The ESA method. I find it extremely useful and it makes sense to me. I have been teaching english for two years now. But since I have started the course I have started implementing the ESA method when I structure the lesson. I now make sure that each lesson starts with the engagement phase and that there's a separation between the study and the activity phases. I do my best that every lesson will have an activity phase in which students speak and use the language taught in the study phase.
And although these are three separate phases I try to make sure the lesson is smooth and that there are no stops.
I don't always use the form, I would usually write myself some notes in my notebook. However, a few months back I had to replaced by another teacher in a course that I was giving. I left her the lesson plans using the 'form'. And it was extremely useful.
Looking back on this course (pre intermediate), now that it is over. I might just write down all the lessons plans. I file all the materials
for each lesson in the same plastic bag and all lessons are stored in a binder. So adding the lesson plan as the front page of each such bag could become really handy for future courses.
was a very good example how to make a lesson that 'flows'. Students should never notice that the teacher is passing from one phase to another.
The productive skills unit has helped me structure better lesson in which I expect students to improve their speaking skills. To make sure that there's a gradual transition from controlled, to guided, to creative productive activities. Before moving from one to the other I need to make sure that the students feel confident enough so they are thus more encouraged to speak.
The course gave me lots of great ideas for activities and emphasized to me how important it is to have the lesson interesting not predictable. Have each lesson different from the other. And that an interesting, funny lesson doesn't mean less methodical.
Teaching receptive skills: learning how we listen and read was very insightful. Knowing that will help me help the students to improve their receptive skills especially listening. As for reading, there's some food for thought as to the balance of how much should we pre-teach the vocabulary before giving students a reading text.
The Teachers and Learners unit has put alight what makes a good teacher. I think it'd be a good idea for me to go back to it every now and then to make sure I'm still 'on track'. The part about the Learners has some very strong points on how to motivate students.
Correction techniques:. I tend to over-correct students so this has helped to learn hot to tone it down. What and when it is important to correct and when it's better to let go. What are the best ways to correct students. And still and that context, in which phases of the lesson should students be corrected. I think I will adopt the writing assignment correction scheme
Class management: the importance of eye contact and the use of gestures. Extremely helpful ideas of how to use gestures with low-level groups. Pros and cons of pairs/groups/ whole-class activities.
Class arrangement- rows/circles/separate tables: I haven't given it much thought before but now I use it to change the atmosphere in the class to get the desired affect either a warmer more intimate atmosphere or a more formal one depending on the group. I also found useful the ideas in this unit on reducing TTT and increasing STT.
Pronunciation unit: I personally found this unit really interesting and ideas how to improve their pronunciation. The different aspects of pronunciation (stress in a the word, stress in a sentence, the phonetic alphabet, intonation etc.). Have actually put it to use and have given a lesson using some of the material
in this unit assembled with material in various course books.
Created vs. authentic material: when and for which groups should I use one or the other.
Evaluation and testing unit: the different kinds of tests, at what stage of the course should it be used and what type of questions should be included in each.
Equipment I have realized the great use I could make of an OHP. It has never crossed my mind how much I could use it to my advantage. In the future if I come across a school that hold an OHP, will most certainly use it. For two things mainly- going over an exercise with the whole class and when demonstrating new grammar structure when I need some sort of 'animation'. When the explanation can benefit the use of a sequence of OHP that can be put one on top of the other.
The lists of websites, ESL material and resource books, recommended grammar books were really useful.
Elementary Communication Games is an extremely useful book. Once I laid eyes on it, I immediately started using it in my courses.
I might actually use the lesson plan done for this unit in one of my lessons.
Teaching vocabulary: how to select vocabulary and some ideas for the various lesson phases.
Lesson plan scheme for teaching new grammar structures and using a boomerang ESA lesson teaching language functions . Have tried it when teaching a restaurant situation and worked pretty well.
The grammar units have helped me fine-tune grammar points. I am sure I will go back to those units when having to prepare relevant lessons.
In particular: parts of speech, present perfect usages, past continuous usages and the explanation about past perfect, future perfect simple and continuous (I haven’t had a chance to teach it yet so this has been really helpful me to understand this tense). Conditionals -the explanations were really clear, this is a weak point for me, I still confuse the different types.
Modal auxiliary quiz was really insightful.
There are a lot activity ideas for the various lesson stages that are really useful. In particular the modal auxiliary, reported speech, conditionals and present perfect.
I felt pretty good about my teaching before and I've also received very good feedback.
But after this course I feel that I personally find the lessons more interesting and I enjoy the preparing and thus the teaching more than before. I have now more tools to change things a bit from one course to the other even if teaching the exact same material to same level students.
My 'bag of tricks' is now much richer.
The course has also helped me understanding a bit the students' point of view, their psychology, and therefore I think I am even more patient and accepting than before.