Session 4A
Title: Motivation from the start: Planning the first lesson with a new class

Every teacher regularly experiences the first day with a new class. For many teachers, no matter how long they’ve been teaching, this brings a mixture of nervousness, anticipation and even dread. The first lesson is an opportunity to build rapport and instil confidence in the teacher, establish student support and study groups, develop class and individual student motivation, diagnose student needs and expectations, orient students to the course materials and establish an atmosphere of intrigue or motivation in the learning process.

Teachers have many different approaches to the first class, from getting straight into teaching one of their favourite lessons, to doing "getting to know you" ice-breaker activities and discussing course objectives. This workshop will background some approaches to the first lesson within their theoretical frameworks, then provide hands-on demonstration of activities that work with different types of students at different levels. Participants will have the opportunity to share first lesson plans that have worked for them and to explore and practice new approaches that they can apply directly in their teaching, including ideas for expanding the first lesson online.

James Heath has taught general and academic English from Mexico and Peru to Byron Bay and Sydney, including university direct entry programs at UNSW and Newcastle University. His background is in media and communications, video production and online marketing. James publishes lesson plans and teaching ideas at his website

Kimberley Masters has taught general and academic English since 2000 in a number of countries, including France and Japan. Since 2009 in Australia, she has focussed on teaching IELTS, and the direct entry program at UNSW.