Don’t we love doing lesson plans?

Welcome back to our Morelia Mextesol informationa and update posts.

Here is a take on lesson planning for you

Writing lesson plans is an integral part of teaching. Too many beginning teachers and trainees consider lesson plans a tedious and unnecessary chore which they must do for their supervisors. Once they are working, they resort to lesson plans only when they will be observed.

Frustration with lesson plans results from three sources:
1. They do not understand the need: the purpose and rationale, although explained to them, is not felt or shared.
2. Trainees find it difficult to write measurable objectives.
3. Trainees find formats vague or of little help. They struggle to make the plan fit the format instead of the other way around.

To address these frustrations, this post will address these sources.

 What will well-planned lessons do for you?
1. Focus you.
2. Provide you with a plan and a back-up plan.
3. Force you to consider the purpose of the lesson and reason for each step.
4. Establish clear golas for the lesson that are understood by you and the learner.
5. Allow you to predict potential problems.
6. Help you design a coherent and cohesive lesson within a framework of a unit or annual plan.
7. Help you make a smooth transition form one lesson to the next.
8. Provide you with a written record of the course.
9. Encourage you to examine the lessons critically and make improvements.

10. Added by Luis Felipe: Having the lesson plan in place helps you stop worrying about what comes next and helps you focus on observing and monitoring to know better how your students are progressing.
11. Add your own in a comment……we welcome your input…

Clip Art  courtesy of


Making your classes real

Have you ever had students complain that their EFL classes have nothing to do with their real life? Have you ever been teaching second conditionals and looked at the long list of boring, meaningless what if…? questions?

Well, here is a brilliant idea shared from Ian James’ blog. Ian James, originally form Cardiff, England, teaches in Barcelona and runs a great website you might like to subscribe to. His teaching hints and ways to use the web are right on target and will help your own teaching come alive

Chekc out these ideas at

Nominated best teaching blogs and websites for Edublogs: Check these out!

In our desire to share with Morelia MEXTESOL members the best and the latest news in the ELT teaching world, we share this information with you. At the end of every year, Edublogs holds its annual awards for best sites in many categories.Edublogs is a blog interface which is teacher-friendly and working with a class blog helps you keep in touch with students outside the classroom…and outside Facebook.

Some of the favorite nominees from a very active teacher in Turkey, who has been nominated several years in a row for best teacher blog herself, has put up her favorite categories. Although these are not the winning blogs and merely those she nominated, I believe them to be worthy of sharing, since the work posted on these sites are relevant to our teaching English as a foreign language. So, check them out and see why Eva has nominated these sites. You might want to subscribe to some of them yourself:

2011 Categories

Academic Event November 17

Here is an invitation to an ELT Academic Event from Euro Latinamerican Books:    from Roberto Ramos R.


Atendiendo las peticiones de interesados en las innovaciones que presentamos en MEXTESOL, deseamos invitarlos al siguiente evento relacionado a la Enseñanza de Inglés:

Fecha: Jueves 17 de Noviembre.
Hora: 4pm
Lugar: Universidad Vasco de Quiroga A.C.,
Dirección: Avenida Juan Pablo II No. 555
Col. Sta. María de Guido C.P. 58090
Tel. (443) 323 51 71

Pueden asistir Coordinadores, Maestros y cualquier persona relevante de su institución. Favor de CONFIRMAR lo antes posible por esta vía indicando nombre y puesto de los asistentes. Gracias.


Roberto Ramos R.
Customer Service

Euro Latinamerican Books 
CEF Press
(777)263-1737 / 314-0669

Skype: customer-elb

Updated information: Online Conference: Purposeful Play

The participants of the 2011 K-12 Online Conference have been announced for this year’s conference! As in past years, the conference is organized into four strands. Each strand has an invited keynote speaker and nine additional selected speakers. The conference begins November 21st with a pre-conference keynote presentation by Angela Maiers

Please access and update your information so you can participate in this magna event. You can and find out about the speakers and the topics which will be presented during the event by  accessing their site.

Although this conference is not EFL-specific, there is much information that can be cross-referenced to our specific teaching situation.

Beyond the classroom walls

While attending the National Convention of MEXTESOL here in Morelia, I had a most pleasant surprise. My students had achieved something we all struggle towards as teachers in Mexico: interaction and communication outside the classroom.

This is the way it happened:

While at the convention I had left my first semester beginning students (30) and my high-intermediate students (45) something to do in order not to have them lose contact with English the two days I missed classes with them, Thursday and Friday. The project I left them was to upload a  picture and talk about it on Fotobabble, a free online Web 2.0 tool.

Of course, beginning students talked about their families and friends, referring to ages, likes and favorite things of the people in the picutres they chose. The upper level students chose any famous person, dead or alive, and talked about what they would do if they won a day with their chosen person, and included how their facial features indicated what type of personality they had. The framework in Fotobabble provides a minute to record a talking photo, so beginning students left one minutes and advanced students left one minute talking quickly or two minutes.

The results transcended farther than I imagined. The first brave souls who posted were computer-savvy students who had no fear about posting in an online context, something that was new for all of my students. As I checked in periodically over the next few days I saw other students listening to each others’ entries.

The sharing of listening podcasts relating to their photos helped them to access English outside their classroom. Some students had more than 20 hits on their Fotobabble podcasts, which showed that their work was listened to more than 20 times. My students were accessing English in order to fulfill their homework requirement, but they were listening to English outside the classroom.

When we came back to school on Monday, I noticed that they had a lot to say to each other about what they had listened to, including questions about the family members in the pictures they chose, or why they chose certain celebrities the advanced students had chosen.

As we started out our class, I asked them if they had had difficulties in uisng this new tool. They all responded with different answers, according to their level of technological expertise. Most of them admitted to spending more time stressing out about the assignment than actually doing it. Then I pointed out to them that spending time outside the classroom exposing themselves to English did not always have to be academic. They had enjoyed sharing each others’ work and looked forward to the next tool.

Day 3 & 4 of Mextesol National Convention

I apologize for not posting sooner.

In a National Convention, there is so much to do and so little time to do it in. There are books to review with publishing companies that you do not normally see in Morelia, and several stands were new this year that many of us had not seen previously.

There were several universities from England which offer undergraduate degrees in teaching languages, andhopefully they will all be able to attend our Regional Convention which will be held this coming February. Those of you who do not have  your credentials and have not started studying will be able to learn of all the options available to  you.

Proudly, two professors from Michoacan shared their talks with the people at the convention: Maria de los Angeles Duenas Corona, who had last March won a all-expenses paid trip to the TESOL Convention in New Orleans. Not only did she share her experiences in Designing ESP Reading classes for Electronic Engineers in the Universidad Michoacana, she also participated on the panel of teachers who had won and attended the International TESOL Convention.

The other participating professor was…me, Ellen! I shared my experiences as a TKT preparation course trainer using blogs to form an interlinked flat classroom community.

The Executive Committee of Morelia Chapter is planning lots of surprises for our upcoming Regional Convention in February based on the many contacts we made this weekend. As we get the pictures we took we will be sharing them with you on this site.

Keep posted!