plans which are part of the ELT Methodology course for teacher educators on the iTESL Project are also eligible for entry.

These lesson and session plans can then form a bank of materials uploaded both to the new Ministry of Education Moodle site for the Community of Practice and shared to its members and to the mobile Teach English App (TEA) still in development. In that way, Secondary English lesson plans based on the NIE curriculum and using the school textbooks and session plans based on the NIE Teacher Training curriculum and based in the Sri Lankan context can be shared between the wider teacher and teacher educator community.

The winning materials will be showcased at the Sri Lankan English Language Teacher Educator Conference in March 2020. This is the ideal venue for showcasing and sharing the work of both pre and in-service teacher educators and teachers. 

Objectives

  1. To encourage the writing of detailed lesson and session plans for the English language teaching classroom and training room
  2. To showcase best practice in lesson and session planning in the local context
  3. To establish a bank of materials which can be shared on Moodle and/or Teach English App
  4. To raise awareness as to the importance of lesson and session planning
  5. To produce 2 booklets of (1) session plans and (2) lesson plans that can be used as examples of best practice in English language teacher education. 

Target Audience

  • Citizens of Sri Lanka
  • All secondary school government sector English language teachers in either government schools or government-approved private schools
  • All English teacher educators in pre and in-service sectors (i.e. lecturers in National Colleges of Education, Teacher training colleges, Teacher Centres, Regional English Support Centre resource people, In-Service Advisors)

What can you win?

  • Win a trip to the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) 2020 in Manchester in the UK in April
  • Win a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.0” (2019) 64GB to help with your lesson planning
  • Win a class set of English language coursebooks or a set of English language methodology books for your institution
  • Win the chance to contribute to a bank of online resources for English language teachers and teacher educators in Sri Lanka
  • Win a chance to attend the Sri Lankan English Language Teacher Educator Conference (SLELTEC) in March 2020
  • All shortlisted entries meeting the guidelines below will receive a joint British Council / Ministry of Education certificate of participation

Guidelines and Top tips for session and lesson plans 

Guidelines for the lesson plan

Go to the syllabus for the grade you are teaching. You can find this in your library or the Teacher’s Guide can be downloaded from the website www.nie.lk/seletguide. Note the competency and competency level to be covered in the grade. Select a competency and level to develop a lesson plan from. The Teacher’s Guide might say you need, for example, 3 periods for one competency level. However, for the competition, you only need to plan one period and show how the competency level is covered. After selecting the competency and level, select suitable materials to do this. You can use either the grade textbook as resource materials or other materials to plan and deliver your lesson. 

Read the lesson plan sample (including handout sample) and the lesson plan template (including handout template) as an example of one lesson plan (see downloads section). Your lesson plan will be different and may not use all the boxes on the sample plan but use the templates as a guideline.

Top tips for the lesson plan

  • First, read the sample lesson plan
  • Notice how the instructional objectives are directly linked to the competency levels and therefore the syllabus
  • Make sure your instructional objectives are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound)
  • Notice how the main focus of the lesson can be one competency but other competencies can also be developed in the same lesson
  • Notice how the procedure of the lesson is divided into what the teacher does and what the students do. By doing this we can easily see where the teacher is doing too much, and the students need to do more
  • Notice how the teacher adapted the textbook to maximise student-talk-time and minimise teacher-talk-time
  • You do not need to use the textbook. Competencies can be developed using other materials. You do need to state the competency levels, however
  • Add supplementary materials to the textbook – this will add variety to the lesson and motivate students
  • Notice the interaction column – by completing this you can easily make sure that you have a variety of interaction patterns throughout the lesson
  • Notice the timing and the stage columns – it is important to know what stage of the lesson it is and how long it might take
  • Notice the language in the procedure – it is clear, precise and short. Another teacher could use the plan to teach the class
  • Notice that each of the activities in the procedure is broken down into at least 3 parts for the teacher (1) set up – i.e. instructions/demo (2) monitoring student task (3) feedback on task – i.e. error correction, checking answers
  • Notice that in this reading skills lesson, the teacher has added a pre-reading stage to scaffold the reading and support learners and also post-reading stage as a follow-up task. Note the pre and the post-reading stages are focused on practising different skills 
  • If you want to use audio/video/ online materials, you can. However, they must be at an appropriate level for your students. Also, it must be very clear from your lesson plan exactly how they will be used. You must cite your source properly according to copyright regulations. If you are going to use these materials, please add a box to your lesson plan which gives a maximum 50-word description of the materials. Do not submit these materials. If you get through the shortlisting, you may be asked to submit them to a panel.
  • Notice how the teacher has adapted the final production task so there is a reason for students to produce and a reason for their peers to read (or listen).

