Productive and Receptive Skills in the ESL Classroom - Receptive Skills - Patchwork ESA

 

So, let's have a look at a typical receptive skills lesson. The main focus of this lesson is going to be reading, although there will be some listening involved as well and it?s going to be a patchwork ESA lesson. As a patchwork lesson, it will start off with an engage and this engage what we're going to do is to play an extract about Elvis Presley and it's going to be an Elvis Presley song and we can ask the students if they know who it is and if they know anything about him can help generate the interest in this. We can also ask them what they'd like to know about it. What we can then do is just to introduce them to the text but they're going to read the detail later on but just at this stage we'll do a quick skimming or scanning exercise to find some information from that particular text. Here it's important that that skimming or scanning exercise is at the most a couple of minutes so that we don't give them an opportunity to read every single word within the text. From that point we can then move on to our first study activity and in this particular phase of the lesson it would be useful to pre-teach some language and this will include names of things like Graceland and so on and so forth as it relates to Elvis Presley. So, do some pre-teaching of vocabulary and then do a check on understanding. Once we're sure from that study phase that they have an understanding of the vocabulary required, we're going to move on to our engage and the engage activity is going to ask them to read the first text that they have during the engage base at this time read it for comprehension. Again, before we start this activity it's very important that we do a demonstration and elicit a correct answer before giving out the material. Once they've completed the reading for comprehension then we can go on to our study which is to ask a series of comprehension questions typically by using a worksheet and again before we actually start this activity we need to demonstrate the purpose of the activity, elicit correct answers and then give out the material. Once they've completed the second study activity and we've gone through our feedback and correction, we can then go on to our first activate and what we're going to do in the first activate activity is ask them to write a short biography for Elvis. On completion of the writing phase, they can then feed that back and we can have a look at any common errors that?s created from this particular activity and study those errors. Once we've done that we can go on to the final phase of the lesson, which will be our second activate activity and that final activity we're going to put the students into pairs and we're going to ask them to write an autobiography, which doesn't contain the name of the person they're writing about. What we can then do is to get them to read out their biographies and we can ask the class to guess who.


Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

This unit focused on the methodology of teaching ESL. First, we were presented with several different teaching methodologies/styles. The text introduced the strong and weak points as well as some history of the styles and whether they were popular or useful today. Next, we were presented with the ESA (Engage, Study, Activate) style of teaching, first produced by Jeremy Harmer. Because this is the style ITTT recommends, the readings went more in-depth. The first stage of ESA is Engage. The Engage stage is meant to warm students up and get them thinking about the lessons and comfortable speaking the necessary English. Each student should speak and the focus should be on the students' conversation. They should not be corrected during this stage. The second stage is Study. A study stage should always start with elicitation. Elicitation means that the students are asked thought-provoking questions. Since the study stage usually involves some kind of worksheet or other exercise, the elicitation should prepare them to complete this worksheet. During the Study stage, students should focus on proper use and construction of the topics being studied. After elicitation, the teacher will hand out the worksheets for the students to complete on their own. They should be able to do this with minimal help from the teacher. When time is up, the teacher and students will go through the worksheets together and correct any errors or mistakes being made. Ideally, the students will be able to help each other get the correct answers without help from their teacher. It is preferable for the students to correct their own or each others' mistakes. The final stage is Activation. During the Activation stage, the students will use what they have learned during Engage and Study to complete a speaking activity. The aim of this stage is to confirm that the students have acquired the requisite vocabulary and grammar to converse easily about the topic of the day. First, the teacher will present a very clear example of the activity - it is essential that all students understand the activity and the requirements. When all students are on the same page, they can begin the activity. The teacher should not interrupt, except to give necessary feedback and corrections. During this unit, we were also presented with how and when to provide feedback or corrections to students. It is important to correct them, but more important to maintain a high level of comfort and confidence so they can continue to learn effectively. Student correction should always come before teacher correction, if the student(s) are capable of it. We also received a chart with overview of how to correct students' writing.


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