Teaching online is becoming more and more popular, with many English adult and young learner students from around the world taking lessons from their laptop, tablet or smartphone. In this post/video post, I look at the best book for online English teachers.
The book that I recommend for online English teachers is called “Teaching Online” and it is written by Nicky Hockly and Lindsay Clandfield. It is published under the DELTA Teacher Development Series with DELTA Publishing. It was published in 2017 and since then I have been coming back to this book as it assists with the development of courses for my private students as well as offers a wealth of lesson ideas.
The book is broken down into three sections, as is common with DELTA Publishing. If you are a regular reader of the DELTA series, then you will know that Section A is an introduction into the teaching online and covers a range of things to consider such as opportunities with technology, the objectives of teaching online as well as an overview of virtual learning environments (VLEs). One of the best parts of Section A is the amount of course site tools that is recommended. There are many links and websites included in the book such as Concordance Sites, Subtitle Creator Sites as well as Quiz Makers.
Section B offers a lot of practical tips and ideas for developing your skills when it comes down to actually Teaching Online. There are essentially five chapters to this section for teaching online:
- The starting line: this offers readers some ideas for getting to know your learners and for learners to get to know you with 12 suggested lessons.
- Reading and writing online: this chapter provides the reader with 21 lesson ideas which prompt the learner to develop online reading and writing skills. There are some suggestions of Web 2.0 tools (blogs, wikis, etc.).
- Listening and speaking online: there are 18 suggested lessons within this chapter which obviously focuses on listening and speaking. Some of the ideas are great but you would have to be selective as the lessons are more specific to more than a one-to-one context.
- Language and evaluation online: the fourth chapter provides the reader with a selection of ideas, a total of 19 to be precise, that offers lessons to focus on areas of grammar and vocabulary during lessons as well as the assessment and evaluation of a student’s progress.
- The finishing line: the final chapter in this section provides 4 activities for the teacher to bring online courses to an end. The ideas in this chapter attempts to to give your learners a sense of closure to their classes and end on a positive.
The third section, Part C, provides the reader with some consideration of professional development within this area of teaching. Some thought is given towards areas to share and develop as an online teacher such as joining discussion groups, undertaking online courses or blogging about your experiences.
Overall, it is a wonderful book for the budding online English teacher who wishes to develop further into this relatively new field of teaching. The practical lesson ideas and thoughts to consider about what to incorporate into your teaching is vital for teachers with little to no experience. There is no doubt that this form of education is a growing profession and more needs to be done to support and engage with online teachers. Hopefully, there is a new publication which looks at how to deal with areas of online classroom management, language development as well as the considerations that need to be understood if one wishes to freelance as an online English teacher.