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What to consider when planning courses

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© British Council
So far we’ve looked at plans for individual lessons, but of course the lesson fits into a whole programme of study, or ‘course.’
It’s important for you to have an overview and scheme of work for the whole course. Otherwise, you’ll end up working from day to day, and it’ll be hard to see whether you’re covering everything that needs to be covered.
What do you need to consider when planning your course? First of all, there are lots of ‘external’ factors. You’ll definitely need to think about the syllabus and the end of course exam, if there is one. You may have a textbook which you have to use. Last but not least, there are the learners; you need to consider their needs, interests and motivations.
There will certainly need to be variety, both in terms of topic and in terms of language skills. For example, across the course is there enough listening, writing, vocabulary input overall? Are the lessons too heavily biased towards grammar? In short, you have to think carefully about these two questions:
  1. What will I teach?
  2. In what order will I teach these items?
You might then go on to include the resources and materials you will use, for example coursebook pages or additional materials.
Now we’d like to hear your ideas on course planning:
  • What do you need to consider when planning your courses?
  • How do you approach course planning?
© British Council

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