As teachers of English teacher jobs online, we often assume that our students have a basic understanding of English learning strategies. Because of this, we may give students general guidelines and strategies instead of being explicit and providing much-needed examples. Remember that your students don’t have the training or pedagogical background that you do, nor have they spent countless hours studying language acquisition.
One tidbit of advice that I gave to my students when I was teaching in Myanmar was to make sure that they spent a lot of time thinking in English. But in a get paid to teach English online jobs, that advice in and of itself might not enough because these students are still kids. If I expected them to really put my advice into practice, I had to specifically give them examples of ways in which they could incorporate this into their daily life.
Below are some of the tangible ways that can ensure that your students will be thinking of English outside of the classroom.
Set up English speaking peer groups
We know that in a teach English jobs online, in order to learn a language, students have to practice speaking to others in authentic situations. Setting up peer groups is one fun way to facilitate and encourage this. Just as content area teachers assign group projects pertaining to their content area, ESL teachers can assign group projects with the goal of increasing the amount of time students spend in meaningful communication outside of class. I would pick specific locations for them to meet like the coffee house, restaurant, or the local park. This was they were naturally exposed to different situations to use English.
As with any group project, you should be purposeful in how students are grouped in order to achieve the maximum benefit. Also, there should be some sort of final product — as well as several smaller ones along the way — to give students the opportunity to demonstrate what they’re doing and learning. These products will also allow you to adequately supervise, assess and advise them along the way.
Effective Utilization of library
Reading teachers understand that reading as much as possible is a major key to improving reading fluency. This is also true for gaining reading fluency in another language. Unfortunately, not all students will have access to English books at their level, and others will need assistance in choosing books that are appropriate for their specific reading levels and interests.
Effective utilization of library is one way to make sure your students have access to an adequate amount of reading materials for at-home reading practice. Accessing virtual libraries like Open Library and Lit2Go is another option to consider, especially if your resources are limited.
Limiting Teacher Talking Time
As a teacher of English teacher jobs online, you probably know all the research regarding decreasing TTT and ensuring that student talking time is maximized. The research behind this is substantial, to say the least, and I dare not attempt to touch on all of it here. However, I do want to point out that the more opportunities you give your students to speak in class, the more likely it is that they’ll be using the language as often as possible outside of the classroom.
By maximizing student talking time, you’re demonstrating to your students that they have an active role to play in the conversation and English learning as a whole. With that idea instilled in them, they’re more likely to play a more active role in learning the language outside of your classroom.
Make your classroom speaking and listening experiences as authentic as possible
Some experts wholeheartedly believe that, when it comes to language learning, the words “classroom” and “authentic” are incompatible. This is probably true in many situations. However, in a teach English jobs online, I do think that it’s possible to strategically incorporate authentic speaking and listening time into your lessons and meet your learning objectives at the same time.
The key to this is pretty simple: build opportunities for your students to talk about things that interest them. This will show them that you’re interested in what they have to say and what they like. Maintain a positive and encouraging atmosphere for these experiences to take place and don’t be afraid to get off track (you can always get back on track later). After all, the overall goal isn’t for the students to learn scripts or how to answer questions correctly. We want them to ultimately be comfortable with spontaneous, authentic communication. The way to get there is to practice spontaneous, authentic communication!
These few points can go a long way in impacting your kids with the basic English language skills they require by keeping their minds open and with the desire of practicing on their own.
Teacher Daniel 🙂