General Instructions and Recommendations for Teachers

Dear colleagues,

It gives me great pleasure to congratulate you on the occasion of the new school year, wishing you all the best of luck.

I hope you consider the following.

1- Preparation and lesson planning:

Teachers are kindly requested to consider the following:

a- Good mental preparation.

b- Awareness of lesson objectives.

c- Careful study of the stimulus and preparing a mind map to sum up and clarify the content of the lesson.

d- Preparing the necessary activities and visual aids in advance.

e- Identifying the essential techniques and tools for presentation, practice and evaluation.

f- Writing down “Teacher’s Remarks – Self-evaluation or Reflection” to improve the learning process.

2- Implementation:

Consider the following stages:

a. Orientation.

  • Class orientation (Gaining students’ attention).
  • Physical environment (seating arrangements, light, AC, etc.).
  • Eliciting objectives from the students and writing them on the board.

b. Presenting the new material which requires:

  • Using correct English.
  • Using various techniques and strategies for presentation, different aids and exercises that would suit the different levels of students (differentiation).

c. Using the available teaching aids effectively (tools, cards, smartboards, etc.) and creating teachers’ own aids.

d. Questioning techniques (6 directions).

e. Contextualization i.e. linking the teaching material to students’ lives and the social environment.

f. Considering pair and group work.

g. Engaging students in various activities that are closely related to lesson objectives. Be creative and encourage students’ creativity.

h. On-going assessment (Formative and summative evaluation).

i. Rounding off (Closure) – (Review the main points and objectives covered in the lesson during closure).

j. Analyse the students’ test results of each unit to identify students’ real needs and prepare “Remedial Teaching Plans”.

3- Classroom Management & (Personality Traits):

  • Having a good appearance.
  • Being lively and active. (Remember, your attitude is reflected upon your students).
  • Being audible.
  • Having a good rapport with administrators, teachers, parents and students.
  • Enhancing desired behaviour and uprooting non-desired behaviour.
  • “Error Correction” should be dealt with appropriately. Never be critical of your students’ mistakes.
  • Teaching English communicatively.
  • Motivating students through a variety of techniques.
  • Involving students in various class and non-class activities.
  • Paying adequate attention to the Workbook activities.
  • Preparing additional language exercises to enhance some language areas (Could be challenging sometimes).
  • Commitment to checking and marking written work regularly and accurately, and activating the communication box.
  • Taking “timing” into account. Set a time limit for each task and stick to it.   

4- General recommendations:

  • Stay up to date with the latest technologies, methodology and best teaching and learning practices. Try out new ideas in your teaching to raise the quality of teaching and learning.
  • Carry out daily lesson reflection to resolve teaching and learning issues and improve methodology. “Reflection” is an important tool for teachers’ professional development.
  • Develop learner autonomy through engaging, creative, higher order and critical thinking tasks.
  • Make sure you establish classroom rules, routines, relationships and behaviour management from the early beginning of the school year and maintain them throughout.

Our School Vision of “Brainstorming”

Brainstorming (Modified):

  • Brainstorming is an activity used to generate ideas in small groups.
  • The purpose is to generate as many ideas as possible within a specified time period.
  • These ideas are not evaluated until the end and a wide range of ideas is often produced.
  • Each idea produced does not need to be usable.
  • Instead, initial ideas can be viewed as a starting point for more workable ideas.
  • The principle of brainstorming is that you need lots of ideas to get good ideas.

What is new then about the strategy of “Brainstorming” as we all know it?

Our school has developed the brainstorming strategy to engage the family with the learner in the search for new information and ideas associated with the elements of the new lesson using a variety of sources, including the Egyptian Knowledge Bank and the Digital Library.

  • A special template for that strategy has been prepared and placed in the worksheets prior to the new lesson, identifying the elements of the new lesson which the learner must look for new ideas associated with, in cooperation with his family members.
  • Students who come up with distinct ideas as well as his family members who cooperated with them are honoured.
  • This positive interaction affects the final ranking of the students in the ceremonies of honouring the top students.

