The Unplanned Lesson

How to Stop Searching for Activities and Start Engaging Students

Subjects: English As A Second Language (esl), Education, Higher Education
Ebook : 9780472221547, 128 pages, 55, 7 x 10, December 2023
Paperback : 9780472039630, 138 pages, 55, 7 x 10, December 2023
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Revamping lesson plans to be more flexible and engaging for language learners

Table of contents

Table of Contents

SECTION 1: Why to use structure-based teaching

    1. A perfect plan?
    2. The hidden power of structures
    3. Creation through combination

SECTION 2: How to use structure-based teaching

    1. 50 FERM structures
    2. Structures to check for understanding 
    3. Structure evolutions
    4. Sample structure flows



The complexities of language education demand that teachers have the flexibility to be able to adapt their plans during lessons in order to meet the needs of their students. Yet teachers are trained to meticulously prepare lesson plans and numerous activities to keep their students engaged. This can lead to teachers feeling locked in to the plan they spent time preparing. The Unplanned Lesson suggests a new paradigm for how to prepare for and conduct language lessons based on curating what the authors term “structures.” By focusing on structures that are flexible, evolvable, repeatable, and memorable, teachers can reduce the amount of time they spend planning and increase the amount of time students are engaged in deliberate practice. Designed to integrate with any syllabus or textbook, The Unplanned Lesson approach aims to allow teachers to transform their classrooms by giving them more time to focus on supporting their students’ learning. 

Ian Roth is an Assistant Professor at Meijo University and a Lecturer at the Center for Advanced Education in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Osaka Metropolitan University. 
Paul Wicking is a Professor in the Faculty of Foreign Studies, Meijo University.