ESA Methodology

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ESA method in teaching English
Posted on December 29, 2011 by robaaaa
For many years Teachers of English have used the PPP model of Presentation, Practice and Production for the preferred model of teaching. It has worked well. The PPP model falls short however, in that it does not work well when teaching more complex language problems beyond the sentence level or when teaching communicative skills. Jeremy Harmer in How to Teach English (Longman Publishing 1998) proposed an alternative to PPP called ESA: Engage, Study, and Activate. In an article written in The Guardian Weekend, March 15 1997, Bridget Riley complained about the treatment she and her fellow students received at the Royal College of Art. “We were abandoned when what we needed and what we hoped for was help toward independence in teaching rather than having independence thrust down our throats. Jeremy Harmer responded to Ms. Riley’s complaint suggesting a consideration of his ESA teaching methodology. He stated that ESA stands for Engage, Study, and Activate. He used the example of a computer and suggested that in teaching trainees to teach that the ESA should be considered as the computer default mode. During the Engage phase, the teacher tries to arouse the students’ interest and engage their emotions. This might be through a game, the use of a picture, audio recording, video sequence, a dramatic story, or an amusing anecdote. The aim is to arouse the students’ interest, curiosity, and attention. Over the years the PPP model has always assumed that students come to lessons already motivated to listen or engage. The results of many years of PPP teaching do not support this assumption. The Study phase activities are those which focus on language or information and how it is constructed. The focus of study could vary from the pronunciation of one particular sound to the techniques an author uses to create excitement in a longer reading text. It could vary from an examination of a verb tense to the...
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