When teachers support this need for collaboration by allowing students to share ideas and build knowledge together in an ESL teaching jobs, a sense of belongingness to the classroom community is established, and the extension and elaboration of existing knowledge are facilitated. Students gain the perspective of others while debating topics in the classroom, extending their initial views. Students who work together on a reading task are combining their background knowledge and skill sets, learning from each other, and building a shared understanding of the material.
Sharing reading is a social experience, whether students are reading in unison, discussing a novel, or working together to decode and define a new word. One of the aspects of school that children enjoy is spending time with friends. When given the opportunity to interact with a friend during class time, students will approach the given task with more enthusiasm for jobs teaching English online. Some online schools have multiple students in one class. If done correctly this can help motivated students.
Arranging Collaboration Fosters Social Motivation
Students are social beings, and this is apparent both in and out of the classroom. Just as they crave social interaction on the playground, when in the classroom, discussion and collaboration are natural parts of a student’s learning and development, and students will readily embrace collaboration with peers as a reason to read. If you have a big student base how can connect them to create a more collaborated environment? This could be made into a fun project for your students.
Fourth graders average and below average readers were observed and interviewed while engaging in a discussion of stories during reading class. Students were placed in either peer-led or teacher-led groups and given stories to read based on student interest and reading level. The resulting text related discussions between students in the peer-led discussions were more elaborate than the discussions that were teacher-led. You could have each student read their favorite bedtime and post the videos for other students to listen too.
In the peer-led groups, students shared their opinions and background knowledge, leading to new interpretations of the text. The students in the teacher-led groups were not actively engaged in discussing incongruities in the text, as the teacher was the dominant member of the group and posted explicit questions, guiding students through the analysis of the text. Student engagement is supported when students are encouraged to read aloud together, create questions together, and extract meaning from text together.
In a literature review of motivation and engagement among Caucasian and African American students, it was found from multiple, experimental studies that African American students benefit from collaborative structures for interacting with text more than Caucasian students. Not only do African American students prefer collaborative to individual learning, but their text comprehension is enhanced relatively highly in collaborative learning activities that are well structured. Even sharing prior knowledge is motivating for students, when they are allowed to find common experiences with their peers, making them feel a sense of belonging within the classroom community. When teaching ESL online if you have a way to communicate with parents then you can create your own community. This would create a wonderful online ESL community for your students.
When they learn that a classmate has experienced something that they have never seen or even thought of before, this creates a respect for and curiosity about fellow students. Once this kind of rapport is established, and dialogue has taken place about the given topic, students are more likely to engage in reading text communally and recall the resulting knowledge, as seen in a study of African-American fifth-graders.
Grouping students of varying reading levels in an ESL teaching jobs can also be motivating, as the struggling students gain the perspective of more experienced readers, and the advanced readers clarify their own understanding through explaining concepts and reading strategies to their peers. For example, modeling and scaffolding students to say appropriately, “I disagree with you,” or “I want to add two points to what you are saying,” enables learners to become more interactively effective. Put your student in online reading groups and come up with homework reading activities parents and students can do together.
In jobs teaching English online, students working individually may be more likely to acquire misconceptions and hold limited perspectives on a text than students in an open discussion. Working individually, students also miss the chance. This also relaxes the dependence on the teacher, and students feel a greater sense of independence when creating meaning with peers instead of always receiving help from the authority figure.
This extension of knowledge and perception leads to the elaboration of text. The initial concepts are read and decoded by the students, but then these concepts are extended beyond the boundaries of the text to include multiple interpretations and a complex structure of prior knowledge, perspective and emerging knowledge that has been building collaboratively. It is important for teachers to model and facilitate elaborative speech in their lessons in order for students to build their skill at collaboration.
Individual Work Undermines Social Motivation
Some teachers feel that a classroom that is quiet and filled with students working individually and independently at all times is a controlled and well-maintained class. The silence in the room is not an indicator of student engagement nor is it necessarily conducive to complex learning processes such as building an argument or combining multifaceted knowledge to form new knowledge.
