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.
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.
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.