The ESA Methodology of Teaching - The Engage Phase


This presentation is going to focus on the ESA methodology of teaching. In our teaching methodologies section, we briefly had a look at what ESA was about, but in this presentation, we're going to look in greater detail about that particular methodology. This particular methodology is accredited to Jeremy Harmer from his "Practice of English language Teaching" book. It's a three-stage methodology and what we're going to do is to look at the purpose of each one of these stages and some typical activities that take place during those stages. So, the first stage is known as the engage and its sole purpose, as the name implies, is to get the students talking and thinking in English. There is no reason whatsoever, when these students come to your class, that they should have said a single word of English up until that point in time during the day. So, we cannot expect them just to come in and immediately start talking in English. We need to have some activity such as the engage to get them warmed up. There are a number of activities that we can do in order to do this and what we try to ensure is that these activities involve everyone in the class, that they are interactive and fun. So some examples of these activities again that we can play is known as fizzbuzz and in fizzbuzz, what you do is, you go around the class, each person saying a number. Let's say we start off between the numbers 1 and 30. They just go around the class each person going through the numbers. In the second round what we do is we ask them for every number that is a multiple of 3 (3, 6, 9, 12 and so on), they say the word "fizz" and then in the third round, they not only do that but every number that is a multiple of 5 (5, 10, 15, 20 and so on), they say the word "buzz" and this really gets them to have to use their thought for English as to whether they say the number or they say "fizz" or they say "buzz" or, indeed with numbers such as 15, whether they say the words "fizzbuzz". So, it's a very nice activity to get them going. A second idea that we could use here is that we get them to create lists. So we give them a topic, let's say fruit and vegetables, and they go around the class having to produce a list of various things. Another idea may be something like an alphabet game, where they have to create nouns following the letters of the alphabet. So each of these ideas is purely and simply to get the students talking and thinking in English. They are interactive in that the students have to communicate to us and the third thing we need to ensure is that everyone in the class has said something by the end of our engage phase.

Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

This unit focused on the use of course material in the development of lesson plans. It discussed the advantages and disadvantages of using a course textbook, including how to analyze a textbook. It also discussed how to incorporate other course material into the lesson. It provided numerous examples of supplemental material, and discussed the importance of authentic materials.The course materials are an integral part of the teacher's tools. However one should not only rely on the course book, but supplement the lesson with authentic materials like interviews or newspaper articles to make the lessons more interesting. Another important part is to use materials suited for the level of the students, to create interest and not to leave them frustrated.