Teach English in Duanjia Zhen - Baoji Shi

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For many years, English teachers have used the PPP (Presentation, Practice, Production) as the preferred teaching model. However, since 1998, with the book by Jeremy Hamer « How to teach English », a new method has been in use: ESA (Engage, Study, Activate). In this book, the author had elaborated the methodology and in depth the use of these 3 elements in teaching English efficiently and effectively. Teachers will use a range of activities in each stage (i.e. a game to engage students). As a swing dancer, i would compare those series of activities to basic dance steps enabling improvisation. The activities that constitute each step are not strictly prescribed and will depend upon the level, students, the teacher and the curriculum. All models start with engage activity and finish with an activate activity but the content is not rigid prescriptions for teaching. The first variation is the boomerang approach EASA (Engage, Activate, Study, Activate). It is a task-based approach. The teacher will fill-in the gaps of the students’ knowledge in a performed task after the engage phase. In the patchwork lesson, a sequence such as EAASSESA (Engage, Activate, Activate, Study, Study, Engage, study, activate) is perfectly possible. Firstly to elaborate more on the 3 stages: Engage, Study and Activate: Engage: this phase called « warmer » is to get the students talking and thinking in English. It is critical that the warmer be known language like current lesson, something that is often used in class or a review of basic language from previous lessons. The idea is to give students success, relax them, make them comfortable, give them satisfaction of understanding. The objective is to invoke students’ interest, curiosity, attention and engage their emotions. Study: this part of the lesson focuses on the language and how it is constructed. It can be a structure of grammar point or set of vocabulary words. The teacher can use a variety of styles to present the information such as pictures, audio tape, mime, charade, gesture, dialogue and so on, or combination of above. Styles include teacher presenting the material and students learning by partnering in pairs or small groups to encourage interaction. Activate: this is the final phase. Exercises and activities are designed for students to use English in communication, rehearsing what they have learned. This phase will enable students to take their classroom experience into real-world communication and everyone agrees that language is most likely to be acquired when it is presented in a real life context. Language is most likely to be learned in a context where the focus is to deliver message rather than the language itself. Learners aquire language skills best when they forget they are learning language. Secondly, be mindfull of the différences in teaching young learners from 5 to 9 years old as oppose to teaching young learners from 9 to 13 years old: Thanks to the TEYL courses, i have learnt the ESA method to teach English but also that the teacher has to bear in mind that there are few differences between young learners from 5 to 9 and from 9 to 13 years old. For young learners aged from 5 to 9, the teaching medium should be 100% in English. The lesson will be student-centered and spoken English is the top priority. The teacher leads the lesson with verbal repetitions and drilling. Because attention spans at this stage, lessons involved a whole range and high level of physical activity. For young learners aged from 9 to 13, the teaching medium should also be 100% in English and be student-centered. However, the teacher encourages independent learning and language creation in a student-centered environment. Teacher uses a variety of practice activities before moving to a free speaking stage. To successfully engage this age group, the teacher should be aware of their interests, such as talking with peers, video games, pop culture, music, movies, computer, smartphone, social media…etc and apply these relevant topics in the teaching material. In conclusion, I would say that ESA is a way to teach efficiently and students can learn effectively. ESA stresses more engagement of students in the early stages of the lesson. Elicitation and engagement are important in cultivating students’ motivation. Students will learn in a fun and productive way. Concerning the teacher, she or he can structure classes in any way that is the best for them and topic she or he is teaching. With this method, the teacher is equipped to be effective. 746 words