A2 trial lesson plan by ChatGPT

Since everyone’s been talking about the benefits of using ChatGPT at the workplace, I thought that I would also give it a go. My biggest day-to-day struggle is coming up with new and engaging ESL lesson plans. I’ve been using the same A2 trial lesson plan for a year now and I’ve finally decided that it was finally time to upgrade it with the use of ChatGPT.

When I started teaching on Preply, I needed to up my trial lesson game. Preply trial lessons are unpaid and you need to be good at selling yourself. Many factors influence students’ decisions to stay with you, such as your personality and presentation, your soft skills and ability to listen, or your background and experience (not particularly in this order). Having a strong trial lesson is a big help, as it shows your organisational skills, and your ability to conduct lessons. It also leaves students with the feeling that they have learnt something new in their first class!

For over a year, I have been using a lesson plan inspired by Martin Sketchley’s video A real Preply trial class (@ELTExperiences). I still stand by this lesson plan, but it felt like it was time to upgrade it a little bit. If you are curious about what it looks like, you can read all about it in My very first trial lesson on Preply. At the moment of writing this post, I have an A2 level trial lesson scheduled. I was struggling to think of ways to improve my current trial lesson plan. That’s when the idea of using ChatGPT appeared.


I typed into the chatbox A2 ESL lesson plan trial lesson and was presented with an almost-ready lesson plan within seconds. It looked great, and I could see the benefits of copy-pasting this lesson plan when I worked at an academy and had to provide proof of planning every week (whether I followed the plans was never verified). However, this time I was looking for a 1:1 lesson plan and the one generated by the programme needed some changes. ChatGPT even gives you this information at the end of its creation, so there is some necessity to modify it slightly.

The group size, students’ needs and preferences were not the only obstacle. I realized that the software gives you a very nice and clear lesson plan, but they are just plain ideas that need to be supported with materials, such as recordings, or pictures, which takes a bit more time. It is much easier to create a lesson plan around a recording than find a recording that fits a ready-made lesson plan. Without any further ado, here’s a ChatGPT lesson plan and my improvements on the tasks.

Title: Introducing Yourself

Objective: By the end of the lesson, the student will be able to introduce themselves in English and ask and answer basic questions about personal information.

ChatGPTMy lesson planExplanation
1. Introduction (5 minutes)

a) Greet the student and introduce yourself.

b) Ask the student about their name, where they are from, and what their hobbies are.

c) Briefly explain the objectives and structure of the lesson
1. Introduction (5 minutes)

a) Greet the student and introduce yourself.

b) Ask the student about their name, where they are from, and what their hobbies are.

c) Briefly explain the objectives and structure of the lesson.
I was content with the introduction because it matched all my previous lesson plans. I think that it is essential to greet each other and break the ice. Stating the class agenda shows that you put some effort into creating this class, proving that you are a responsible and serious tutor.
2. Vocabulary and Grammar Practice (15 minutes)

a) Present and practice basic phrases and questions for introducing oneself, such as “My name is ___,” “I’m from ___, and “What’s your name?”

b) Practice pronouncing and spelling the phrases, using examples and visuals as needed

c) Introduce the present simple verb tense and practice using it to ask and answer questions about personal information.
2. Vocabulary and Grammar Practice (10 minutes)

a) Test: Show five questions with a missing verb. Students fill in the gaps with verbs from a list (weaker groups), or their previous knowledge (stronger groups).

1. Where do you _____?
2. What do you _____?
3. Do you _____ any pets?
4. Do you _____ any other languages?
5. What kind of music do you _____ to?

(1. live, 2. do, 3. have, 4. speak, 5. listen)

b) Before answering the questions, show different ways of staying engaged in a conversation when meeting someone new.

1. By raising intonation, e.g. Where do you live?
2. What/How about you?
3. And you?

c) Ask and answer questions from part a. Engage in a conversation by asking questions from part b.
In my opinion, the questions and sentences suggested by ChatGPT were a bit too basic and might be boring for students. Therefore, to check students’ current knowledge, write five short questions in Present Simple. They are not intimidating and already give some idea about the student’s level.

The reason behind giving ideas on bouncing the questions was to build a relationship between a student and a teacher. In this way, students get a chance to talk about themselves, but also engage with the tutor and learn something about them.

I reduced this part to 10 minutes, as it is a 1:1 lesson, and I don’t think we will need 15 minutes. However, I’m not going to be too strict with time because the purpose of this lesson is to get to know each other, so if the student wants to elaborate, they won’t be stopped.
3. Listening and Speaking Practice (20 minutes)

a) Show pictures of people doing different activities and ask the student to describe what they see, using the vocabulary and grammar from earlier.

b) Play an audio clip of a conversation between two people introducing themselves and ask the student to listen and answer questions about the information they hear.

c) Role-play a conversation where the student introduces themselves and asks and answers basic questions with the teacher
3. Listening and Speaking Practice (12 minutes)

a) Show five pictures of different places and describe what you can see. I included pictures of a university lecture, a party, a book club, a gym and an online chat.

b) Once students finish describing the photos, ask what these photos have in common.

