3rd April 2020
When I first became an English teacher, many years ago, lots of my friends and family asked – so, how does that work? Do you need to speak several languages and translate for everyone? Of course, the answer is no, instead we use lots of images, games, mime and texts to help a learner understand our message and give them opportunities to practise using the language themselves.
After 12 years of working abroad and in the UK, I’ve become really comfortable with using different techniques and strategies in the language learning classroom. But recently, I’ve moved to online teaching and I found myself asking the very same question – so, how does that work?
Continue reading my blog to learn about my day and how teaching and learning English online can be really rewarding!
Having everything at my fingertips is essential. Not to mention making sure it’s physically comfortable since I’ll be working in this space for several hours. What do you reckon of my workstation? I have a chair that supports my back and a big bottle of water to keep me hydrated. A must is my mini whiteboard where I can quickly write words, pronunciation symbols or pictures for my students. But of course, having the right technology makes the world of difference – I use my laptop to conduct my online Zoom lessons while also keeping my mobile to hand in case I need to snap any screen shots to send to my students or colleagues using social media.
These days my work commute involves walking from my bedroom to my living room – while not as beautiful as my previous commute across Cardiff Barrage, it’s infinitely faster! This gives me a lot more time to prepare for my lessons. My first lesson of the day runs from 9am till 9:40 followed by a 10-minute break. These 40-minute sessions continue till just after midday. Having a total of four lessons with my learners in the morning allows us to practise all language skills (reading, listening, speaking and writing) while developing grammar knowledge and vocabulary range.
Teaching online provides lots of opportunities to practise speaking and listening skills. The technology available now also allows me to find some really creative and fun ways to develop vocabulary and grammar knowledge. My morning class has an e-book which provides structure to the lessons and enables students to do some self-study. My afternoon class is an IELTS preparation course, so watching TED talks, YouTube clips and creating PowerPoints really brings the class to life. We have a lot of fun, while also improving our English and computer skills.
Homework is still really important, and I give my learners something to complete each day. Being totally online, homework can also be digital – students can email me, create their own presentations, take and upload photos, and even work towards making a vlog!
Accreditation, Membership & Exam Centre