Teaching online to your learners, whatever the subject, can be a challenge if you have never had any experience of teaching remotely. When I first started teaching online to students from South East Asia, I made so many mistakes and in this post I will be sharing some of the mistakes that I made when teaching English online.
The use of timelines is nothing new in the physical classroom but with the ever growing presence of online synchronous teaching, timelines is something which is not really given much thought. I have not incorporated timelines in an online lesson before but after considering this I would actual use them either with a mini-whiteboard and webcam or integrate them within my PowerPoint for the class. One benefit of the use of timelines during lessons is that it helps students visualise tenses and how they are used in English. It will also raise their awareness of potential differences between their L1 tenses and their L2 (that being English).
In this post, I shall be sharing five ways you can use timelines in your remote or physical lessons. If you are unfamiliar regarding timelines, my video introduction below to them will possibly help.
In 2020, many teachers around the world were forced to teach online. However, many were unfamiliar with this area of teaching and spent most of the Spring and Summer terms learning. Personally, I spent the whole of the summer teaching a university pre-sessional course to students resident in numerous countries and I would like to share with you my ideas on what makes an excellent online English teacher. It would be great to hear your thoughts on what makes a great online English teacher in the comments.
When teaching online, it is difficult to replicate different aspects of a physical lesson: classroom management, responding to visual clues from students or incorporating classroom games. In today’s post and video, I share five games you can use for your online English classes.
What a year this has been for us all! So much has happened this year and I thought would write one last blog post for 2020 and share what happened with me.
January to December 2020
The start of the year was as normal as possible. I recently returned from a family holiday to South Korea after a very busy 2019 with a new job. I started the term teaching my class of general English intermediate learners at work. I was also invited to teach a course (new for me), Intercultural Communication in the Workplace, one Friday evening a week.
This course was to last one term (January-April) and the majority of students were from South East Asia and it also reminded me of my undergraduate degree with the module Cross Cultural Communication. Nevertheless, one student was stuck in Wuhan – he had gone to visit family for Christmas but the province went into lockdown and he was unable to fly back to the UK. I kept him updated with course content and emailed him with materials and worksheets to complete on his own.
One of the biggest challenges about finding private students is being able to source them. If you think about traditional ‘brick and mortar’ schools, they have the ability to source students for their language institutes, with the use of agents acting in the interest of the language school. Agents will work on the basis of every student that they send to the school, they will be remunerated 10-30% commission – I have heard some agents in South East Asia receive up to 40% whether a student signs up. Anyhow, with the global pandemic forcing private language schools (particularly in the UK) to close, with many institutes being forced to lay off staff, it makes sense for teachers to source potential English students online. However, how does one find students to teach? In this post, I shall share my tips for sourcing possible English students.
A few weeks ago, Apple announced their new M1 silicone chip with their range of Macs. Essentially, they were updating their range of MacBooks and Mac Mini with the new silicone M1 chip, and removing the Intel chip. In the video above, I share my advice for your next investment.
Finding a suitable CELTA Centre which is suitable for your course is an important step for anyone who is willing to undertake a CELTA course. However, how do you find a CELTA Centre? In this post, I share a very simple way to find a Centre which is located in your country and how to find all relevant details.
The first that you need to do is to head over to the Cambridge English website and to find the menu for ‘Teaching English’. Once you hover the mouse over ‘Teaching English’, choose the link for ‘CELTA’. From this link, you will have access to all things related to the CELTA, such as where to find a Centre, who to contact and the Centre’s website.
Despite doing the CELTA course over 13 years ago, at the British Council Seoul, I can still remember my first day. I had just travelled over 2 hours from a small town outside of Seoul to get there and was very keen to become a fully certified English language teacher to foreign language students. What I hadn’t anticipated was the intensity of the course, coupled with the two-hour commute to Seoul and a two-hour commute back home. However, it was not going to be anything like my undergraduate degree (travelling to Southampton, from Eastbourne a few days a week for 2 years – a total of 4.5 hours).
I arrived at the Centre, along with eleven other trainees, and we were ushered into a classroom for a brief introduction and to undertake a get to know you (GTKY) activity. During the GTKY task which demonstrated the CELTA methodology for first day activities, we learned more about all the trainers, with their comparative experience, and the other trainees. After introductions were finished, a welcome talk was prepared and the Director of the British Council Seoul entered the room where he spoke about the CELTA course and it being recognised of the ‘boot camp’ of training English language teachers. A wonderful analogy, but one where I failed to mention that I had also been in a military ‘boot camp’ for the Royal Air Force eight year prior to the course. Once the Director of the Centre had said his words of encouragement and wished us all luck, one of the trainers prepared to deliver a foreign language course.