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Lesson Design: ESA in Practice

Lesson Design: ESA in Practice | ITTT | TEFL Blog

For this task, I have selected the course structure. As a teacher, a lot goes into the daily operation of the classroom. They need to consider their classroom setup, their management style, and the students they will teach. However, one very important facet of teaching is lesson design and teaching students appropriate standards to help them in their English acquisition.

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

Advantages of the ESA Methodology

Even though there are lots of teaching methodologies such as grammar-translation, audio-lingual approaches, task-based learning and PPP (presentation, practice, and production), it could be rather difficult to decide which one is the best. I think that it is really important to motivate students and encourage independent learning in a student-centered environment, regardless of the methodology a teacher chooses this should be a focal point in the daily activities taking place. In my view, the engage study and activate (ESA) approach is an effective teaching methodology because it focuses on motivating students a lot, and teachers can be more flexible in class with the ESA process.

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Engage Phase

All ESA lessons should start with the engage phase and end with the activate phase. I think that the engage phase is an important part, as its aim is to have students interested and involved in the lesson. Also, the teacher can be informed of what students already know or need to learn through the engage phase, which means that teachers can use any materials that can make students speak and think about the topic that will be covered. Due to the importance of this step, teachers should make efforts to find appropriate materials, and also consider student’s level carefully (if they choose non-authentic materials) in order to engage and elicit students more easily. Study Phase

The study phase, which is the second phase in the ESA model, also starts with elicitation, so teachers should elicit as much information as possible from the students. In this phase, the students will focus on the language and how it is constructed, and then teachers can check student understands the language objective from activities, such as gap-fill exercises, pronunciation drilling, and sentence building. I think this phase is less student-centered than the other two phases due to the fact that the teacher is more of an instructor and less of a facilitator of the learning.

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Activate Stage

The activate stage is where the students are encouraged to use all of the languages they have acquired previously and were taught in the lessons leading up to this point. In this stage, it is important to make an adequate environment for students to use the language freely and communicate as much as possible, so role-play is a typical activity in this stage. While students practice what they learned in class, teachers should be more focused on students' fluency rather than accuracy, also, they should not restrict the student’s language usage, but instead, encourage them to freely participate and express their knowledge of the English language.

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Teachers should know how to balance each stage, rather than focusing on one stage or another; however, it does not mean they should include those three phases equally in class. Teachers need to know how to cover each phase flexibly depending on their lesson; therefore, they should always use lesson planning and their knowledge of the students and their background to make the best decisions to move the students forward in their pursuit to be proficient English learners. Overall, it is important to plan proactively and be aware of the student's abilities as one plans the lessons for their pupils.

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