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As teachers, no matter the level of our class, we must expose students to the English language, instill the vocabulary and an understanding of structure so that they may practice what they have learned and may begin to speak and write the language confidently. This task is broken down into three types: vocabulary, grammatical structures, and vocabulary functions. When specifically teaching vocabulary and grammatical structures, the straight arrow (E-S-A) method is commonly used, whereas the boomerang (E-A-S-A) or the patchwork (E-A-A-S-A-E-S-A) method are generally used when teaching of vocabulary functions. These are usually taught at different times.
For the engage phase of a lesson on vocabulary, the teacher may have the class bring pictures, use realia, miming and action, or discussion to retain the students' interest and elicit meaning for the chosen vocabulary item. For the study phase, handing out crosswords, playing matching games in pairs, or pronunciation drilling for the class will help the teacher check pronunciation, spelling, meaning and that they understand how to use the language. For the activate phase, the teacher may have the students' role-play a scenario, have an open-class activity, a classroom debate, or story building exercises for the students to gain practice and opportunities to utilize their newly-learned words.
For the engage phase of a grammar lesson, the teacher may use scenario building, question and answer time, or have a class discussion about favorite movies/books and have them what they like about them and having them use the tense being taught. For the study phase, have the students do intonation or pronunciation drills, sentence building exercises, or studying the language through text or dialogue to familiarize and expand the students knowledge and experience. For the activate phase, role-play, have a class debate, play communication games, or story building exercises to stimulate the students' interest and allow them to use what they know and have learned.
When teaching vocabulary functions, the teacher is using the activities, discussions, role-playing, or debates to get the students to utilize the language in as many ways as possible by using the boomerang or patchwork lesson.