The ESA Methodology of Teaching - The Engage Phase

 

This presentation is going to focus on the ESA methodology of teaching. In our teaching methodologies section, we briefly had a look at what ESA was about, but in this presentation, we're going to look in greater detail about that particular methodology. This particular methodology is accredited to Jeremy Harmer from his "Practice of English language Teaching" book. It's a three-stage methodology and what we're going to do is to look at the purpose of each one of these stages and some typical activities that take place during those stages. So, the first stage is known as the engage and its sole purpose, as the name implies, is to get the students talking and thinking in English. There is no reason whatsoever, when these students come to your class, that they should have said a single word of English up until that point in time during the day. So, we cannot expect them just to come in and immediately start talking in English. We need to have some activity such as the engage to get them warmed up. There are a number of activities that we can do in order to do this and what we try to ensure is that these activities involve everyone in the class, that they are interactive and fun. So some examples of these activities again that we can play is known as fizzbuzz and in fizzbuzz, what you do is, you go around the class, each person saying a number. Let's say we start off between the numbers 1 and 30. They just go around the class each person going through the numbers. In the second round what we do is we ask them for every number that is a multiple of 3 (3, 6, 9, 12 and so on), they say the word "fizz" and then in the third round, they not only do that but every number that is a multiple of 5 (5, 10, 15, 20 and so on), they say the word "buzz" and this really gets them to have to use their thought for English as to whether they say the number or they say "fizz" or they say "buzz" or, indeed with numbers such as 15, whether they say the words "fizzbuzz". So, it's a very nice activity to get them going. A second idea that we could use here is that we get them to create lists. So we give them a topic, let's say fruit and vegetables, and they go around the class having to produce a list of various things. Another idea may be something like an alphabet game, where they have to create nouns following the letters of the alphabet. So each of these ideas is purely and simply to get the students talking and thinking in English. They are interactive in that the students have to communicate to us and the third thing we need to ensure is that everyone in the class has said something by the end of our engage phase.


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.

Teaching foreign language is an exciting journey which may be quite a challenge at times. We have to ensure that new language is introduced to students in a balanced, manageable and friendly way. Some lessons that we teach may include new grammar, vocabulary and functions, others will be focused particularly on one area. Lessons that are aimed to deliver grammar or vocabulary usually structured according to ?straight arrow? ESA strategy, whereas to teach functions we often use ?boomerang? or ?patchwork? approaches. Giving mostly individual lessons, I can say that I mostly use ?boomerang? and ?patchwork? techniques, as they allow me to stop my 1,5-hour lessons out from being monotonous and get feedback in order to see what is difficult for the learner. While selecting words to teach, it is helpful to use some landmarks: appropriacy to the students, appropriacy to the task, frequency and coverage, teachability. Students need to know about a vocabulary item such things as: meaning, use, word grammar, interaction, spelling, and pronunciation. Two straight arrow lesson plans to cover vocabulary connected with the topic of food. 1) Level: Pre-intermediate-Intermediate. Age: teens and adults. Main focus: adjectives to describe taste and texture of food. Engage. Students talk in open class about the most delicious food and dishes they have ever eaten, where they ate it, why they liked it and what the taste was like etc. Teacher uses the prompts to get students vocabulary for food and tastes. Delicious, tasty, mouth-watering, mouth-burning, spicy, hot, sour, moist, dry, rich, greasy, crunchy, crispy, creamy, sugary, bitter, fresh, bland, baked, roast, fried, boiled, grilled etc. Study. Students read some restaurant web-pages with description of the signature dishes, analyse the texts and work with the vocabulary (e.g.match words and the definitions), including work with synonyms and antonyms. Activate. Using new language students role-play in pairs or in groups of three. Visiting a restaurant: visitors ask the waiter/waitress to describe the dishes on the menu and express their wishes (I feel like eating something light and warm/ Spicy and crunchy etc.) 2) Level: Elementary+. Age: teens and adults. Main focus: food vocabulary for healthy and unhealthy food. Engage. Teacher asks an open class ?Who is a healthy eater?? and then students discuss what healthy eaters eat and what they don?t. Pictures with different items of food can be placed/drown on the board and used as prompts. Fresh vegetables, fruit, berries, nuts and seeds, wheat bread, white bread, biscuits, sandwiches, brown rice, white rice, cereals, oats, porridge, junk food, chips, crisps, eggs, chicken, beef, pork, turkey, avocado, banana, beans, apple, carrots, fish, yoghurt, broccoli. Study. Students answer a questionnaire ?Are you a healthy eater?? and fill in a table with ?healthy and unhealthy eating habits?. Alternatively: Listen to a BBC radio programme Something To Think About, the ?Yuck Yum? storyhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04kskf3 . The programme is designed for 5-7 y.o. native speakers, so I find it appropriate even for adult learners at this level in terms of grinding listening skills. Activate. Students ask peers about their eating habits (one student ? one question): How often do you eat cereals for breakfast? How often do you eat fried food? How often do you eat broccoli? etc. Then students report back.


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