The ESA Methodology of Teaching - The Activate Phase
And so on to the final phase of the ESA lesson, which is called the activate phase. What we have done so far, if you remember, is to engage the students, to get them talking and thinking in English, where possible we've elicited the teaching point from the students and covered any gaps in knowledge to make sure that the teaching point has been fully covered and then we've checked understanding of that teaching point by asking targeted and specific questions. Usually the types of activities that we've done for the study phase will involve using a single word in order to answer those questions correctly this, however, is not how language is actually used. When we use language, we always use it in some form of context. So the purpose of the activate activity is to put that teaching material into some form of context, something realistic that the students would actually use. Okay, so, let's look at some typical activities that could be used for the activate stage of a lesson. Remember what we're trying to do is to get the students to use the language that they've learned in some form of realistic context. So, typical activities may include role plays, where the students take on the role of a doctor or a dentist or a patient and they actually generate a set of language that uses this particular teaching. Another example that they could do would be surveys, where each of the students get up and they go around and they ask questions of all the other students. This type of activity, where all students get up and interact with each other, is often called a mill drill. The final type of activity that we'll put in here is that the students can have a debate about a particular subject. Now, if we think about the activities that we're doing here, what we can see as opposed to the study activities, where we had targeted specific language, each of these activities is actually going to generate different answers depending upon which student we interview or have the role play for. So, this is using language in a realistic way rather than just answering a single question.
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.
Unit 9 concerned lesson planning. At the start, the unit noted that different theories as to the necessity of lesson planning exist from minimalist to over planning but difficulties arise for inexperienced teachers to conduct lessons to adequacy address student concerns and language problems as these arise absent lesson plans and lesson plan themselves may build in flexibility.
Important functions of lesson plans include as an aid to planning the goal of the lesson, how to make that possible and logical stages in the process, as a working document to stay on mission and as a record of class achievements and materials used.
The unit stressed that there is no fixed lesson plan and teacher need to develop their own style consistent with basic principles. These basic principles include keep it simple, do not script the lesson, structure and maintain the same structure, anticipate and write down the time, check for activity fit together to achieve smooth flow and keep it flexible and open to adaptation.
Organization is important. Check you have a lesson plan, review and make sure all materials are available, check equipment, lay out materials, arrange seating, clean the board and be ready to chat as students attend the class to break the ice.
A lesson plan should include more structure as a starting teacher to serve as a clear guide to achievement.
Recommended topics to include in a lesson plan are:
? Learner objectives ? What the teacher wants students to be able to do by lesson end?
? Personal aims ? What the teacher wishes to achieve or improve?
? Language point ? The theme of the lesson and how it fits with past and future lessons.
? Teaching aids ? Materials and other aids for the lesson to make a quick prior check.
? Anticipated problems ? Consideration of problems and planning solutions.
? Procedure ? The activities used to achieve the learner objectives.
? Phase ? Engage, Study and Activate subject to previously taught guidelines
? Timing ? The time expect for each activity with realistic and flexible thinking.
? Interaction ? Who will be interacting at each stage of the lesson?
? Class level ? The level of ability that the class has with the English language.
? Number of students ? Anticipated number of students to make sure activity fits the class size.
? Date/time ? Recording date and tine allows retention of historical records and substitutes.
? Teacher?s and observer?s names ? These names may be useful if the class is being monitored.
Monitoring lessons was the next topic with a self-evaluation form sample.
The sample included:
? Extent to which the learner objectives and personal aims were met
? Accuracy of anticipated problems and solutions
? Modifications made to the lesson procedure, reasons for them and how effective
? Effectiveness of Engage phases
? Effectiveness of Study phases
? Effectiveness of Activate phases
? Strengths and Weaknesses of Lesson
? In Retrospect/Areas for Improvement
When planning a series of lessons, there are additional considerations. These considerations include flexibility on changes to the plans during lessons, building goals for students into the sequence and to give a goal, reviewing lesson content to ensure student retention and varying and balancing to have all skills included, equal treatment and a good variety of activities.
These unit principles were new to me as a starting teacher and very informative.