Theories, Methods & Techniques of Teaching - ESA Methodology

 

Our final methodology is accredited to Jeremy Harmer and it's known by the letters ESA. Around 1998, Jeremy Harmer produced a book called "How to teach English" and basically what Harmer did, is a background to this book is to do what we have done today and to work through all of the different methodologies that have come about over the last 300 years. He highlighted for each of those methodologies what was good about it, what was positive and what didn't appear to work and then put all of the positive things into a melting pot and came out with this methodology, which he called ESA. It's a three-stage methodology, where each of the letters represents a particular phase of the lesson. The first one being called the engage phase, the second the study phase and the final one the activate phase. So let's have a look at this particular methodology and try to bring back some of the ideas that we've already looked at this morning. The engage phase of this ESA lesson has one particular purpose and the purpose of that particular phase is just to get the students talking and thinking in English. We can go back to the idea of the effective filter and we've said that, when students are relaxed and ready, then that will improve their chances of learning and the idea of getting the students talking and thinking in English, is the first part of the lesson just to relax them and to get them involved. Once we've completed that particular task, which is usually done by the use of communicative games, then we move into the actual teaching part of the lesson, which is called the study phase. The study phase has two particular parts to it. The first part is known as the board work and that, if you like, is where the actual teaching takes place. Once we've completed that phase of the lesson, we need to check that the students actually understand what they have just been taught. So, what we do is then ask them to complete a series of activities that are very targeted towards this teaching component to make sure that they actually understand it. Now, one of the things that the other methodologies said to us is that in order to be able to use the language in a communicative way, you need to move beyond the actual knowledge and put it into a realistic context and that's exactly what the activate phase does. The activate phase of the lesson sets up some form of scenario or situation where the students can use the language knowledge that they've just learned and put it into a realistic context. So what are the positive factors in the use of the ESA methodology? The first is that it requires communication. The activate activity and indeed the study activities require the students to actually talk to each other. The second positive thing about it is that it works and for all particular levels. So, all the way from our beginners up to our upper intermediate students, this particular methodology can be used. Some of the negative things about it might be that it can become predictable. If you follow that same structure of ESA every single lesson with your students, then they will get to know what is coming next but within this particular methodology Harmer came up with a way around that and that will be looking at that later on. The other potential negative for some particular countries is that the activate activity requires students to talk to each other and if all your students are talking to each other, then your classroom can become noisy and potentially in certain countries this could be a problem.


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 covers the use of course book and lesson materials. When teaching a class, more than often the teachers required to create their own class materials to supplement the course book. A balance of created materials with course book can make the class more interesting and relevant to the students' interest. Lesson materials can be classified as authentic materials and unauthentic materials. Authentic materials are consumable medias that a native speaker would hear or read. Any programs, magazines, newspapers, songs, poems, brochures, menu, films or video and etc fit as authentic materials. Authentic materials are used in real situation therefore it is more interesting and engaging. It also enable students to gain confidence when they are able to understand them. They can be catered to the specific interest of the students. The downside of authentic materials are it can be too hard for beginner students, therefore choosing the appropriate materials could be difficult. The authentic materials are not graded therefore using the said materials should not overshadow the course materials. Unauthentic materials can be created materials and coursebooks. Created materials are usually supplement materials for a coursebook, it can be used to replace the coursebook materials with something more relevant or enhance the coursebook materials. Commonly, the created materials are: crosswords, word search puzzles, role-play cards, flashcards, gap fill activities, and picture stories. Coursebooks come with structured set of materials, it consist of: student's book, workbook, cassette tapes, teacher's book and some instances video materials. Coursebook have advantages because the students are expecting it. It is more time effective to create supplement materials than creating the class syllabus from scratch. It provides clear guide for grading students' accordingly to their language level. It provide fail-safe for students and teachers. It has a balanced mix of grammar, vocabulary and skills work. It has continuity and progression. The provided materials are tried and true. It is easy to the eyes. It continually practices language items that previously taught. It offers many ideas for the inexperienced teacher. This disadvantages of coursebook includes: It may not fits the specific needs and interests of the students. Students may dislike the book and create disengagement from the class. Exclusive use of the coursebook can make it boring and predictable. It may stops the teacher from being creative. Coursebooks are usually design for general purpose and may not offer solutions for the issues specific to the nationality of the students. Coursebook is rigid in structure and this may hamper the teachers from noticing the particular student's weakness. I personally think the coursebook is incredibly useful even if I wanted to create the class syllabus from scratch. It will provide me with the base structure which i can expand and adapt accordingly to the situation. The course book can inform me which part of the lesson can be graded and which part that I can substitute with authentic materials, or game activities. I think both authentic materials and the coursebook are equally useful and as teacher I need to figure out how to balance both usage to excite and engage with the students.


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