Introduction: Planning lies at the heart of good teaching. The success or failure of a lesson much depends upon good or bad planning. The class work to -day, no longer remains haphazard and ‘hit and fit’ job’: it is well-planned and psychologically organized. It bears the stamp of the teacher’s careful thought with regards to the details of the lesson.
What is Planning?: Planning means pre-viewing or thinking about a certain activity before it is taken up for execution. It involves careful thinking about the tools to be used for its successful completion. As far as language teaching is concerned, planning involves the teacher’s skill in the selection of the material, the techniques or method or approaches to be employed, the activities to be taken up, and in getting the pupils involved in the successful completion of the lesson. It is a complete preview of the difficulties likely to occur in the course of the lesson. A lesson plan is a statement of the objectives to be realized and the means by which they are to be attained, as a result of classroom activities. It sets up specific aims to be attained. It sets up the most economical procedures to attain them.
Importance of Planning: Planning ensures balance in language skills. Planning relates each lesson to what goes before and what follows. Planning economizes the teacher’s effort. Planning gives proper pace to teaching and learning. Planning ensures progress.
Structure or Stages of Single Day Lesson Plan: Pre-teaching planning involves—(i) preparing the whole plan (ii) collecting teaching aids. Planning during teaching involves— (i) arranging the aids in a sequence. (ii) plan for sampling pupils. (iii) plan of organising dialogue and drill. (iv) planning BB work. (v) planning writing work. (vi) planning class-room correction. (c) Post-teaching planning involves— (i) correction of written work. (ii) common mistakes (iii) recording progress of each pupils.
Characteristics of Lesson Plan: (i) It gives a precise statement of general and specific aims. (ii) It mentions the requisite material (e.g. audio-visual aids) to be needed in the course of the lesson. (iii) It gives a precise account of the teacher’s activity, his procedure and method of handling the language material. This includes motivation devices, presentation, recapitulation, etc. (iv) It also gives an account of pupil’s activities and the desirable linguistic outcomes. (v) Main points can be seen at a glance, e.g. B.B. work, important sketches, substitution tables, etc. (vi) It makes a mention of the assignments or home-work to be given. (vii) Reference books, if consulted by the teacher during the course of planning the lesson, are noted in the plan. In a way, a good lesson plan ensures a balanced practice in each of the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing). There is variety and some spice in the lesson and there is enough provision for revision. The lesson plan in use should be a two-way communication between the teacher and the class. But, to strike a word of caution, a certain plan should not become the plan. It should enable the teacher to toss aside or change it as he goes along, depending upon the mood of the class or some unexpected difficulty which might arise.
Reflective Teaching: Giving lessons is important, but no less important is lesson-observation. Observe lessons according to the following check-list: (a) Lesson Plan (b) Objectives (c) Introduction and Motivation (h) About the Teacher.