Objectives of brainstorming:

Benefits and advantages of brainstorming:

  • Flexibility in thinking and acceptance of renewal and development
  • Getting used to respecting others’ opinions
  • Innovation and creativity in generating ideas
  • Being careful in taking decisions  
  • A motivating way to participate effectively
  • Investing time efficiently and effectively
  • Generating as many options, alternatives, ideas, information and questions as possible

Areas of using and benefitting from brainstorming in our daily life:

Conditions for successful brainstorming:

  • The topic of discussion should be specific
  • The issue or topic to be discussed  is liable to have a diversity of views and differences
  • Presenting the topic in an attractive and interesting way
  • Postponing the judgement and evaluation of ideas to a later stage
  • Writing down and respecting all ideas
  • Accepting strange ideas that, at first glance, might seem ridiculous to us
  • Distribution of roles to participants so that no participant or one person is allowed to control the session
  • That the session prevails an atmosphere of fun and pleasure
  • Avoiding and thoughts-killing phrases

Stages of brainstorming:

This method can be used in the second phase of the creative process, which consists of three basic stages:

  • Problem identification (subject, problem, issue, objective)
  • Finding ideas, or generating them (exciting)
  • Finding the solution (responses, feedback and processing)

Basic rules of brainstorming:

Basics of Teaching and Evaluation and Choosing the Appropriate Teaching Strategy

Phases of Instruction:

  1. The Planning Phase:

In this phase, the teacher has to think carefully about the following:

  1. Learning objectives:

Writing SMART Objectives

  • Objectives have to be written from the point of view of the learners i.e. what we expect them to be able to say or do by the end of the lesson.
  • Objectives will have to be written in terms of observable & measurable changes in the learner’s behaviour.
  • When writing objectives,  always use “Action Verbs” and avoid using “Non-Action Verbs”.

Students learning styles:

People learn in different ways. The most common learning styles are:

  • Teaching Techniques and Strategies:
  • Lecture – Explaining
  • Group Discussion
  • Brainstorming
  • Role-Play
  • Jigsaw
  • Concept Map/Sketch
  • Debate
  • Cooperative learning
  • Problem solving
  • Field trips (tours)

Choosing the appropriate teaching strategy:

No matter how diverse and different modern teaching strategies are,

  • The quality and nature of the educational session,
  • Its purpose and content,
  • The level of the learners and
  • The nature of each classroom environment

remain the determinant of any strategy we use. This is, of course, up to the teacher, as long as he is quite aware of the requirements of his class.

Criteria for selecting the appropriate teaching strategy:

The strategy should:

  • Be consistent with the learning outcomes.
  • Be appropriate for the educational content.
  • Be suitable for the learners’ level.
  • Lead to active learning.
  • Take into account the potential of the educational institution.

What Teachers Should Do When Planning:

Teachers should:

  • Take lesson planning seriously
  • Go through the Teacher’s Guide and Unit Plans to have a clear idea about the recommended procedures for teaching the various types of lessons.
  • Benefit from the lesson plans recommended in the Teacher’s Guide when planning.
  • Take the different phases of instruction into consideration when planning
  • Think of the different phases     of instruction in relation to the objectives of the lesson they are to teach
  • Consider the anticipated problems and their possible solutions
  • Prepare suitable visual aids that can facilitate their work and make their presentation easy, interesting and understandable
  •  Identify clear teacher’s and student’s roles
  •  Identify tasks for formative and summative assessment 

The Pre-instructional phase (Orientation):

The objectives of orientation:

What should be considered when planning for orientation?

Orientation should:

  1. Be interesting and related to lesson objectives
  2. Help draw students’ attention
  3. Prepare students to achieve the objectives
  4. Provide students with the prerequisites necessary for understanding the new stimulus
  5. Arouse students’ interest in the lesson

The Instructional phase (Presentation):

What to think of during “Presentation”:

“Presentation” can be distinguished and related to objectives due to:

  • Good preparation
  • Awareness of objectives
  • Appropriateness & variation of teaching methods and strategies
  • Active students’ participation
  • Availability of useful visual aids
  • Caring for differentiation and students’ learning styles

The Practice phase (Formative evaluation):

Practice becomes effective if it:                                                         

  • Is well planned
  • Is varied, graded and related to the lesson objectives
  • Is challenging
  • Encourages critical thinking
  • Cares for differentiation
  • Is well planned
  • Is varied, graded and related to the lesson objectives
  • Is challenging
  • Encourages critical thinking
  • Cares for differentiation

The Assessment phase (Summative assessment):

Requirements and benefits of summative evaluation:

Summative assessment is often effective when:

  • It is carefully planned
  • Teachers allocate enough time for carrying it out
  • The teacher collects students’ answers to mark them
  • The teacher takes decisions regarding the students’ performance (Future planning)

The following is a mind map summing up all the main points discussed in our training session:

The Teaching of Writing

The Purposes of Teaching Writing:

  1. Writing is an important means of distance communication.
  2. It will be required by many students carrying out research studies in English medium universities.
  3. Many language educators consider writing to be an effective way for helping students learn a language.
  4. Writing can be an effective primary phase for conducting role-play.

