Troubador The Art of Lesson Planning

Released: 01/10/2014

eISBN: 9781784627799

Format: eBook

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The Art of Lesson Planning

A Handbook for Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages


This is intended as a handbook for Teachers of English as a Foreign / Second Language at various stages of their development. Welcome, all of you, to the journey of lesson planning! Like most teachers, I set out not knowing my 'assumptions' from my 'anticipated problems' or my 'aims' from my 'stages'. I certainly had no idea what I was doing when I first stood up in front of a class of expectant students. It didn’t take me long to realise how essential good planning is in delivering good lessons and, many years on, I still believe this, even if I don’t commit as much to paper on a regular basis as I used to.

I would like to take you on a journey through a lesson plan from its inception to its conclusion. Whether you are about to embark on an initial training course or a far more advanced one, or are a practising teacher lacking in confidence in producing useful paperwork and/or needing to impress an incoming observer, there will be something for you in every section. It will all fall into place as you gain experience — honestly!

Different courses, training centres, tutors, schools, Directors of Studies (heads of teaching), etc. all have varying views on what trainees or teachers should produce. Neither teaching nor planning come under the heading of ‘science’ (hence the use of the word ‘Art’ in the title). This ebook is my take on the planning process. It's based on years of experimentation which can be used, adapted or rejected according to your needs and preferences and those of the context in which you are working. All of it, I hope, is sound advice — it’s worked for me for over two decades!

Out now as an ebook on iBooks and through Amazon for Kindle Fire:

What others are saying about ‘The Art of Lesson Planning’`

A comprehensive and highly practical review of lesson planning that will be an invaluable source for those entering the language teaching profession and experienced teachers alike.
Tim Bowen, Teacher Trainer

‘The Art of Lesson Planning’ is a very comprehensive guide for teachers at all levels. This lucid and essential handbook will help deepen teachers’ understanding of lesson planning issues while helping to speed up the vital planning process. The appendices are particularly useful, providing helpful and comprehensive sets of forms, templates and exemplars of planning documents that will be valuable for teachers in all kinds of teaching contexts. ‘The Art of Lesson Planning’ is a really indispensable guide for every ELT teacher's personal library and professional development journey.
Michael Carrier, Director Strategic Partnerships, Cambridge English Language Assessment

Mike Cattlin’s extensive experience as a trainer and observer means that he is ideally placed to produce this excellent, comprehensive and accessible guide to lesson planning. Newly qualified and experienced teachers alike will find this an extremely useful point of reference.
Lucy Horsefield, Chief Operating Officer, International House World Organisation

A comprehensive and comprehensible guide to lesson planning for pre-service and in-service teachers, ‘The Art of Lesson Planning’ is about a lot more than just lesson planning.
Marie Therese Swabey, CELTA trainer and assessor

Cattlin has written the definitive guide to lesson planning from a technical-rationalist perspective, and it will be invaluable for those teachers embarking on in-service training programs such as the Cambridge DELTA or Trinity Diploma. Not only are the principles underlying systematic planning clearly and comprehensively spelled out, but there is a generous selection of sample lessons that exemplify these principles, and which offer teachers-in-training a varied and productive source of lesson planning templates and ideas.
Scott Thornbury, The New School, New York

For an interview with the author at International House Budapest, see

For a review in the International House Journal, 2015, see:

Teacher Training

In my opinion, 'The Art of Lesson Planning' is a must read book for people intending to pass their CELTA, because this book is all about lesson planning according to CELTA norms I would say. This book will help CELTA trainees go through the course more easily and even enhance their performance in the course as they will understand lot of things about lesson planning beforehand. It's also helpful for new teachers who just started teaching.

'The Art of Lesson Planning' is a straighforward and practical book. Everything you read in it can be easily put into practice.

I highly recommand this book because I learned a lot from reading it and I am sure it would help other people as well.

by Mehdi Benmoussa

Mike Cattlin

Mike Cattlin has worked in the English Language Teaching profession since 1994 in various capacities: as a teacher of all ages and levels of students, as a Director of Studies in Poland, Indonesia and Hungary, as the Academic and Teacher Training Co-ordinator of the International House World Organisation, as an academic consultant in Lebanon, as a materials writer and editor of face-to-face and online courses for International House, as a task-writer for the ‘Cambridge English Teacher’ website, as an inspector of language schools in Europe, Africa, North and South America and Asia, and as a Cambridge CELTA and Delta trainer and assessor in Europe, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, South East Asia, South Africa, Latin America and Australasia.

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