Teach English in Caiji Zhen - Suqian Shi

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I took 120 hours TESOL course, expecting this course is going to help me improve my knowledge and skill related to teaching English. I had none of previous study about teaching as I got bachelor in Business Administration. I did self-study of English and attended some trainings such as speaking classes and IELTS preparation class. Thus I have a good command of English. However, at the time I shifted my career into teaching English, I had some difficulties and worries because I had no experience or knowledge concerning teaching English. I had problems how to prepare course materials, how to plan a lesson, how to make students active in the class, how and when to take tests, and things like that. Finally, those became the reasons I searched for TEFL course, then decided to join. It is surprising that after taking this course, I got to know many new things. I learned about teaching methods and techniques, classroom management, lesson planning, teaching to different groups of learners, and so on. Though this course is only in certificate level, it widens my concept to know what I should do and prepare as a teacher, how to handle the class and how to help learners effectively absorb whatever they learn or practice. Now I would like to mention the best thing I’ve learned from my TESOL course: it is the ESA methodology. ESA method is an effective method put forward by Jeremy Harmer (noted from the course) and is the short form of Engage, Study, and Activate. If those stages are applied in the classroom, I’m sure the lessons will go smoothly. Moreover, there will be fun in the class, students will be happy, and teaching will be productive. To dive deeper into understanding of this method: the first is Engage stage which objective is to warm up students – before the start of a lesson— to think and speak in English. The teacher has to arouse students’ interest and get them involved in the lesson by doing some kinds of activities like games, stories and using resources such as pictures or others. Then students will become alert and interested in the lessons. Five to ten minutes can be taken for this stage. The second is study stage and it’s for students to learn the language point and how it is constructed. Teachers explain grammatical structure and the usage. However, teacher talk-time should be reduced and learners should be centered. (Before I attended this course, I used to talk a lot in the classroom). Besides, to make sure students understand the lesson, it is necessary to ask them questions and give them exercises to do. Here three phases can be included: elicitation, presentation and giving tasks. In this stage, the focus is on accuracy. This stage should take around 30 minutes, for one hour class. Now let’s go to the final one which is Activate stage. Personally, I think it is as important as study stage since during this stage students can use the language they’ve just learned. Students are encouraged to use the language they know freely and communicatively. The focus will be more on fluency rather than accuracy. By doing so, it is like practicing for students to become fluent in the language and also it could help them dare to use the language. The activities for this stage may include role plays, communication games, presentation, debates, storytelling and sentence writings. This session will take the rest time of the class. In addition, there are more facts and ideas on planning ESA lessons, and all are very useful. The stages can be done either orderly or not orderly as required by the lesson. For examples: Engage, Study, Activate where stages go in order (and) Engage, Activate 1, Study, Activate 2 where activate stage is applied twice. It will depend on the lesson duration as well as the activities to be done. To sum up, teachers who want to know how to make effective lesson plan aiming to produce fruitful outcomes for students, this ESA method is really good to be used.