Teaching English Online- An English Tutor's Analysis
Speechify has successfully completed over 5 years as a leading online English-speaking course in India. In our experience, teaching online is an excellent method for both students and teachers. Online English classes facilitate all the things you love about being a teacher right to your home.
Teaching online gives you ample opportunities and allows you to interact with your students anywhere and at any time. Online English classes have broadened the reach of learning to every corner of the world. The virtual classroom is a favorable option for the students who have budget or time limitations.
We all are aware how important the English language is for us. Therefore, it becomes equally important for every individual to put a strong emphasis on English learning at a young age. For this, the students can join online spoken English classes to further improve their communication skills. From convenience to reduced travel costs, learning English online has immense benefits.
What is it like teaching English online?
As online teacher for English, I believe that zoom or skype lessons have their own set of pros and cons. Let’s first look at the advantages of online spoken English lessons.
1. Location Independence: One of the major benefits of teaching English online is that you can work from any location. This is not only a convenient option but also saves commuting time.
2. Flexible Schedule: Online teaching is definitely flexible as you do not have a fixed schedule and can choose your own work hours. You also have the freedom to take a break when you have other commitments.
3. Minimal teaching preparation: Teaching online means saving resources and money on printing materials and less hassle than in offline class. Besides, you get handy notes and curriculum when you are associated with institutes catering to online English-speaking courses, which in turn saves time and effort.
4. Smaller class sizes: Another benefit of teaching English online is that most classes are smaller in size. This way you’ll be able to devote more attention to each student without experiencing a noisy classroom. You’ll find many opportunities to teach students one-on-one or in small groups.
5. Connect with students all over the world: Teaching English online connects you with students from all over the world. Tutoring online can help you grow where you’ll learn about different people and their cultural backgrounds.
The possible drawbacks of online English classes can be:
1. Online English lessons may not be the best medium of learning for individuals who are shy or introverts. Also applicable to students who thrive more on social interactions. Though it may take longer as an online teacher for you to develop a rapport with these students, it’s still possible.
2.Virtual lessons make it tough for online trainers to observe their student’s nonverbal communication cues.
3. Technological snags can cause delays. More so, internet connections and computer/laptop devices may not necessarily be accessible to all.
Tips to teach effective online English lessons:
Every coin has two sides, therefore, with benefits comes the challenges of online teaching. Hence, it’s helpful to have some tips on how to become a great online English tutor.
1. Plan Your Classes- The duration of a virtual classroom is usually short and students wish to learn as much as they can in that given time period. Therefore, it becomes essential to plan your lessons beforehand, so you can give your best to your students.
2. Preparing Your Own Space: Since online classes give you the flexibility of taking classes anywhere, you should still prepare your own space. Make sure you have all the functioning equipment including your desk and chair, your laptop/PC, a headset, and a stable internet connection before you start your online class.
3. Master Technology: Before you start teaching online, you should have mastered the technology that is required in a virtual classroom. An online English teacher must be tech-savvy and know the tools well.
4. Start with Light Questions and Discussions: Learners may be nervous when you start teaching them for the first time. All the students may not be extroverts. Hence, it’s important to start discussions with your students right away so they are acquainted and comfortable with you. You may ask them about them, their hobbies and interests, and many more such questions to make them feel more comfortable.
5. Understand Basic Student Needs: It is necessary to understand your learners in an online setting. You should know about the students’ goals, their strengths and weaknesses and try working on them together in order to improve them.
6. Cordial Class Environment: The classroom should be interactive and fun. You can make it welcoming for students by using gestures and interactive tools. Try to provide real-life examples when needed. To make the class enriching, you can use visual aids and props. This will make the students comfortable and eliminate distractions.
7. Communicate Regularly: It is vital to communicate regularly with your students so that they learn in a specified time. Don’t forget to communicate your expectations and remind them of the tasks and assignments that you need your learners to finish before the next class.
8. Let Students Take Control: You should try and let the students speak more in your classes. The aim should be to make the students active participants. You can start with asking a couple of questions to help students break the ice and start conversation.
9. Motivate Your Students: Learners should look forward to having conversations with you. Keep motivating your students so that they interact and learn more. You can always reward your students with a clap or some motivating words to show them that you have listened to them carefully.
10. Give specific instructions: When your student is making an error, give them instructions and correct their mistakes at that very time. It helps the students not to make the same mistake the next time. Furthermore, it gives them a clarity of right and wrong.
11. Ask for Feedback: Asking for feedback is the best way to know how you can further improve your classes. You can also reach out to other online mentors, or the company to get help when required.
12. Manage Time Effectively: You should give yourself enough time to prepare for every class. Take gaps in between so that you do not feel burdened. Managing your time carefully will help you to take online classes productively.
13. Use Online Resources and Interactive Activities- There are innumerable online resources for online English teachers and their students. Using such resources will make the class more active and help the students improve their skills.
According to Schroeder, online learning can be boring and students at times, might feel disconnected. So, it is vital for all the teachers to be engaging and make your presence felt in the classrooms.
Above all, a teacher’s job is connecting with students. If you are able to do that, half of your job is done. The students are more likely to trust you and to feel that you’re there for them.
Related article: How to become an Online English Teacher | Check list for a great online English tutor