Teach English in Bailiu Zhen - Ankang Shi

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ESA (Engage, Study, Activate) is a methodology commonly used in teaching English as a foreign language. It was introduced by Jeremy Harmer and is presented in a number of his books, including "How to Teach English: An Introduction to the Practice of English Language Teaching (2nd Edition)". For further information on Harmer's publications, see https://jeremyharmer.wordpress.com/jeremy-harmers-books/ ESA is a methodology. There are, of course, other methodologies which have been, and are still, applied in teaching language in general or In the context of TEFL/TESOL. These include "grammar-translation", "audio-lingualism", PPP (Presentation, Practice and Production), and several others. Of these, PPP is considered the closest to ESA, although it has been said that ESA offers a great degree of flexibility. ESA assimilates several positive elements from these other teaching methodologies and incorporates them into the three stages that are applied when using ESA in class. The first stage is always an Engage stage. The intention of the initial Engage stage is to relax the students and introduce them to the topic that will be covered in the lesson in a way that is engaging and fun. Learning, exactitude and correctness are not the focus during this stage. For these reasons, correction is not applied at this stage. The Engage stage may last 5 - 10 minutes in the context of a 45 minute or one hour lesson. All students are to be encouraged to start thinking and contributing in English. The level of the class is naturally a determining factor in how far this will be possible. This stage may be seen as both vocal and visual. It will be stimulating to use additional equipment and materials such as videos or DVD's, realia, games or other visual aids. The use of such tools also represents a means of reducing teacher talk time. The Study stage starts with elicitation. It is more concerned with the actual teaching of the part of the syllabus to be covered during the lesson. The study stage may well commence with some boardwork, capturing some elements from the Engage stage and then building further on these. The teacher elicits the teaching point from the students. The elicitation process should stimulate thought by the students and is very important as a strategy to get the students to respond. It also give the students themselves more time to speak, and thereby reduces the "teacher telling" element. Following some boardwork, the Study stage will progress to some exercises that will be used to further examine the teaching point. The Study stage is particularly important for achieving improved levels of correctness, through drilling and the use of worksheets that are to be handed out for completion. Drilling should typically follow a 3x3 pattern, that is 3 times by the class, then 3 times by individuals. Activities, based on worksheets, may include "gap-fill" exercises, multiple choice tests, "unscrambling" activities, and so on. Before commencing the worksheets, the teacher demonstrates and elicits an example response to be written on the board. This is so that the students are clear of the purpose. When completed, the correction phase should first allow a student who may have made a mistake to auto-correct. Should this not be possible, the other students should be engaged to provide the correct answer. The Activate stage is used to put in place scenarios that can be helpful to the students in using English in a social or practical context. The Activate stage is particularly useful for building comunication skills. The aim is for the students to freely use English and enhance their levels of fluency through actual use. Role play is often an important part of the Activate stage. Surveys are also a useful tool, whereby each student interviews others for their responses to questionnaires. A product will typically be the result of an Activate stage. This may be a completed questionnaire or in the context of a Business English class, a company report or proposal. Whatever the form of the Activate stage, the teacher will always introduce this stage through some of form of demonstration, to show the students what they are going to be doing. Once in progress, it is important for the teacher to monitor but not interrupt the flow of communication within the groups or pairs. The basic form of an ESA lesson is referred to as a "Straight Arrow". This means that the structure of the lesson will commence with the Engage stage, progress to the Study stage and end with the Activate stage. There are two other variants. The first is referred to as a "Boomerang" ESA lesson. In this format, the teacher begins with the Engage stage, then introduces a first Activate stage, which may be a form of role play. During the Study stage, the teacher helps the students to address the more difficult parts of the teaching point. Subsequently, a second Activate stage takes place, including learnings and language from the Study stage. This ESA structure is regarded as better suited to more advanced students. The final form of ESA is referred to as a "Patchwork" ESA. Here, a more varied approach can be taken to follow a sequence that may be, for example, Engage - Activate 1 - Activate 2- Study -Activate 3 - etc. Following the Engage stage, the Activate stages provide the opportunity for the teacher to capture any particular gaps, which may be addressed during the study phase. The ITTT course materials provide a wealth of ideas that can be readily employed for each particular phase of an ESA lesson. Lesson plans form an integral part of the ESA methodology. These are of course to be developed in advance of the lesson, and fulfill several purposes such as allowing the teacher to prepare and structure the lesson, creating a series of plans to address the syllabus over a longer period of time - perhaps by senester or school-year, serving as a reference that can be consulted on an "as-needed" basis during the lesson, and functioning as the basis for a substitute teacher to step-in the case of absence through illness and so on. The "Procedure" section of the plan should capture the stage (or phase), timing and form of interaction (student-teacher, student-student, etc.). ESA is widely covered on the internet. In addition to sites for purchasing books by Jeremy Harmer, there are many others which incorporate or address this methodology in one way or another. The ITTT courses themselves are founded on ESA. Some of this content is directly provided on internet, for example: https://www.teflonline.net/tefl-videos/teaching-english-videos/the-esa-methodology-of-teaching-sample-esa-lesson/ Reviews of teachers' experiences with ESA are also available: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hadi_Shokri2/publication/316714280_Teacher's_Perception_of_Using_ESA_Elements_in_Boosting_Speaking_Ability_of_EFL_Learners_A_Task-based_Approach/links/590e39760f7e9b2863a482aa/Teachers-Perception-of-Using-ESA-Elements-in-Boosting-Speaking-Ability-of-EFL-Learners-A-Task-based-Approach.pdf