Approaches for the Teaching of Writing:

  1. The Controlled-to-Free Approach.
  2. The Free Writing Approach.
  3. The Paragraph-Pattern Approach.
  4. The Grammar Syntax Approach.
  5. The Communicative Approach.
  • Each of these approaches focuses on some aspects of the writing process, so much so that none of them is comprehensive.
  • These approaches are not mutually exclusive, but they, in fact, complement one another.
  • The choice of any particular approach depends on the age and the level of proficiency of the students in English.
  • To become a professional writer, one will have to have mastery of the grammatical structure, vocabulary and a suitable writing style.
  • One of the ways of achieving this is to progress from controlled through guided practice to free writing.

Procedures for Planning and Conducting the Writing Lesson:

  1. Writing the performance objective.
  2. Conducting instructional analysis of the performance objective or the learning task.
  3. Writing the test item.
  • Having written the test item, the teacher will have to think of what to do to help the students achieve this.
  • Since we have discussed the how to gain the attention of the students, how to inform them of the performance objectives, how to recall the essential prerequisites and how to introduce the new vocabulary items, it will be necessary now to discuss the last three instructional events in relation to the teaching of writing:

  1. Presenting the stimulus:


To introduce the new language items that the students will have to learn to use in order to perform the writing task.  The language items may include grammatical structures, language functions, vocabulary items and idioms, etc.

  • The stimulus may be specifically prepared or selected for the writing task.
  • Reading or listening comprehension texts can be used as a stimulus for the writing tasks.
  • The text must first be presented in the same manner in which comprehension texts are presented.

2. Conducting Interactive Teaching and Learning:

  • The problem of teaching composition can be solved if we use the two concepts of formative and summative evaluation.
  • The purpose of formative evaluation is to give the student feedback about the correctness of her or his performance. This has also been called informal assessment.
  • The purpose of summative evaluation is to award the student a grade or a mark.
  • Most teachers seem to be using summative evaluation rather than formative evaluation when dealing with the students’ compositions or writing tasks.
  1. Eliciting the response:

(By using mechanical drills) (Controlled language exercises)

2. Enhancing retention and transfer:

  • Rule explanation.
  • Using guided language exercises.

3. Providing feedback:

  • Feedback about students’ performance is given whenever a student gives a correct answer to a question.

4. Giving learning guidance:

  • Learning guidance is given whenever a student fails to give a correct answer to a question.
  • The teacher begins the practice phase with controlled language exercises.
  • Some of the most commonly used controlled exercises are modeling, completion exercises, question and answer exercises, etc. For example, it is possible to miss out some of the key words in the text and ask students to complete the exercise.
  • The exercise can be done automatically without the students knowing the grammatical rules.
  • It is necessary to explain these grammatical rules and give the students another type of guided exercises.
  • The guided exercises used in writing practice include questions set on a picture or sequence of pictures, or questions set on a text, not for testing comprehension, but for making comparisons, value judgements or discussing moral questions, etc.
  • The students, who have done well in the guided practice phase, must be given the opportunity to take the summative assessment.

Assessing the Students’ Performance:

  • The purpose of this event is to find out to what extent the objectives of the lesson have been achieved. In other words, to find out to what extent the students have learnt what they have been taught.
  • Teachers as well as course and textbook writers must prepare achievement tests rather than proficiency tests.
  • Achievement tests help teachers find out to what extent their students have learnt what they have been taught.
  • If the content and the technique of the test are not congruent with the lesson’s or unit’s performance objectives, the test will not only have bad backwash effects, but it will also lack content validity.
  • If teachers make use of the concept of formative evaluation in addition to summative assessment, they will be able to teach and test composition writing.
  • Compositions are usually criticized for neither being valid nor reliable tests of students’ writing ability.

The Teaching of Comprehension Skills

* Types and aims of comprehension skills:

1) Listening or reading for gist:

(To get the general meaning of a text or the main idea).

–  Students should look for cues such as:

  1. Opening statements e.g. “The purpose of this talk”, etc.
  2. Summary phrases and words e.g. “In conclusion “, etc.

–  Students must be encouraged to:

  1. Read the topic sentence.
  2. Skip details.
  3. Look for summary phrases and logical connectors.

– It can be practised with listening or reading for detailed information.                                  

(Skimming is useful for this purpose).

2- Listening or reading for specific information:

  • (The questions or the tasks to be done are usually given before the students begin to read or listen to the text).
  • Students are required to scan through very quickly to obtain specific information.

