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This unit covers different teaching methodologies that have been used going back to the Greeks when grammar and translation was the way to learn a new language. The ten different methodologies presented in this unit are all based on various ideas of learning. Weather it is by listening and repeating in drill form for Audio-lingualism or learning phrases to perform tasks in Task based learning, or communicating around actions we do such as greet, invite, and the phrases used in such encounters. Suggestopedia wants to deal with the psychology and state of mind when learning and is set in three stages where the mind should be happy and at peace before learning new things. Many of the methodologies mentioned move away from the Grammar-translation method, and use as little grammar learning as possible. However, the ESA method favored here and developed by Jeremy Harmer seems to incorporate many of the methods while not leaving out the grammar aspect. ESA stands for Engage, Study, Activate and is a practical, logically staged learning/teaching form that works very well. In the Engage phase the student/s are asked what they know and wants their involvement and interest peaked, while the teacher asks and listens, eliciting information that they note on the board. Showing interest in what others have to say is key to making them feel important and heard. The next stage, in a Straight Arrow form of the ESA method, is the Study stage, where the students do learn new materials, get to read about the language, see how it is structured and practice on paper to help them memorize. In this stage there can be practicing of pronunciation as well and this is where the teacher can give students feedback, correct and help minimize their errors or mistakes. However, I've learned that for every correction there needs to be three praises. Praising the students in different ways for what they are accomplishing is very important. The third stage is the Activity stage where students get to role-play, work on a project like a presentation in some form where they can demonstrate what they've learned and feel proud of their accomplishment. Here the teacher is observing, listening and taking notes. The ESA method has developed different ways of working the three stages to not be as predictable, especially in the intermediate and more advanced levels of learning so using the Boomerang format or the Patchwork format are more effective as a lesson structure. Boomerang starts with Engage stage, continues on to the Activity 1 stage, followed by the Study stage and last goes to Activity 2 stage. The Patchwork format has a lot more flexibility using the different stages in several layers. Engage - Study - Activity - Study - Activity - Activity is one format but there are many more. Within the different ESA stages there are numerous "activities" that can be used. I've mentioned role-play but there are so many more. I'll mention a few for each stage. Engage stage - use a warm up listening to music and/or seeing pictures, even seeing a video clip pertaining to the area or topic introduced like clothing, body parts, rooms in a house. Afterwards the teacher asks what words do you know? and writes them on the board as the students name them, creating a jumble of words around the topics on the board. They then get organized into groups that the students can write down or say aloud. Study stage - the students get a hand out to list and/ or fill in gaps for the same topic to work on by themselves while the teacher just monitors for a few minutes. When time's up the teacher helps student go over the correct answers. The students can ask questions and the lesson starts to cover some phrases used with the piece of clothing or body part etc. Practice of pronunciation of the words is also helpful here, maybe in chorus and then individually. Adding some grammar as word order may be introduced and explaining the articles of the nouns learned, and/or the tense of the verbs showing the construction of the language. It's also possible to do drills here and a small test. Next stage is the Activate, here the students can use the new information learned and write something that they then present or they can work in pairs to practice together. The important part of this is that they use the language freely and the teacher doesn't interfere or jump in to correct but lets them practice the language. They can produce a brochure or do an ad for some clothing. If they're more advanced they could debate and discuss advanced topics. They could make a dialogue or a story of someone going to the doctor and go through the body parts that way too presenting it as a skit or a written piece. Feedback is important but how it is done is even more important. The use of codes for written mistakes is very helpful and allowing students to think through what is not right, maybe get help from peers but if not from the teacher. Mimicking a puzzled face if what they say isn't right helps them rethink. It's important to always use the target language, English, in every stage of the lesson and that no L1 is used. Keeping all conversation in English and making sure all students get to talk, the more the better. No pointing at students but using their name is worth remembering too. I've taught for many years but also taken a lot of courses and classes and the ESA method is very good because it does create enthusiasm and interest, while encouraging students to do their best and fosters respect between teachers and student while learning.
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