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How Students Benefit From an ESA Structured Lesson

How Students Benefit From an ESA Structured Lesson | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Out of all the methods of Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language, the ESA-structured lessons are the most productive with a balance of teacher instruction and student practice time. This method often includes others such as audio-bilingualism (drilling techniques), PPP (Presentation, Practice, Production), and task-based learning; but offering a wide variety of techniques within one method is the beauty of the Engage-Study-Activate lesson model. This lesson model has many benefits for students of English.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Sarah Y. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

Warming Up

The first part of this lesson model is the Engage phase which is used as a warm-up to get the students thinking and speaking in English right from the start of the lesson. During the Engage phase, the teacher can play music or a short video, play games, show pictures, or tell stories using vocabulary the students already know. It is important to avoid teaching new information during this phase so that the students can participate in using language they already know. Once the students have listened to, read, or watched the presented materials, the teacher has a basic discussion about it with students getting them to practice their speaking skills. The students benefit from this stage in that they have reviewed previous material and are now ready to move on to the Study phase of the lesson to learn new information.

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Learning through Producing

During the Study phase, the teacher will build off the Engage phase by eliciting vocabulary on a given topic. The students benefit from this because they are required to produce information to be used in the lesson. The teacher can elicit this information in many ways including pictures, flashcards, flashcards The study phase is also the time of the lesson when grammar instruction is taught: sentence structure, verb tenses, parts of speech, etc. It is not necessary to completely divide up the grammar and vocabulary portions of the lesson as the vocabulary words can be used in the sentences for the grammar point. Once the teacher gives the instruction, the students can use what they have learned to do grammar and vocabulary exercises. These exercises reinforce what the students have learned both previously and in that lesson. The Study phase is the time when correction is given as needed. After the students have finished the exercise, the teacher will go over the answers, correct wrong answers, or give the students (or other classmates) a chance to correct errors to see if they fully understand the content. The students benefit from the exercises and correction because they can see what their strengths and weaknesses are in English and know what to give more attention to as they study. Once the teacher feels as though the class as a whole understands the lesson point for that phase, she can move them on to the next phase of the lesson.

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Practicing

Each lesson should always end with an active phase for the students to demonstrate the knowledge they have gained. At this phase, the teacher needs to step back and allow the students to work on their own. She will give them a task to complete such as take a survey, prepare a presentation, design an advertisement, or role-play a certain scenario. Once the students have collected/created the information, they will present it to the class. Since the main purpose of the Activate phase is fluency over the accuracy, it is important that the teacher not correct right away. She should take notes and give basic correction at the end to not interrupt the thought process of the students as they present. The students benefit from the Activate phase by getting to practice what they have learned and use the productive skills of writing and speaking that they might use only in the class (depending on the prevalence of English in the area) in a controlled environment.

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By dividing the lesson into the Engage, Study, and Activate phases, the teacher gets the best use of teacher instruction and student practice time. She has the flexibility to teach a wide variety of topics, and her students will excel by practicing not only reading and writing skills but also listening and speaking.

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