3. Listening or reading for detailed information:

(The questions are usually given after the students have finished reading or listening to the text).

* Every listening or reading comprehension lesson will comprise the following instructional events:

  1. Gaining the attention of the students.
  2. Stimulating recall of prerequisites.
  3. Informing the students of the lesson’s performance objectives.
  4. Introducing new vocabulary.
  5. Presenting the stimulus.
  6. Conducting interactive teaching and learning.
  7. Assessing students’ comprehension.

A) Presenting the stimulus material:

There are two types of stimuli i.e. oral and written. The stimulus for listening comprehension must be an oral one and the stimulus for reading comprehension must be a written one.

  • If one neglects to use the proper stimuli for learning, the end result may be that the learner acquires the wrong skill.
  • Reading comprehension always means silent reading.
  • It is necessary that teachers keep the objectives of the comprehension exercise constantly in mind.
  • It is also important that the teachers’ activities and decisions should match the objective of the comprehension.

B) Conducting interactive teaching and learning:

  1. In this phase, the students will be interacting with the teacher and also, hopefully, with one another.
  2. The purpose of this event is to find out through informal assessment, the degree of the students’ understanding of the text and the provision of extra help to enable them to overcome any remaining difficulties some students are still facing in understanding the text.

The principles of this event are:

  1. Eliciting the response.
  2. Providing feedback.
  3. Providing learning guidance.
  4. Enhancing retention and transfer.

A) Eliciting the response: (Informal assessment)

–  Asking the students questions to measure their degree of understanding the text they have been reading or listening to.

 – Guidelines for the types of questions to be asked:

  • Avoid questions requiring long and non-specific answers that are difficult to verify.
  • Asking questions that can be answered with yes/no or one or two words only.
  • Use observation techniques to assess the students’ interests and attitudes.

–  All the questions and answers must be delivered orally.

The routine to be followed:

  • The teacher writes the questions and displays them.
  • A student reads the first question silently and then looks up and says the question to the student he has chosen.
  • The student named will then answer the question.
  • The one who asked the question will then ask the whole class, saying “Is she (he) right?”
  • The class answers. (Providing feedback).
  • The same student asks the one who answered the question, saying, “How do you know? or “Why do you think she is right or wrong?”  (Enhancing retention and the transfer).
  • The student who answered the previous question correctly is rewarded by asking the next question, and addressing it by name to another student.
  • The routine will continue in the same manner for the whole set of questions prepared by the teacher.

B) Providing feedback and learning guidance:

  • The student who answers a question must be given immediate feedback about the correctness of his answer. This is usually done by the teacher. But in our routine, it is done by the students themselves.
  • A wrong answer raises the question of how to give learning guidance to arrive at the correct answer.
  • In listening comprehension, replay the part of the cassette in which the answer is found.
  • In Reading comprehension, ask students to reread the relevant paragraph or sentence.
  • Leading questions can be used to direct the students’ attention to rules of text grammar or rules of syntax etc.
  • Remember that the teacher is just helping the students to find the correct answer.

C) Enhancing retention and the transfer of comprehension skills:

(By asking students why a certain answer is right or wrong).

  • It may be enough to mention the number of the paragraph and the line in which is the correct answer is found. The student may be asked to read the relevant part.

Assessment: (The last instructional event) (Summative evaluation)

  • The purpose is to obtain formal and systematic information about the students’ abilities to understand the text and the skills that have been taught.
  • The test must be a written one. (Selection tests are recommended).

The Teaching of New Vocabulary Items

Learning behaviours associated with the teaching of new vocabulary items:

There are certain learning behaviours that are associated with the teaching of new vocabulary items. These behaviours are:

  • recognizing the spoken and written forms of a word as well as knowing its meaning
  • pronouncing the word correctly
  • spelling it
  • using it

Types of vocabulary:

1- Passive vocabulary (Recognition only)

2- Active vocabulary (Pronounce, spell and use)

The type of vocabulary is decided by the course writer)

The sequence recommended for presenting the new vocabulary items:

1. Introduce the new word in context.

2. Explain or elicit the meaning.

3. Teach pronunciation.

4. Show the written form.

5. Teach the spelling of the productive words only.

6. Teach how to use the productive vocabulary.

Presenting the new vocabulary items:

  • new vocabulary items must never be presented in isolation.
  • a new word must always be presented in a context.
  • teachers should realize that the meaning of the word is determined by the context in which it is used.

