If there is one thing that the recent COVID-19 pandemic taught us, then it is that teaching online and remote learning is here to stay.
Teaching online is one of the most popular ways to work remotely from home or from abroad. In this article you’ll read all about how you can teach English online and how you can make it fun for yourself and your students.
How can I teach English online?
Teaching English online is much easier than you think. The only things you need are a laptop with a webcam, a decent internet connection, and a certification. You can teach multiple students at once in a virtual classroom or provide private lessons. Unlike teaching in a traditional classroom, it is not necessarily a requirement that you need to have a teaching or an English degree.
Not just anybody can become an online English teacher, though. You do need a TEFL certification, otherwise known as Teaching English as a Foreign Language certification. A TEFL certification is internationally recognized as a professional-level certification that allows you to teach English online and abroad.
The best part? Once you have that certification, you can apply to pretty much any major online teaching platform, even if you have no prior experience. Yes, you read that correctly, everyone can start teaching online with no experience.
Fun ways to teach English online
Teaching online is a bit different from teaching in front of a classroom. Some students might feel less connected to you or their classmates because there is a laptop screen separating them from each other. That’s why it’s so important to keep your students engaged in your lessons, and one way of doing that is simply by making it fun. Here are some ways to make teaching English online fun for your students.
1.Use technology to make your lessons more interactive
Ask any teacher what the most difficult part about teaching is and they’ll either say the parents or keep the students engaged in the classroom. There’s not much you can do about the parents, but keeping students engaged during your lessons can be done. Teaching online has its own set of challenges with keeping students engaged. It’s more difficult to keep an eye on them and distractions are never far away with the internet at their fingertips. By making your lessons more fun, you have a far better chance of keeping your students engaged.
So how do you make your lessons more fun? One way is by making your lessons an interactive experience. Technology like videos, simulations, games, and applications are all ways to immerse your students in the study material instead of just telling them about it. Teaching with interactive experiences is pretty much limitless if you dare to be creative. For example, why not use Minecraft in your classroom?
2.Make it a game
Talking of games, kids like to be competitive and you can use this to your advantage in your classroom. There are several applications that you could use to make a quiz or a game that your students can participate in with their phones. Kahoot is probably the most popular example. The basic website is free, although you can pay to upgrade so you can enjoy more features if you want. You can make spelling quizzes or use one of the many themes such as Disney or Star Wars to make tests or games more interesting.
Duolingo is an example of a foreign language game you could use to encourage your students to practice at home. The more they practice in the app, the more points they’ll earn. They can add each other as friends and see how many points their classmates are getting each day.
3.Show and Tell
Show and tell is always a great hit in classrooms and that doesn’t have to be any different in digital classrooms. By letting your students show something they are passionate about, they’ll automatically want to tell everyone about it. Ask them to prepare a few sentences beforehand and see how much more they can come up with on the spot. Like this, you can use improvisation to teach.
Another classic classroom game that also works online: Simon Says. Simon Says is an interactive game that gets your students moving. By letting them work in some physical activity, they’ll forget they are behind a computer and not in a real classroom.
For example, when you are teaching about the human body, play Simon Says and ask each student to give an instruction like “raise your left hand” or “point to your right eye”. The same can be done with colors or common household things, for example, “pick up a red item” or “show me pencil.” By letting your students give the instructions they practice forming sentences and pronunciation in a fun way.
5.Teach about the world
If you are teaching English online, it could be that your students are from all over the world. A great way to practice English is by having them make a presentation of their home, a sort of geographical Show and Tell. Not only will this encourage your students to speak and practice English, but also teaches them something about the world and different cultures.
Everyone can start teaching English online, even if you have no prior experience. All you need is a TEFL certification and a good dose of creativity.
To make your teaching more fun, you could make your lessons more interactive by using technology. Another fun way to improve your students’ engagement is by making it a game and letting them compete against each other.
You can also use classic classroom games like Show and Tell or Simon Says in a virtual classroom. Lastly, in case your students are from all over the world, let them give a presentation about their home country. With this exercise your student’s won’t just practice English, but also learn more about the world and different cultures.