7 Tips for Successful Online English Teaching
With more than 146 countries speaking English, a lot of people—children and adults—are learning the language. English is useful for work and education. For a lot of countries, it is the language used when applying for a job or a spot in their dream schools. ESL students can get help from a scholarship essay writer for their application but they need the skills you teach to nail their interview.
As an online English teacher or tutor, you may find yourself struggling with unique challenges from those of a traditional classroom. Here are some tips for teaching English online successfully.
7 English Teaching Tips
1. Invest in the right equipment
The quality of your sessions will depend on the tools that you use during class. Investing in a high-quality computer, headset, and Internet connection is the foundation of a successful online class. Likewise, choosing the right platform to connect and share files with your class is important because it will influence the flow of your class.
2. Create a learning-friendly environment
Next, make sure that the environment in which you work is conducive to your teaching and to your students’ learning. That involves setting up a work area with a comfortable chair and table, as well as a room that is free of distractions. A comfortable work area will allow you to work and concentrate for long periods. This way, you can give your last class for the day the same level of energy and effort as you did for your first class. Additionally, ensure that your area is quiet and free of visual distractions so both you and your student can focus on the lesson.
This tip extends to your students as well. Although you cannot control their surroundings, unlike in a traditional classroom, you, as the teacher, should be proactive in reminding them to set up in an environment that is conducive to studying as well.
3. Get to know each student
In English teaching/tutoring, you usually have to deal with individual students per session. Try to keep up with each student—get to know more than their names. Learn about their interests, their birthdays, or movies they like. These things not only help establish a good relationship between teacher and student, but they could also be a tool for teaching the language. With awareness of their interests, you will not run out of engaging ideas to teach English speaking, listening, and writing.
This may sound like an impossible feat, especially when you are handling upwards of ten students a day. But it is doable! You just need to be organized. Some ESL teachers create a file containing each individual’s name, their picture, and all the important details. You can review the file when preparing for your class so you can tailor the approach to their style.
4. Create a routine for your classes
As any professional teacher will tell you, it is important to make a student—regardless of their age—feel safe in their learning environment. This is one of the most important steps to teach English to beginners because it helps them relax enough to absorb the lessons. Learning a new language is a scary thing for many, so making them comfortable will allow them to focus and give them the confidence to try what they have learned from your class.
What type of routine should you establish? You can start your classes with a warm-up activity that recaps what was previously learned, then introduce your learning objectives for the day, break up the discussion with activities and mini-breaks, and so on. There are endless ways to curate an online class.
5. Test different approaches
Staying focused in class may be a more difficult challenge for students learning English online. There are numerous distractions online and, possibly, offline. As a teacher, it is your duty to keep them engaged throughout the session. Since you are confined to a screen, it would help to be more expressive as you teach. Use your facial expressions and vary the tone of your voice while you speak. Some teachers sing and dance during class with younger students to keep the kids interested. Others use different voices when enacting a conversation. Engage your class with questions and activities to keep them alert, as well.
Generally speaking, you need to keep your students on their toes. However, be careful not to overdo it as well. Excessive use of fun elements may draw the attention too far from the things students need to learn. Maintain a balance such that they stay engaged with the learning objectives.
6. Use all available media to teach
In continuation of the previous tip to keep students engaged, ESL teachers should utilize all available ways to teach, communicate, and share information with the class. Platforms like Zoom and Google have numerous features that could support a lesson, such as whiteboard and file sharing. What this means, furthermore, is that teachers could utilize various forms of media, such as video, audio, as well as interactive games.
Educators should take the time to explore the possible ways they can enrich their English classes to maximize their students’ time and learning.
7. Be punctual
You don’t need a reminder that students pay you by the hour to get online English help. So, it makes sense that, as a teacher, you should make their time worthwhile. Make sure that you are on time for every class with minimal absenteeism. This also helps build a strong relationship with your students, which will encourage them to trust you and keep booking you as their teacher.
Teaching English online is convenient but also somewhat challenging. Surely, you can rise to the occasion and give your precious students the lesson and support they need to master the often-tricky grammar of English. For a lot of educators, these tips have helped pave the way toward their success as English teachers online. Implement these English teaching tips in your next classes and see how they improve your teaching and bring results.
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