In recent years, technology has transformed language education in many ways. We at Sanako do predict that there will be even more radical changes in the very near future with artificial intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT taking even a bigger role in how language teachers will teach and their students will learn languages.
One example area is creating effective and tailored language lesson plans, which traditionally takes a lot of time for the teachers. As a language teacher, you have a challenging task to create lesson plans that are effective, engaging and tailored for your specific group of students. With the help of AI technologies like ChatGPT, you can now create AI-powered lesson plans that are personalized and tailored for your desired learning objectives. And the part that we like the most is that it is very fast to create lesson plans and related language learning activities with ChatGPT.
This article will therefore outline the benefits of using ChatGPT in designing effective language lesson plans. We will also discuss how ChatGPT can actually be used to create these lesson plans as well as how you can use it to assess and provide feedback on student work. If you are just learning about ChatGPT and what it is, it might make sense to first check our previous article on how ChatGPT will influence and impact language education.
Check out also our video tutorial on how to effortlessly create language lesson plans with ChatGPT.
Advantages of using ChatGPT in language lesson planning
ChatGPT offers several advantages for language teaching. Firstly, it can provide a wealth of different lesson plans and authentic materials that can be used to supplement traditional textbooks and curriculum. By using ChatGPT, teachers can provide their students with a range of engaging lessons and relevant materials that are tailored to their students’ interests and needs.
Secondly, ChatGPT can provide personalized feedback for language assessments and assist with grading written work, therefore saving educators time and effort. By using ChatGPT, teachers can provide their students with detailed feedback on their language skills, helping them to identify areas where they need to improve and providing them with guidance on how to do so.
Customizing ChatGPT prompts to create language lesson plans
The secret to using AI tools like ChatGPT effectively is to design the correct prompts that you can then use to ask the chatbot to create what you are looking for. If you use very non-specific and general prompts like “create ESL lesson plan for A2 level class”, you will get a very vague and general plan that might not fit your particular needs.
So, before starting to use ChatGPT as a lesson plan generator, it’s important to customize your prompt for your specific needs. This includes selecting the language you want to teach and inputting any additional details you want the AI to be aware of. Below is a ready-made list of the most common parameters we advice language teachers to use when creating lesson plans using ChatGPT:
- Target language
- Source language
- Level: A1-C2 (CEFR) / Grade level such as grade 9 / Primary, Secondary, or High school level
- Theme: Business, nature, social interactions, travel, nature, science, culture, food, hobbies, etc.
- Lesson time: 45, 60, 90 minutes
- Delivery method: Face-to-face, remote, live, asynch
- Key teaching style: Task-based, communicative, project-based, CLIL, CLL, Audiolingualism, etc
- Student interaction format: Pair, group, individual
- Aim/objective: Improve speaking/reading/writing/listening skills, improve spontaneous speaking skills, memorize key vocab, build grammar knowledge, prepare for examination, develop group work skills, develop target culture knowledge, etc
- Materials: Audio, video, text, games, flashcards, etc.
Following this structure you can create a lot more specific prompts like the example below:
“Create a lesson plan that I can use for my B2 level English learners. The length of the class is 45 minutes. Theme of the lesson is science. Delivery method is remote teaching via Zoom. The key teaching approach I want to use is task-based language teaching. The student interaction format is group work. My objective for this lesson is to increase the students’ speaking skills. Materials I want to use in this lesson are videos.”
This produces a much more specific and tailored language lesson plan than using a very generic top level prompt like “create a lesson plan for my B2 level English learners”.
The example lesson plan that ChatGPT generated in response to the more detailed prompt is copied below:
- Warm-up – Introduction to Science (5 minutes)
- The teacher opens up with a quick introduction to the topic of science. Ask students to share their favorite scientific topic or discovery and why it fascinates them. This should be done in 1 minute or less per student.
- Presentation – Video Watching (10 minutes)
- Introduce and play a curated short video about an interesting scientific topic (choose something visually engaging, easy to understand but thought-provoking). The video should be around 5 minutes.
