Teach English in ZhushAnqiao Zhen - Yongzhou Shi

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Jeremy Harmer is a well-respected author and educator of the communicative language in teaching English. Although there are various methods or procedures for teaching English, Mr. Harmer introduced the method ‘ESA’ – Engage, Study, Activate in 1998. Even though ESA is like the ‘PPP’ methodology – Present, Practice, Produce; it is not as rigid as PPP which follows the diagram exactly. The ESA method allows you to move back and forth between phases. ESA is a great method to follow when teaching beginning level English Language Learners however, the rote like teaching is rather monotonous and is therefore not recommended for teaching intermediate learners and above. ESA involves three separate learning pattern approaches: Straight Arrow, Boomerang and Patchwork. The first pattern; Straight Arrow uses the ESA (Engage, Study, Activate) Approach. This phase involves working ‘straight’ through the method and is very much like the PPP Approach. The second pattern is called Boomerang and follows the EASA (Engage, Activate, Study, Activate) Approach. The third approach is called Patchwork which allows the most flexibility by using the approach type EAASAESA (Engage, Activate, Activate, Study, Activate, Engage, Study, Activate). With these approaches in mind, this summary will discuss the purpose of each phase. Phase 1, the Engage Phase is the warmer. This phase involves no grammar approach, no corrections are made. The Engage Phase focuses on the language taught or acquired which in this case is English, the target language. No direct teaching is administered at this time however; there are various ways to engage a student/class driven lesson. The following activities could begin your lesson: fun discussion, memory game, pictures, drawings, objects, numbers game, easy songs and more. Keep in mind that the more enjoyable and level appropriate the opening session is, the more likely all students will participate. Phase 2 is the Study Phase. During the Study Phase, the students are practicing phonemic awareness, verb tenses, vocabulary, grammar and other teacher determined skills activity. The following activities and their titles have been provided in Unit 3 – Theories, methods and techniques. This unit presented ways to assist in initiating class/individual involvement of English Language Learning: elicitation, pronunciation, spelling, meaning, word order and analysis. Keep in mind that elicitation invokes thought provoking questions, allowing students to use all the English they know. This method is considered one of the most important methods which invokes student participation. Finally, there is the Activate Phase. In this phase, students can work in whole, small or paired groups. They are given a task to share learned information in ways such as role play, writing, or designing. Working independently from the teacher, students are given scenarios involving comparison, contrast and/or changes in various stages of everyday life, activities or experiences. This phase occurs when all of what the students have been taught and retained is used and then shared with the class during the final production stage of current language learning. According to ITTT, ESA is the best methodology to use with English Language Learners. The lessons are not held in a restricted style. Whether beginner, intermediate or advanced the teacher can flow from Straight Arrow to Boomerang or Patchwork depending on the needs of his or her students.