Students in this environment tend to feel isolated and do not sense a connection between themselves and a larger unit of scholars. Isolated learners may adhere to faulty logic or inaccurate interpretations without realizing the alternatives, or focus solely on one “correct” interpretation or conclusion.
These students also miss the chance to build social skills that include negotiation, persuasion, and synthesis of one’s perspectives with those of peers, which is something researchers have found students enjoy when given the opportunity.
Students’ goals in the classroom vary from wanting to perform well in order to earn a grade, to wanting to master and become experts in some new reading strategy or conceptual topic. The quest for deep understanding or conquering reading skills is mastery motivation.
Thematic Units Cultivate Mastery Motivation
By emphasizing mastery goals as a reason to read, teachers are contributing to both student motivation and reading comprehension.
In jobs teaching English online, teachers who provide concepts that are complex, and persist over an extended period of time, are supporting the acquisition of deep conceptual knowledge. Goal orientation has been shown to be related to reading achievement. One way to scaffold mastery goals is to place large conceptual learning goals on the blackboard, bulletin board, or chart. As the lessons progress, key information is added and additional concepts are linked to the visible display. A teacher might scaffold mastery goal learning by beginning a large concept map and adding to it during the course of a thematic unit. This focuses students on deep understanding, rather than test scores or pages covered in a text.
Placing an emphasis on mastery of new material, not just the performance of tasks typifies a teacher with a focus on mastery goal orientation. In her classroom, concepts are introduced and then related to each other to form a complex web of knowledge. Students are able to explore topics in depth and at length, and come away with an understanding of the text that can then enhance future reading experiences.
Even at the lower elementary grades, students are capable of learning multiple concepts and making connections between those concepts. Although at first, they may appear more challenging, decodable texts that include conceptual knowledge are more likely to sustain student interest and foster curiosity, thereby creating engaged readers. Teacher’s attention to mastery goals for students is facilitating this conceptual learning. Making a lesson conceptual also facilitates the integration of domains such as science or social studies.
There is also a connection between other motivational practices and mastery orientation for an ESL teaching jobs. Teachers who supported student choice, intrinsic motivation, collaboration, and self-efficacy were effective in promoting mastery goals in their third-grade classrooms. This finding was based on an intervention study that increased opportunities for students to complete challenging assignments in a small group setting. Ratings of performance and work avoidant goals decreased, and mastery goals remained stable for the students in classrooms where teachers were rated as having a high implementation of the intervention.
Disconnected Units Undermine Mastery Motivation
In lessons that emphasize factual knowledge and disjointed topics that lack consistency, students are taught to avoid mastery and focus instead on short-term gains that do not result in the meaningful building of strategies or knowledge. It is important for teachers to be cognizant of the goal orientation of their classrooms, as students experience fluctuations in orientation as they move into the upper elementary school years.
Student engagement is diminished when the topics change daily, and students are left with no clear conceptual reason to read the text. Teachers who jump quickly from one unrelated topic to another are not giving students the chance to reflect on or digest new information. Even if the teacher is choosing appropriate conceptual themes, this is not effective unless students are given the time to manipulate these concepts and integrate them with existing knowledge. When students are made to read unrelated texts and then questioned in an oversimplified manner, such as asking them to recite dates that have been memorized or other surface knowledge without any connection to larger systems, their disposition for deep understanding is discouraged.
Finally, in an online English teaching job, students may learn new reading strategies while reading the text just for factual information, or to receive a grade for their performance. This does not mean that they are engaged readers or that they are mastering anything more than a skill set to be used within a specific context. Teachers who emphasize performance instead of mastery tend to stress formal assessments and grades, rather than engagement.
My final thought is that we need to create our student’s own sense of community like in a traditional classroom. The more we can do this and make a way for them to interact with other students in a positive way it would accelerate their learning. This is the future of online ESL.
Happy Teaching! Teacher Daniel:)