Now plan your lesson!

Guidelines for session plans

If you are English lecturer from a National College of Education, a Teacher Training College or a Teacher Centre, go to the curriculum for the year you are teaching. Note the topic you want to cover in your session and the materials you will need to do this.   

If you are an In-Service Advisor, a Regional English Support Centre resource person or another English teacher educator, select a topic that is suitable for your participants and focus on that. 

Read the session plan sample (including handout sample), the sample powerpoint and the session plan template (including handout template) as an example of one session plan (see downloads section). Your session plan will be different and may not use all the boxes but use the template as a guideline.

Top tips for session plans

  • Notice how the aims are directly linked to the curriculum
  • Notice how the procedure of the session is divided into what the teacher educator does and what the participants do. By doing this we can easily see where the teacher educator is doing too much and the participants need to do more. 
  • Notice how the teacher educator has structured the session to maximise participant involvement. 
  • You can use powerpoint and supplementary materials to add variety to the session and motivate participants
  • Notice the interaction column – by completing this you can easily make sure that you have a variety of interaction patterns throughout the session
  • Notice the timing and the stage columns – it is important to know what stage of the session it is and how long it might take
  • Notice the language in the procedure – it is clear, precise and short. Another teacher educator could use the plan to deliver the session
  • Notice that each of the activities in the procedure is broken down into at least 3 parts for the teacher educator  (1) set up – i.e. instructions/demo (2) monitoring  (3) feedback – checking answers, summing up etc
  • If you want to use audio/video/ online materials you can. However, they must be at an appropriate level for your participants. You must cite your source properly according to copyright regulations. Also, it must be very clear from your session plan exactly how they will be used. If you are going to use these materials please add a box to your session plan which gives a maximum 50-word description of the materials. Do not submit these materials. If you get through the shortlisting you will be asked to submit them.
  • Notice how the session plan demonstrates best practice in teaching i.e. the session is participant-centred, the trainer elicits as much as possible to involve participants, a variety of interaction patterns are used, the trainer encourages participants to participate and talk together, instructions are clear etc.

Now plan your session!

Guidelines for submission

  • All session and lesson plans must use one of the templates. Please see models of both lesson plan and session plan for an example of what is expected
  • Session plans must be for 60 minutes and lesson plans must be for 40 minutes. 
  • Lesson plans must cover at least one of the competencies in the syllabus for the grade of students being taught. The school textbook can be used as the materials or other materials can be used
  • The word limit is 1000 words for sessions and lesson plans. Write the word count on your plan.
  • The font size is Arial 10 and the layout is landscape.
  • Session plan submissions including
  1. Session plan 
  2. If using supplementary material, one handout of maximum one page A4
  3. Powerpoint of 5 slides 

must be emailed to English.Competition@britishcouncil.org.

  • Lesson plan submissions including
  1. Lesson plan
  2. If using supplementary material, one handout of maximum one page A4

must be emailed to English.Competition@britishcouncil.org.

  • Write your full name and mobile number clearly on all documents you send.
  • Write English language teaching and training competition in the subject line of the email.
  • If you are submitting a session plan which was initially developed on the ELT Methodology course on the ITESL Project, please tick the box on the template for group submission. If you are submitting a lesson plan which was initially developed as part of the CPLDT course, please tick the box on the template for group submission. If your plans are shortlisted, you will need to submit all the group members’ names and contact details so please have them ready. There will be a special prize for group entries. 

Selection Process

  • Deadline for submission is 15 December 2019
  • Shortlisting of plans that meet criteria will be done by 20 January 2020.
  • A one-day workshop will be held for shortlisted submissions to give some instruction in the improving of the plans. All shortlisted submissions will receive a certificate of participation in the competition
  • Second submissions will due by 10 February 2020
  • Successful applicants at the second shortlisting will be asked to present their plans to a panel
  • Announcements of the winners will be made at the Sri Lankan English Language Teacher Educator Conference (March 2020)

Criteria for evaluation

The following criteria will be used to evaluate both session and lesson plans.

  • Clear reference to 
  1. Grade of the student; competency and level of competency (lesson plans)
  2. Year of course; curriculum coverage (session plans – if applicable)
  • Clear and achievable teaching/training objectives
  • Clear student/teacher learning outcomes 
  • Clear stages, aims of stages and development of stages
  • Accurate timing
  • Sufficient procedural detail to be used by another teacher/trainer covering activity set up, monitoring and feedback
  • Realistic and relevant for the Sri Lankan classroom or training room

Please note:
British Council staff and relatives and staff attached to the English and Foreign Languages Branch of the Ministry of Education and their relatives cannot apply.