Mastering ESL Lesson Planning: A Step-by-Step Path for Success

esl lesson planning

Unlock the secrets to successful ESL lesson planning with our step-by-step guide, designed to help you streamline your approach and achieve results!

One of the most crucial, but often weakest areas of being an effective teacher is lesson planning. In episode 91 of the Equipping ELLs podcast, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step success path for ESL lesson planning, helping you streamline your approach, set clear goals, and achieve more meaningful results in the classroom!

Lesson planning is the backbone of any successful ESL classroom. It ensures that teachers are organized, students receive a structured learning experience, and educational goals are met. However, without a clear plan and framework, ESL lesson planning can become overwhelming, leaving teachers feeling unprepared and stressed.

Plan in a 4-week cycle, using the following framework:

  1. Assess.
    Once you’ve established your quarterly goals, it’s time to assess your students’ starting points. This assessment helps you understand where your students are in terms of their language proficiency and informs your teaching strategy. Conducting a quick check-in can be as simple as using pictures to evaluate vocabulary knowledge or having students perform speaking or writing tasks. The key is to gauge their current level so you can tailor your lessons accordingly.
  2. Teach.
    With your assessment results in hand, you can now design engaging lessons that target the specific needs of your students. Ensure that your lessons align with your established goals. Incorporate interesting content and activities related to the subjects your students are learning in the homeroom classroom. This integration helps them apply their language skills in real-life contexts, making learning more meaningful.
  3. Observe.
    As you teach your lessons over the next three weeks, make it a point to observe your students closely. Keep records of their progress and areas where they excel or struggle. This ongoing observation allows you to make necessary adjustments to your teaching strategy. And to further refine your ESL lesson planning, consider using Proficiency Level Descriptors (PLDs). PLDs provide clear benchmarks for language proficiency at different grade levels. By periodically checking your students’ progress against these descriptors, you can make informed decisions about advancing or revisiting certain language skills!
  4. Repeat.

Effective ESL lesson planning irequires adaptability and a keen understanding of your students’ needs. By following this step-by-step success path, you can create a structured, efficient approach to lesson planning that helps your students thrive! 

Connect with Beth:
More about Equipping ELLs:

We all know that teaching isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be this hard. Equipping ELLs is a podcast for both ESL specialists and homeroom teachers who are looking for effective and engaging ways to support their English Language Learners without adding to their endless to-do list. Tune in each week to hear tips, strategies, and inspirational stories that will empower you to better reach your ELL students, equip them with life-long skills, and strengthen relationships with colleagues and parents.

Your host, Beth Vaucher, is the founder of Inspiring Young Learners. She is an ESL certified homeroom teacher with over 10 years of experience teaching in the US and internationally. Her background of M.Ed in ESL and Curriculum and Instruction combined with her experience has led her to develop a bestselling newcomer curriculum that has sold in over 90 countries around the globe. She brings a different perspective to teaching ELLs from her years teaching and living abroad and working with ELLs from around the world. You will walk away from each episode with the ideas and tools you need to transform your experience as a teacher and cultivate a thriving and welcoming environment for your ELL students.



Find a variety of best selling resources created specifically with the diverse needs of ELLs in mind.