Incidental language is one of the major infractions that will automatically get points docked from your interview/mock lesson score and lower your performance review. This is because when practiced in an ESL classroom, especially with newer learners, it throws off the flow of your lesson and puts your students in a confused, agitated, or non-responsive state which, in turn, can lose both you and the company clients. This type of language is speech that would not be a problem to use when conversing with native or fluent English speakers. However, when teaching in an ESL classroom, especially an online one, it’s the ultimate killer. This is because, as foreign language teachers, we are required by duty to speak slowly, carefully, clearly, and to the point, catering to each student’s individual capacity and level. It’s only natural that we use it in our daily lives, so we are completely accustomed to it. Most times, we don’t even realize that we are doing it. In fact, it takes a conscious effort to train yourself out of the habit. Here are some examples of the incidental language that I was guilty of using in my early online ESL teaching days and tips for how you can easily tweak or totally avoid it.
There is one common denominator that dominates the teaching criteria required by all online ESL companies, especially the ones geared toward teaching beginners and young students: Total Physical Response (TPR). This methodology involves a series of techniques that focus on using the body through gestures and facial expressions in order to facilitate understanding and solidifying learning. Every online company that I’ve interviewed with and/or worked for has prioritized TPR above all else, as it is the one nearly fool-proof way to get your point across to students. While TPR motions can be considered fairly obvious, it is crucial to remember to be consistent when using them. If you are going to assign a gesture to an action, word, or sound, make sure you use it all the time, and encourage your student to use them, too. Below I’ve listed the TPR gestures that I use most frequently with short descriptions on how to put them into effect. Good luck!
Whether you’ve just been hired by an online teaching company or are branching out on your own, you need to approach your new teaching position as a personal business. Like any other business, teaching English online requires reaching out and selling yourself to students, building up clientele, and keeping them loving the service that they receive. Don’t expect this to happen overnight. Students from all over the world have an increasing number of options when it comes to choosing an English company and specific teacher, so making yourself stand out is definitely a crucial element of success- and I don’t mean just by offering the lowest rates. After all, teachers deserve to be compensated fairly for their work in order to support themselves. Getting students for your online business will take a while, but I do have some tips for kickstarting the process and getting you well on your way.
When teaching young students online, particularly if they are beginners to the language or new to your classroom, it’s typical for parents to sit and watch. Often times, these parents will scrupulously dissect your lesson and leave pretty strong feedback. The expectations are high, and you are expected to deliver. Certain elements of teaching should go without saying and be inherently understood, such as a commitment to professionalism and being on time. It should be considered common sense to act courteously, refraining from yelling, aggressive behavior, and giving excessively negative feedback and reprimands. Dress should be modest and not distracting, and personal upkeep is important, as well. While it might seem like a huge bonus to wear your pajama bottoms while working through a computer screen, it’s important to project the impression that you’ve prepared for class and not just rolled out of bed- fixing your hair, wearing a plain top, etc.. Being on time should also go without being said, just like with any other job. However, there are some common complaints from parents that new online ESL teachers might be unaware of. Avoiding certain behaviors will make your ratings higher and your schedule more bountiful, which is good for everyone, right?
Golden Voice English (GVE) is a Toronto based company that teaches online English lessons to Chinese elementary students across grades one to nine. GVE offers a range of packages for students to meet online with a regular tutor between one and five times per week. We have created engaging and interactive lessons that are based on the Chinese government mandated English curriculum. All curriculum, including powerpoint presentations and lesson plans, are created in GVE’s Toronto office by a talented team of Chinese and Canadian education experts.
GVE is part of a growing industry of online English education programs that are available to Chinese elementary students. Three important factors make GVE a particularly unique and desirable company for ESL teachers seeking new tutoring opportunities:
Our online TESOL certificate courses are self-paced, so you can complete the program in under 4 weeks or take up to 8 months to study! OnTESOL is the leader in advanced TESOL certificate courses. Get the best training to pursue a career in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)! Our TESOL courses are recognized all over the world, so you can use the certificate to teach English abroad or in your home country.
The FCE Oxford Press textbook acts as a good guide for teaching each topic, but it is not necessarily something to be depended on to engage your students. The activities presented in the textbook are often dry and lack excitement. Many of the topics are often outdated as well so teachers must find more modern and up-to-date material to work with. If we put ourselves in our students’ shoes, who really wants to sit in a chair staring at a textbook for 4-5 hours?! Here are a few ways you can supplement the FCE textbook with fun and engaging activities.
About the author: Clare Esler completed the 120-hour TESOL Certificate Course and a 20-hour Practicum
Learning to communicate in English has become a necessary skill in the modern world. Many adults who have not practiced English since their school days are returning to the classroom in order to advance in their careers or make the move to an English speaking country. Others, who did not receive formal English education during childhood, are making the independent step toward learning it for the first time. While learning a language can certainly be deemed more challenging as an adult, having low literacy in one’s own language undoubtedly adds to the difficulty, as is the case with many vulnerable populations who now rely on learning English to integrate into a new society.
Teachers who take on the task of teaching English to refugee children put themselves into a very unique situation, facing challenges that they would probably never be exposed to otherwise. Unlike the average ESL classroom, this environment demands a variety of special considerations that can have much bigger and more permanent consequences on the individuals concerned. One major fact to consider is the likelihood that the children have experienced an interruption not only in their lives but also in their education, if they had one previously. It is important to find out as much background information about your students as you can, as assumptions just won’t cut it here. Never receiving a formal education is a concept that most Westerns cannot truly understand, but it is an unfortunate reality that occurs in many other places in the world. Imagine attending a lesson for the first time- and it’s in a foreign language. It’s a lot to digest and is certainly high on the list considerations teachers must make.
The reasons for having a textbook can be varied; maybe it was chosen by the Director of Studies or maybe you, as a teacher, insisted on having a textbook for the class. Whatever the reason, it is adamant that teachers are aware that the textbook is not ‘the be all and end all’ of your class. This article explains some of the advantages and disadvantages for using a textbook in the ESL classroom, and shows solutions for using textbooks effectively.