Teaching online with Wider World using the ESAP Framework

ESAP Framework and Wider World

Michael Brand is a Teacher Trainer for Pearson English. Having taught in England and Spain, he has experience in the public, private and state-assisted sectors and has taught young learners, teens and adults. His teacher training interests include collaborative learning, gamifying his classes and the creative use of video. Michael is also a trainer for Pearson and BBC Live Classes: online lessons which bring together groups of teenage students from all over the world.

In this video series, you’ll see a demonstration of how to teach an online class of teenage learners using Wider World and the ESAP framework. But first, here’s a quick overview of how ESAP works. 

What is the ESAP framework? 

ESAP is a framework that helps you teach online. It is similar to the way we teach a traditional face-to-face lesson, but takes into account the digital tools that you’ll be using when running a remote class. It follows four clear stages: 

  1. Engage
  2. Study 
  3. Activate 
  4. Practice 

When used in conjunction with our presentation tool ActiveTeach and a video conferencing platform such as Zoom, it’s an effective way of delivering an online lesson. 

You can read more about how each stage works in our article Introducing ESAP: Engaging students in online classes.

Now let’s take a closer look at the way ESAP is used in a real lesson with Michael and a group of learners from Spain. 


As the lesson begins, Michael asks the students to share a word that describes how they’re feeling. They respond in the chatbox, and he nominates them to explain why, making for a warm, personal start to the lesson. Building this type of connection is important in online teaching.

Michael wants the students to get the most out of the class. See how he checks if they have what they need for the lesson (a pen and paper) and that the tech is all working properly.

After sharing his screen, he reviews the lesson objectives together with the class. This:

  • Lets the students know what to expect
  • Enables them to measure their progress through the lesson

To wrap up the engage stage, the students play a guessing game in the style of an acrostic poem. Michael models the exercise and the students complete it, adding an element of competition as a motivational tool. 

Watch the class in action:


As Michael moves to the Study stage of the lesson, he introduces the target language and controlled practice. 

He starts by sharing ActiveTeach and asking the students a question. They respond with a reaction on Zoom. Then, he presents the question the students need to ask each other, typing it in the chatbox along with the answer structure. This is a good way of using the tech function to clarify the task and form. Then, the students nominate each other to ask and answer the question, to allow for more student control and language practice. 

The class then takes part in a listening exercise, a reading exercise and a writing activity, so students are studying the target language using all four skills. 

Here’s how it looks in action:


This part of the lesson is all about activating the students’ knowledge by getting them to produce the target language. 

Here’s how the activity works:

  • To get started, Michael answers a question from a list and the students have to guess which one is being answered in a chatbox race. 
  • He then asks one of the students a different question from the list. In turn, they choose another question to ask a different student. 
  • At that point, he moves them into breakout rooms so they can practice asking and answering questions, as he monitors the different rooms. 

After the breakout room speaking practice, they try another activity using video. You can see how this activity works, and the rest of the Activate stage of the lesson, in this video: 


In order to facilitate student practice at home, Michael shows the students how to access MyEnglishLab. He also shows them the exercises they’ll complete by themselves as part of the Practice Stage. With the automated scoring, your students will receive instant feedback, and you’ll be able to check their scores online and target any weak areas in your next online class. 

This video will give you an insight into setting students up for the Practice stage at the end of your lesson: 

Learn more about ESAP

Learn more about the ESAP framework for online teaching with how-to videos from Lindsay Warwick. There’s also a useful infographic available which breaks down the differences between ESAP for face-to-face and online lessons. 

Check out our webpage for more general tips and resources for teaching online. 

Experience the Wider World

ESAP Framework

The materials used in the ESAP example videos above are from Wider World. An engaging course for lower secondary learners, with authentic material and interactive content. If you’d like to learn more about using Wider World, you can download samples of each level. There are also several webinars which use teaching examples from Wider World to develop your skills in assessment, interactivity and using authentic materials when teaching teenagers.

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