For a teacher of any subject, a large part of one`s working time is spent planning lessons. This is especially true if you are just starting out, as I am. TEFL teachers, though, have a particularly difficult time of it. Lesson plans have to be informative, interesting, and cater for the fact that some of your students might have very little knowledge of the English language. If you`re not fluent in your student`s native tongue lessons need to be simple and clear enough for your students to be able to understand it without any non-English supplementary information. Beyond that, you inevitably teach people of different abilities, ages and attention spans. For example, tonight I am teaching some basic conversation to five twenty-somethings, while my next lesson is to two under-ten year olds.
Clearly, flexibility is essential in this industry, as is good planning. Fortunately, above and beyond what you learn from a TEFL qualification course such as CELTA, or even an online TEFL course, the internet is dripping with advice on lesson planning for teachers of English as a second language. www.tefl.net has some very in depth resources, and http://esl.about.com is perhaps the most prolific source of online articles on this subject. TEFL.net`s Worksheet Generator is a particularly useful tool for creating both plans and resources for students. I can also recommend the British Council`s affiliate site, http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/, as a valuable source of teaching tips and lesson plans.
However isolated you might be in your teaching location, it`s reassuring to have such useful information so readily available.