- After watching the video, spend another 5 minutes discussing the main idea, asking students to identify key terms, and ensuring comprehension.
- Controlled Practice – Group Discussion (10 minutes)
- Divide students into breakout rooms (small groups) for a more in-depth discussion of the video. Provide them with a list of discussion questions to guide their conversation.
- Encourage students to use the vocabulary and key terms they have learned from the video.
- Free Practice – Group Presentation (10 minutes)
- Assign each group a mini-task related to the video. They need to come up with a unique scientific concept, using the topic from the video as an inspiration (e.g., if the video was about space exploration, they might design a new planet, or if it was about biology, they might imagine a new species).
- Each group will create a short verbal presentation of their concept, which they will present to the rest of the class.
- Production – Science Talk Show (7 minutes)
- In their groups, students will now stage a mock talk show, where they discuss their scientific concept, why it’s interesting, and how it could affect the world.
- Each group will have approximately 2 minutes to present their talk show, depending on the number of groups.
- Feedback and Wrap Up (3 minutes)
- Provide feedback on the students’ speaking abilities, highlighting what they did well and areas they can improve.
- Summarize the main points of the lesson, encourage them to continue practicing their speaking skills, and introduce the topic for the next class.
- Ask students to watch another short science video of their choice and write a summary of it to be discussed in the next lesson.
Remember, the purpose of this lesson is to promote English speaking skills within a scientific context. Guide the discussions as necessary, but allow the students to do most of the speaking. This way, they can practice using English in a practical and engaging way.
As you can see, this lesson plan is well structured and could be seen as a really useful template with minor edits. Next, the language teacher could ask ChatGPT to source the needed video material by asking ChatGPT to “Propose 3 alternative videos that I can use for the part 2 of this lesson plan.” Similarly you can request Chat GPT to generate all the activities, quizzes, worksheets, question lists and vocabulary items that it refers to in the lesson plan.
You can see below the videos that ChatGPT proposed for us when we requested it to do so:
- The Secret Life of Plankton (TED-Ed)
Overview: New videography techniques have opened up the oceans’ microscopic ecosystem, revealing it to be both mesmerizingly beautiful and astoundingly complex. This video can encourage conversation around marine biology, biodiversity, and the significance of microscopic organisms in our ecosystem.
- How Does the Internet Work? (Aaron)
Overview: The Internet, a global system of interconnected networks that we use daily, is a scientific marvel. This video is a great platform to discuss technology, its advancement, and how it has revolutionized communication.
- The Effects of Climate Change (National Geographic)
Overview: This video explains the effects of climate change in a clear and engaging way, focusing on why a warming planet is a major concern and how it affects the living conditions on Earth. It’s a great springboard for discussions around environmental science, the impact of human activities on the planet, and possible solutions for these global issues.
Assessing language skills using ChatGPT
ChatGPT can also assist language teachers in grading written work by providing feedback on grammar, syntax, spelling, and vocabulary. Teachers can even request an opinion on what would be a relevant grade for any written student assignment following a certain examination framework like CEFR or IELTS. Teachers can input texts written by their students, and ChatGPT will generate feedback on areas for improvement. This can save educators time and provide students with more personalized feedback than would be otherwise possible given the very busy schedule that language educators are having.
ChatGPT allows for personalized feedback on student work and can help teachers identify specific areas where students need improvement. By analyzing student output, ChatGPT can generate tailored responses and recommendations for further study. This can help students to focus their learning efforts and improve their language skills.
Is the AI lesson plan generator a game-changer?
ChatGPT is already a powerful AI tool that can revolutionize the way we teach and learn languages. By using the platform’s resources and tools, teachers can create effective lesson plans that cater to the students’ needs and provide personalized feedback. However, it’s important to see ChatGPT as a supplement to traditional teaching methods, not a replacement! By integrating the platform into your language lesson planning process, educators can create a more dynamic and enriching language learning experience for their students – and save a lot of time. In the end, the most important thing is not the tool itself, but how we, as language educators, harness it to create an inspiring, effective learning environment.
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This blog post was last updated 12 October, 2023.