(places where you can meet new people)

c) Listen for gist. Listen to a short dialogue (Meeting other students) and say where the people are.


d) Listen for detail. Listen to the dialogue again and match the information to one of the students, Cara, Robert or Selim.

A. Studies history and German.
B. Studies history and French.
C. Studies history and maths.
D. From Glasgow.
E. Mother is from Scotland.
F. From Manchester.

(Cara: B,D; Robert: C,E,F; Selim: A)

OPTIONALLY: Read the dialogue and practise the role-play with different places.
Here is where I started seeing the ChatGPT flaws. I was asked to find pictures and recordings, which may not be that simple, especially if the topic is not that popular.

The pictures were quite easy to find. I thought that I should go with the topic of the class, which is meeting new people, and introducing yourself in different situations. Describing the photos allows for checking students’ vocabulary range. It’s also a good opportunity to let students speculate and guess what they may have in common.

I was looking for a level-appropriate recording that would fit the lesson. Some of the audio I found were of questionable quality, so I decided to stick with the British Council A1-level listening. It is a short dialogue of students meeting each other for the first time, so in case you have an A1/A2 level group, you could use it later on as a guide to get to know the rest of the group.

Students listen to the recording twice. The first time for gist, to match the picture with the listening. The second time was to match information to the speakers – an activity I took from the British Council website.

I decided to keep the role-play as an option in case I have too much time, but I will be skipping it if needed.

(all materials are available at the end of the post)
4. Post-listening discussion (7 minutes)

a) Look at the five places and think of two advantages and two disadvantages of meeting people over there.

b) Decide which of these five places is best to meet someone new and justify your answers.

c) Think if there is an even better place than the one presented above to meet new people.
ChatGPT goes directly to class review after this task, which felt a bit too soon to me. I decided to include the post-listening discussion and listen to students’ opinions about meeting new people and checking their ability to talk on their own for longer periods.
4. Review and Extension (10 minutes)

a) Summarize the main points of the lesson and check the student’s understanding.

b) Ask the student to practice introducing themselves in English in a short video or audio recording to submit for feedback after the lesson.

c) Preview possible topics for future lessons based on the student’s interests and goals
5. Review and extension (4 minutes)

a) Summarize the main points of the lesson and check the student’s understanding.

b) Preview possible topics for future lessons based on the student’s interests and goals
Here the only change I made was to remove the need for homework. After the trial lesson, I want the students to think about the classes and make a decision about continuing with me (or not), so I don’t want to give them any extra work. Besides, recording audio seems quite stressful for the first lesson homework.
6. Course proposal and English needs (7 minutes)

a) Discuss students’ past with the English lessons.

b) Talk about students’ motivation to study English in their free time and talk about possible homework.

c) Propose a course and briefly describe the syllabus and materials used in class.
This is my standard 1:1 student interview part which helps me understand something more about students’ experience with the English language and their motivation. I also ask about their strengths and weaknesses and expectations of me.
5. Conclusion (5 minutes)

a) Thank the student for their participation and effort.

b) Provide feedback and suggestions for improvement.

c) Set a schedule for future lessons if desired.
7. Conclusion (5 minutes)

a) Thank the student for their participation and effort.

b) Provide feedback and suggestions for improvement.

c) Set a schedule for future lessons if desired.
I didn’t change anything in the last part as it is quite standard for me to finish the class with some error correction and a loose discussion about their day.

I realized that putting a little bit more pressure on dates and times available for lessons makes students a bit more likely to sign up for more lessons with me in the future.


As you can see, I had to make quite a few changes to make this lesson plan work in my setting. The major issue is with lesson materials. Granted, I could probably ask ChatGPT to generate some tasks for me, but this time I decided to stick to my original trial lesson plan.

Another issue arose when I was told to provide pictures of people doing activities. I felt as if it didn’t have much to do with the topic, and used my human feelings to have a smooth transition to the next part of the class. Talking about places where you can meet someone new, seems like a natural way of carrying the conversation and can lead to an interesting discussion and personal anecdotes. Below you can find examples of photos you can use in your trial lesson.

Book club
Online (chats)

Another problem appeared when I was looking for audio that would be appropriate for this class. As mentioned before, I found a British Council recording titled Meeting other students. It’s not too long, and even though the level is lower than what I would like it to be, I think that it may be enough for a trial lesson. From my experience, students are often nervous when meeting a tutor for the first time, so maybe it is better to keep it simple. On the plus side, it had two ready-to-go activities and a transcript that could be used in class.

So, what’s the overall opinion about the use of ChatGPT in lesson plan preparation? I think that it is a useful tool to stimulate creativity. I realized that I often forget to focus on vocabulary tasks, and it’s a great way of keeping me in line, so I can tick all the boxes to have a successful and complete lesson. It still needs a human touch but cuts down some thinking time. I’ll be coming back to it whenever I’ll need to be inspired.

Have you ever used ChatGPT to prepare your lessons? What was your experience like? Would you ever use it to create lessons?


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