Explaining the meaning of the new vocabulary items:

The following techniques are recommended for explaining the meaning of the new vocabulary items:

  • dramatization
  • synonyms
  • antonyms
  • drawings
  • actions
  • miming
  • objects (realia)
  • pictures
  • photographs
  • definitions
  • translation

Teaching the pronunciation of the new vocabulary:

  1. Ask the class to look at you while you say the word.
  2. Pronounce the word two or three times loudly and clearly.
  3. Ask the whole class to repeat after you.
  4. Ask each half of the class to repeat the word.   
  5. Ask each group to repeat the word after you.     
  6. Ask individual students with faulty pronunciation to repeat the word after you.

Displaying the written form of the new words:


• Writing the word on board.

  (The simplest and least expensive way)

• Using flashcards, overhead transparencies, Smartboards and PowerPoint Presentations, etc.


• Saving class time.

• Preparation of well-written words.

• Can be professionally prepared.

• Can be stored for future use.

• Can be useful for checking students’ recognition of the new vocabulary items.

Checking the students’ recognition of the new lexical items:

After presenting all the new vocabulary items, the teacher must check that the students can recognize the whole list of the new vocabulary items.


a) Pointing out words (on board)

b) Picking out objects (limited)

c) Action verbs (miming and students say the verb) – Interesting / Merry atmosphere.

Helping the students to learn how to spell the new vocabulary items:

a) Students look at the word to be spelt for a few seconds and then close their eyes and visualize the word.

b) Students then check the correctness of their visual image.

c) Cover the word and ask students to write down the word on a piece of paper (from memory).

d) Uncover the word so that students check their spelling.

e) Give immediate feedback (positive reinforcement).

Bloom’s Taxonomy and Learning objectives

In the course of professional development in our school “HIS” (Alhossam Integrated Language Schools) and for the preparation of the new school year , I decided to give a workshop on “Bloom’s Taxonomy and Learning objectives”. The main purpose was to help teachers write SMART objectives and approprite test items in the light of Bloom’s taxonomy and the six levels of learning and thinking.


Objectives of the workshop:

  • Mention what Bloom’s taxonomy is.
  • Illustrate the six levels of learning and thinking.
  • Explain Bloom’s hierarchy.
  • State the importance of Bloom’s taxonomy in writing learning objectives.
  • Apply Bloom’s taxonomy levels in writing test items (Formative & Summative).

To start with, I used the following video for orientation.

Bloom’s Taxonomy Why, How, & Top Examples

What is Bloom’s Taxonomy?

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a classification of the different objectives and skills that educators set for their students. (learning objectives)


The six levels of learning:

These 6 levels can be used to structure the learning objectives, lessons, and assessments of your course:

  • Remembering: Recognizing, and recalling relevant knowledge from long‐term memory.
  • Understanding: Constructing meaning from oral, written, and graphic messages through interpreting, exemplifying, classifying, summarizing, inferring, comparing, and explaining.
  • Applying: Carrying out or using a procedure for executing, or implementing.
  • Analyzing: Breaking material into components or elements, determining how the parts (components) relate to one another and to an overall structure or purpose.
  • Evaluating: Making judgments based on criteria and standards through checking and assessment.
  • Creating: Putting elements together to form a coherent or functional whole; reorganizing elements into a new pattern or structure through generating, planning, or producing.


Bloom’s Hierarchy:

  • Bloom’s taxonomy is hierarchical, meaning that learning at the higher levels is dependent on having attained prerequisite knowledge and skills at lower levels.
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy is often displayed as a pyramid graphic to help demonstrate this hierarchy. Each level is built on a foundation of the previous levels.

Assess Rhythm Reading – Teaching Tip

Bloom’s Taxonomy and Learning Objectives:

Bloom’s taxonomy is a powerful tool to help develop learning objectives because it explains the process of learning:

  • Before you can understanda concept, you must remember
  • To applya concept, you must first understand
  • In order to evaluatea process, you must have analyzed
  • To create an accurate conclusion, you must have completed a thorough evaluation.

Bloom’s verb charts:

Bloom's verb charts

Steps towards writing effective learning objectives:

  • Make sure there is one measurable verb in each objective.
  • Each objective needs one verb. Either a student can master the objective, or they fail to master it.
  • If an objective has two verbs (say, define and apply), what happens if a student can define, but not apply? Are they demonstrating mastery?
  • Strive to keep all your learning objectives measurable, clear and concise.


In your group:

  • Analyse the following content and decide what the learning objectives are.
  • Write test items that will help you measure to what extent you have achieved lesson objectives. (Make sure that you measure all levels of Bloom’s taxonomy, in the light of MOE test specifications).


In response to the previous activity, the following is an example of the trainees’ productions.