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.
I was approached by Chris Rush, Content Marketing, from Off2Class to see if I would be able to review their website. I felt that this would not do their website justice, so we agreed to an interview. However, before we dive into the interview, I thought I would take this time to introduce Off2Class.
Looking at their website, they offer online teaching as well as student self-study materials. This is very similar to BreakingNewsEnglish or other teacher or student study material. Perhaps the difference between BreakingNewsEnglish and Off2Class is that the former website is free while the latter is accessible for a small fee. Obviously, I am unable ascertain whether the small monthly fee is value for money as I have been unable to review lessons that are incorporated for online or face-to-face lesson provision. Off2Class also upload English study and teaching related videos on their YouTube Channel but the number of subscribers are hidden from view. Nevertheless, when you visit their website, they offer a free account. Hopefully, this free account offered when registering helps guide possible readers on whether it is a suitable service.
Notwithstanding, the opportunity of online language learning and synchronous lesson provision has grown exponentially this year and some inexperienced teachers may feel more secure with the services that Off2Class is able to offer. I do hope that readers are able to make an informed decision with Off2Class and if you have used their lessons and service, then it would great to let other readers know in the comments.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to give a talk for the Korea TESOL Association about action research which I conducted over the summer months in relation to the challenges of teaching remotely. The talk included an overview and results of the research as well as practical tips for teaching different skills or functions remotely. A huge thanks to the KOTESOL Association for their support for the webinar and the recording is now available to watch in case you wish to learn more.
If you wish for me to provide a webinar in relation to teaching remotely, then please get in touch with the form below. I am also considering doing a weekly live webinar training session for teachers, so let me know if there is any interest with this.
What I found most difficult of learning a language remotely is the isolation that one is faced during self-study. I must try to learn the alphabet but as I encounter it, I am unable to complete the first activity in the main coursebook. I am still having to deal with a completely foreign alphabet and my go-to second language is Korean. Obviously I see some similarities to Korean but I still feel very much a baby in Japanese.
I was hoping to learn some basic grammar constructs independently but I feel that this is a very slow process. Hopefully, as the weeks progress, I will start to achieve more in my (own) language learning journey with minimal sessions online. So far, the online sessions have been great but I still feel very motivated to achieve more.
Games in the language classroom are a must, but there are a few things that teachers need to be aware when they decide to incorporate them for students.
The first tip that I recommend for teachers is to keep the game simple. If the rules are complicated and it takes more than 30 seconds to explain the rules, it will confuse the students. There are suggested ways to explain games to students but I will cover this in a future post/video.
The second tip that I suggest is to involve everyone in the classroom. If you don’t include all students in the classroom or online environment, then they will feel isolated and unhappy.
The final tip for incorporating games in the classroom is to ensure that there is more than just one winner. Try to give credit where necessary: “Best contribution”, “The strangest answer”, “The quietest student”, etc. If you give points to contributions based on the student and what they brought to the game or activity, it will increase interest.
Many thanks for watching the video above – a huge thanks from Twinkl for your support – and don’t forget to Subscribe to their YouTube Channel.
A huge thanks to Jo for writing a contribution about creating lessons for an online context. There are some very clear and logical processes involved in preparing and delivering lessons within an online context. One thing that perhaps needs to be considered is online teaching pedagogy and suitability for nationalities.
Jo has been teaching business, general and academic English for more than 10 years in Hungary, Poland, and in the UK. Having finished her DELTA, she became actively involved in teacher training, and is a regular presenter at TEFL conferences, an external lecturer of methodology and education technology at a Hungarian university, and a contents writer for several English teaching websites and video channels. In her free time, Jo just loves going downhill and jumping around in foreign forests on her mountain bike. You can follow her on Twitter and also visit Short and Simple English.
Hands up if you’re also trying to make the best out of the current COVID-stricken situation! Even though I can’t see you now as you’re reading this post, I’m sure many of you have raised an imaginary hand, or at least smirked a little. Every country and every school seems to have a different approach to dealing with the second wave of the virus; some prefer face-to-face lessons with masks and social distancing, others went fully online, and some decided to pick hybrid teaching. In this post, I’d like to show you how you can make an online course work well!
0. You’ll need a place where everything comes together
I could say that any shared drive will do, but in these post-first wave times I think we can all agree that using a VLE (virtual learning environment) makes our lives much easier. Not only does it keep everything organised, it can also be used for day-to-day communication, assignment submission and feedback, so I would suggest setting up one as your step zero. But which one? My go-to solution is Google Classroom, and not because I’m sponsoring them 🙂 I like its clean, minimalistic design, and even though I miss some small features, it does everything that I need it for.