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July 02, 2006

Time Management - Time's a Wastin'!

Hello Readers!

Have you ever spent time creating a brilliant lesson plan- only to find it flop in the end? Ever wonder why the students took such an amazingly long time to finish a task that you thought would be completed in under a minute? Did you ever stop to think that maybe it was because...

... you forgot to give the students a time limit? It can be a rather simple thing to forget to do, but remembering to do so will save you a lot of time in the end. Before you hand out a worksheet or give a student a task, make sure that you explain exactly what the student needs to do and how much time they'll have to complete the task.

Many students, especially Asian students, strive for perfection and would easily take up two or three times as much time as you have alotted for a task if they could. As the students are working on the task, you might find that some students get stuck on a question. Remind them of their time limit and tell them to move on to the next point- or give them a hint to help them complete the troublesome one.

At the same time, it is important to remember to teach to the students and not to the plan, which basically means that if all of your students are having problems, maybe you'll have to adjust your lesson plan a bit and give the students more time and/or instruction to complete the task.

Remember to watch the clock- and to clue the students in one how long they'll have for their tasks.

Good luck!

Carol Rueckert
Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
E-mail: crueckert@eslemployment.com
Blog: www.esl-lesson-plan.com

*Looking for more articles that discuss time management in the ESL classroom? Click HERE!

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About the author of this entry:
Carol, a native English-speaker who hails from the small town of St. Joseph in Minnesota, USA, has lived and worked in China since 1998. During that time, she has worked with students that range in age from three to more than sixty years old. She’s worked in universities, private language schools, grade schools, international schools, as well as private tutoring. Besides teaching, she’s also worked as a head teacher, an education manager, and a material development manager. In addition to working on this newsletter, she currently writes a monthly column for Time Out Beijing as well as working as an ESL instructor for the Australian International School of Beijing. Carol is also enrolled in Oxford Brookes' MA TESL program in Oxford, England. Look for her posts on the ESL-Jobs-Forum discussion boards!

Posted by crueckert at July 2, 2006 09:45 AM

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