|The topic is what the lesson is about. Possible ESL lesson topics include greetings, colors, handwriting, etc. That's pretty easy to understand. |
Objectives, however, are something else. Good objectives specify the new skills that the students will gain as a result of the lesson. They focus on student (not teacher) behaviors.
Here are a few good examples of objectives for ESL teaching.
Students will use socially appropriate greeting expressions in role play situations.
(for example, "Hi!" for friends in a casual setting, and "How do you do?" for first-time acquaintances in a formal setting).
Students will distinguish between English /s/ and /z/ sounds when they are used in sentences spoken naturally. They will choose the right picture card from a pair (e.g., ice and eyes) when they hear the spoken sentence "I like blue ice." or "I like blue eyes."
Students will understand the difference between simple present tense (e.g., "We eat.") and present progressive tense (e.g., "We are eating.") and use these tenses appropriately when they complete the worksheet accompanying this lesson.
Now, see if you can distinguish between well written objectives and those that are in some way defective.
Here is an objective written by an ESL teacher. Study it and decide if it is well written or poorly written.
In this lesson I will teach the students to pronounce /s/ and /z/ correctly.
What do you think? Is this a well written objective, or does it have problems?
You're right. This objective has at least one serious problem. The major problem with this objective is that it specifies what the teacher will do. Objectives are more effective when they specify what the students will do.
In this lesson the students will learn to pronounce /s/ and /z/ correctly.
What do you think? Isn't this version much better?
Here is another objective written by an ESL teacher. Decide if it is well written or poorly written.
Through this lesson, the students will improve their understanding of American culture.
This objective also has at least one serious problem. The major problem with this objective is that it is too general. (American culture is a BIG topic.) Objectives are more effective when they specify what the students will do. How would you rewrite this objective so that it was more effective?
There are many possibilities, but here's how we rewrote it:
"Students will learn the culturally acceptable way to greet a new acquaintance in a formal situation in the United States, and they will demonstrate what they have learned in a role play during the second part of class."
|That's all for topics and objectives ... for now.|