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ESA Methodology - What Is It and Why Should You Use It in the Classroom?

ESA Methodology - What Is It and Why Should You Use It in the Classroom? | ITTT | TEFL Blog

ESA is a common methodology that teachers use when teaching students another language. It is also a large part of your TEFL certification course. By using the layout of the ESA method to plan your lessons, they will be more structured, organized and effective.

This post was written by our ITTT graduate Casandra L.

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What is ESA?

ESA stands for engage, study, and activate. By using ESA, it gives teacher's the flexibility to conduct a classroom in an organized and productive way. ESA is extremely important when it comes to teaching, because it keeps the students interested, motivated, and eager to learn more. That is why all teachers, especially new ones, should learn the ESA method when teaching students a new language.

The Engage Phase

The first phase that teachers should always start the lesson with is the engage phase. In the engage phase, the teacher simply gets the students ready to participate in the lesson. Engaging the students can include showing pictures, realia, contrasts, discoveries, discussions with the whole class, miming and acting, prompting the students to answer, and using questions to get the students thinking and speaking in English. The goal of the engage phase is to get the student's attention and to elicit the meaning of words or topics that will be covered in the lesson. This phase is extremely important because it gives the teacher a chance to include all the students in the activity. The engage phase also helps the students feel more comfortable and ready to learn.

Also read: 10+ Activities For Teaching English Summer Camp

The Study Phase

After the teacher has engaged the students, they then move on to the study phase. The study phase can consist of many activities, such as studying from texts and dialogues, example sentences, crosswords, gap-fill exercises, word searches, matching games, and drilling. The purpose of the study phase is for the teacher to actually teach the students new words or topics and show them the correct way of using them. This phase is also where any errors may be corrected and discussed in a tactful way. During this stage the teacher can help students come to a better understanding of each subject so they can learn and move forward in the best way possible.

Also read: 7 Activities for Teaching Passive Voice in the ESL Classroom

The Activate Phase

Lastly, the teacher will conclude with the activating stage. The activate phase may include discussions that are for the whole class, small groups, or even pairs, role-play, story building, tasks such as posters or advertisements, simulations, and debates. The activating stage is where students put to work the things they learned in the study phase. By activating the students, it will help the teacher to know how well they have understood the material that was discussed in the class. It is very important to make sure you always engage the students first and activate the students last.

Also read: The Best Apps to Have on Your Phone While Teaching English Abroad

Benefits of Using the ESA Method

In conclusion, it is of utmost importance that teachers learn the ESA method of teaching. By learning this method, it will help teachers to stay on top of things in an organized manner. It will also help students to learn in a fun and productive way. The engage phase keeps students interested, the study phase helps students to learn, and the activate phase helps put into practice what they have learned. ESA can be structured in any way that is best for the teacher and topic she or he is teaching. The most common structure of ESA is the straight arrow method which starts with an engage stage, then a study stage, and then concludes by activating the students. Teachers can also use a boomerang structure or patchwork structure. All that matters is that the teacher starts off by engaging the students and ends with activating the students.

When teachers learn about the ESA method of teaching, it will equip them to be more effective teachers. In turn, making effective students.

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