E. S. A

What is E.S.A? E.S.A stands for engage, study, activate. E.S.A is a teaching method developed by Jeremy Harmer.

The engage phase is used for getting the students to think and talk in English and is also a good way to ease into a lesson. Introductions of the teacher and each student one by one around the classroom gets everyone involved and inspires confidence for students as well as the teacher. Some of the engage activities are: introductions around the classroom, games such as a-z animals, countries, things, places etc. Discussions such as what do you like/dislike, music, stories or pictures. Trying to draw the language out of the students keeps them well engaged and focused taking them into the study phase.

The study phase is generally the bulk of the lesson focusing on the lesson point. The activities are usually worksheet activities ranging from a few specific words to practice of verb tense, sounds, spelling etc. Before handing out the activities we start with a process called D.E.G.O. D.E.G.O stands for demonstrate, elicit and give out.

First demonstrating the target material for the lesson on the board trying to draw the information from the students keeping them involved and engaged in the lesson to prevent boredom, daydreaming etc. Elicit briefly mentioned above, is instead of just giving the students the information, try to draw or pull the information out of them using questions, blanks in sentences, the first letter of the word , charades and so on for all the target material of the lesson. Once they seem to comprehend the objectives of the lesson, give them an example on the board off the activity/worksheet and elicit the answer from them. Then give out the activity/worksheet, monitor your students progression for any difficulties or questions they may have regarding the activity/worksheet. Once completed, have individual students read out their answers or write on the board with correction and pronounciation problems addressed as you see fit. Generally do two to three worksheets in different formats to gain the students understanding of what has been the focus of the lesson which leads into the activate phase.

The activate phase is where the students are encouraged to use any and all of their skills. The focus of the activate is more so for fluency than accuracy, getting the students to use all of their language skills. The activate activities are charades, story telling, putting sentences together, role plays, questions and answers, communication games etc. First demonstrate the activity to the students so they know what to do, elicit the information from them so you know they understand what is expected from them and give out your activate activity. Activate activities should generate a lot of student talk time, getting them to use the lesson point and all of their other skills to date. At the end of the activate phase get the students to feedback their information to the class individually.

E.S.A can be used in a variety of different ways i.e. E.A.S.A., E.S.A.S.A., E.A.A.S.A. etc depending on the time and level of students.

Author: Michael Gysen

Date of post: 2007-02-06