Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Balanced Lesson

Developing a balanced lesson is not always as easy as we teachers would like it to be, especially when we look forward to improve certain areas some students need to improve or simply clarify.

However, there are small steps we can take to include all four skills into a lesson only if we are more flexible about concepts relevant to each of them. It is quite obvious that listening and speaking will always be present in each lesson as students have to listen to at least teacher’s instructions and have to speak to communicate within classroom environment. Also, reading and writing will somehow be present in each lesson as far as students have to read to exercises and complete them by writing the answers unless we want to base the lesson only through a communicative approach.

In my case, lessons tend to be under this structure most of the time as a way to maintain balance in each of the skills and because in real life we cannot detach any of them from the others. It is true that in some situations one may be more present than the others, and most of the time writing may be the least used. However, ESL contexts look forward to develop all of them mostly because English pronunciation and writing is not the same and we want students to be able to recognize both sounds and written language.

As mentioned, simply by having a flexible approach and including clear exercises where students can read and write as well as participating with clear instructions and encouraging students to either check or communicate only in English, we can have all skills always present in a lesson. And, of course, keep as much balance as possible even if we want to develop a complete and extensive reading or writing lesson or work with role plays or intensive listening exercises.