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How to Structure your Study Phase To Target Receptive Skills

How to Structure your Study Phase To Target Receptive Skills | ITTT | TEFL Blog

The study stage, when the teaching is actually done, is the second phase of a straight-arrow ESA lesson plan. What needs to be taught in this stage depends on the course content and the source the teacher is expected to cover through a specific period.

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But generally speaking, languages are made of receptive and productive skills in addition to systems like syntax or grammar, vocabulary or lexis, and phonology. The content of textbooks is normally centered around these areas.

Although the ESA method is supposed to be applied for almost every lesson, no matter if it is allocated to a skill or system, the details of the procedure may vary based on the aspect of language that is required to be promoted during a lesson. Let's have an overview of what needs to be done while teaching receptive skills after the engagement is provided.


In terms of teaching reading skills, pre-teaching the blocking vocabulary items helps the students handle the text with less difficulty; however, it doesn't mean that all the new language necessarily needs to be pre-taught. Simply choosing approximately five to a maximum of ten words that might prevent the students from getting the main idea and leaving the rest for discovery learning can make it.

In order to pre-teach a vocabulary item, the first thing to do is clarify the meaning and elicit the word. Concrete words that can be detected by five human senses may be elicited through a simple explanation or practical AVAs such as pictures, videos, and so forth, which have probably been used in the engagement phase. But when it comes to abstract words that only exist in individuals' minds without any physical and external forms, jealousy, for instance, a more extended context is required.

Teacher: " ...and Mary saw her boyfriend talking with a very pretty girl, so she felt…?"Class: "sad?...angry?...jealous?..."

After eliciting the target vocabulary item instead of asking questions like "do you understand?" or "got it?"CCQs or concept checking questions are essential in order to check students' understanding of the word's definition.

"Did Mary feel happy?""Was she angry? Why?"

If the meaning is clear, choral and individual drillings provide students with more exposure to the correct pronunciation. Lots of different types of drilling, including pair drilling and disappearing drilling or drilling like an old man, a baby, loudly, quietly, etc., can be applied specifically if you are running a kids' class.

The next step is boarding the word. Don't forget to label the stress, clarify the part of speech and provide students with an example sentence.If you feel like there are too many blocking words in the text you are going to cover, designing a simple matching worksheet with words and definitions as a pre-task activity can fasten the process and help you with your time management.


Skimming, or gist reading, is a strategy that helps learners get the main idea of the text they are reading as fast as possible by focusing on headlines, first and last sentences of each paragraph, and words in bold rather than reading the text word for word.

Textbooks usually provide some gist reading post-task activities that can be instructed and done in pairs or groups. If you're not covering a textbook or the activities are not aimed at what you need, designing a worksheet can do the trick.

Allocating about three minutes to skimming and sticking to your time limit helps your students with their time management skills. Banning any dictionary checking during the task results in more accomplished guessing of new words from the context, which is also a vital reading skill.


Scanning is also a speed reading strategy that is mainly focused on finding specific details, including figures, names, data, etc., in a text. In this stage, Students are supposed to scan the text and go through scanning post-task activities applied in the book or designed by the teacher as a means to assess their total perception of the text.

The study phase for a listening module might appear to be slightly different from the reading. After the engagement, pre-teaching the blocking language is, of course, a necessary mutual step. Skimming and scanning are replaced by listening for the gist, or the main idea, and listening for details, though.

In conclusion, the dominant interaction pattern in the study phase is teacher to students; consequently, most of the talking is done by the teacher, and the teacher talking time is higher than in other stages. However, the focus of this phase is on accuracy rather than fluency, so proper error correction is also of great importance. Every lesson needs to get started with an engagement and get finished with the activation phase, where students have the chance to activate the input they received through language production. Finally, don't forget to close your activities with clear and concise feedback on the task.

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