With more and more students learning English each year, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) has become a rapidly developing sector which now comprises a variety of approaches, methods and techniques designed to help learners to acquire new language in a student-centred way, and communicate effectively in English.
At English for Asia, we emphasise the Communicative Approach to language learning, placing emphasis on genuine, spontaneous and meaningful interaction, i.e. having a real, working knowledge of English, rather than simply knowing about the language.
Using the Direct Method to teach English in the classroom, our teachers:
- Use English as the only language of instruction.
- Communicate meaning ‘directly’ by associating language with actions, objects, mime, gestures and situations.
- Appeal to different types of learner by employing a diverse range of techniques.
- Teach grammar inductively i.e. grammar rules are not taught to the learners; rather, they are encouraged to discover patterns of usage by themselves.
Benefits for students include:
- The learner operates in English from day one.
- Translation is bypassed as the learner is encouraged to think and react in English.
- The learner is encouraged to work out the meaning in English autonomously, giving ownership of learning to the students and aiding language acquisition.
To help students develop the confidence to use English spontaneously, rather than merely memorising and repeating phrases from a textbook, our teachers use a three-step lesson staging known as Engage, Study, Activate (E.S.A.):
First, students are Engaged in a context appropriate to the functions which will be developed in the lesson.
Next, in the Study stage, target language is modelled, drilled and practised using controlled-practice activities.
Finally, the Activate stage of the lesson encourages students to communicate effectively via free-practice activities.