Teaching English online has become all the rage in recent years. Students are quickly grasping at the opportunity to learn from the comfort of their own home, often one-on-one with a teacher across the world. Companies offering online education are popping up left and right across the world, leaving many teachers tempted by the ease of transitioning to this type of career. However, the inability to be tactile (or the perception of such) can quickly negate any and all positives that can come from an online lesson. One fool-proof way to combat this is to incorporate Total Physical Response (TPR) into as much of the lesson as possible, especially with young children and beginners.
Students get a bit stressed with reading and listening activities. I don’t blame them: it’s hard. I imagine it’s incredibly frustrating to be forced to read something or listen when you don’t understand a majority of the words. Luckily, there are a few tricks to make these aspects of English class less painful for everyone involved. These 5 ESL games are perfect for teaching listening and reading skills in a fun and effective way.
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Speaking is certainly the most complicated part of learning a language, and this typically presents the biggest challenge for learners. In many schools, students are taught to recite robotic sentences and are often uncomfortable when presented with casual, everyday speaking situations. Likewise, ESL learners do not always get the chance to practice expressing their views, opinions, and experiences through writing. Written assignments are often centered around mirroring the grammar concept for the week. This is definitely not a bad thing, but written assignments work best when they are supplemented with creative and fun tasks. While there are a plethora of speaking ESL games that probably come to every teacher’s mind, some may struggle with the writing element in this. Don’t worry: we’ve got you covered with a few quick and easy options to spruce up that lesson.
As teachers, we want the English skills that students learn to really stick with them. ESL games are a great way to commit grammar and vocabulary to memory and enable students to use them beyond the weekly quizzes. While many students may request hangman, try to think outside the box and offer games that keep students actively engaged. A little hangman here and there never hurts, but I’ve found that it allows most of the class to either a) doze off or b) say a random letter when it’s their turn. ESL games that get students moving around will keep the blood pumping and the minds cranking. Have a go with some of my favorites below. While these games are great for teaching grammar and practicing vocabulary, they can be altered to cater to any teaching points you might have.
ESL teachers build a tool belt throughout their career, perhaps starting with nothing but an online search or taking what they’ve learned from university or a TESOL course. Flashcards, games, listening exercises, and storytelling methods are only a few of the most common resources that teachers can use, and it’s essential to have options appropriate for reading, listening, speaking, and writing. No matter how long (or short!) you’ve been teaching English, you can always add more resources to your tool belt. Even the most experienced ESL teachers need new resources now and again, and this is often even more true in the online teaching realm, where students and their levels can change quite regularly. Below you will find the best resources for teaching ESL online.
Teaching English online is a great opportunity for teachers who want all the benefits of teaching abroad with the comforts of teaching from home. In addition to providing the opportunity for location independence, teaching online guarantees you a schedule of flexibility that in-classroom teaching does not. You are entitled (in almost every situation) to create your own schedule and teach as many classes as you’d like- though many companies will require an average minimum of five classes per week. Financially, experiences will vary between companies and individual teachers. However, you are certainly able to build a career that meets your wants and needs, whether that be to teach a full-time schedule or a few classes each week to earn some extra cash.
While accepting a TEFL placement abroad is usually a fairly lengthy process complete with interviews, visa procedures, flight bookings, accommodation considerations, and, of course, packing up and moving your entire life to another country, teaching English online is a far more simple process. But exactly how does someone start their online career? First, it’s important to decide which type of position best matches your goals and experience. From there, you’ll need to get connected with the appropriate people.
Teaching grammar may be the most daunting part of your TESOL job, especially if you have to teach grammar to young learners. The problem that most teachers face is that they don’t know how to teach grammar using the Communicative Approach, so they follow the textbook or present the grammar point on the board. Those who take their TESOL certification course with OnTESOL know that the grammar lesson does not have to be boring! The purpose of a communicative grammar class is to use activities that go beyond the generation of correct language. Teaching grammar in context is a key principle of the Communicative Approach. Playing is the natural state of children, as games are the way kids relate to their friends and family in a meaningful way. Hence, ESL games permit meaningful utilization of the language in context and children are more inspired to learn grammar with games.
Teaching English is undeniably a challenging task; taking out the tactility of the classroom and replacing it with a computer screen presents even more of a challenge. The age of the students and the level of prior English skills that they have in store will certainly make huge differences to the online environment. As such, there really isn’t an all-encompassing formula to use when teaching English online. There are so many different areas of English language to study and innumerable teaching methods, so it’s crucial to suss out what will work best for your particular students through trial and error. However, there are a few general tips that are applicable across the spectrum of online teaching, and adding them to your teaching repertoire will only increase your successes as an online ESL instructor.
Teaching English to Beginners may seem like a challenge at the start, but these tips can help. You may find (like me) that this is your favourite level to work with!
1) Keep it Simple
Pay careful attention to your language in class. Use simple sentence structure, and avoid long explanations. Try to use materials that are visually uncluttered, too. This will help learners focus on the key information.
Having a clear objective is the most important element to consider when developing an ESL lesson plan. Having a clear objective is the first building block to the planning and development process. It’s the thing (or things) that you want your students to learn and take-away from the lesson. Having a clear objective will guide the rest of your planning process. The objective can be expressed in a variety of ways, but, for organizational purposes, it’s easiest to use the same template for most lessons. For example, you could start your lesson plan with the following phrase: “Students will be able to…” and finish with the objective(s) for the day. A good rule of thumb to have is that if an activity doesn’t bring your students to (or closer to) your end goal, modify it or nix it altogether.