TKT week 1 – Aims

I’ve just started with a new group on the TKT course. This term we are focusing on module 2 – lesson planning – so I thought this would be a good opportunity to start a mini-blog with a summary of each week.

Week 1 looked at aims.

First we talked about the difference between…

Main aims – the overall aim for the learners in a lesson.

Subsidiary aims – linked to the main aim, but less important. Often helps students achieve the main aim.

Personal aims – what the teacher wants to achieve in the class.


We also looked at how to word aims effectively.

Which one of these aims do you think is most effective?

  1. To teach vocabulary.
  2. For students to talk about houses.
  3. For students to be better able to use a lexical set of 10 vocabulary items to describe their favourite rooms in their house.


Number 3 is the most effective. But why?

  • It focuses on the learners by using “for students” rather than the teacher “to teach”.
  • It tells us the context of the class (describing rooms in their house).
  • It tells us the language focus (vocabulary).

1 and 2 contain elements of these, but they are pretty vague and don’t really give us a picture of what the lesson will be like.

So when writing your aims, always think about…

  • the language focus
  • the context
  • and start with this… “By the end of the lesson, students will be better able to…”

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