How to Teach English to Adults Online
Teaching English online is an excellent opportunity for English speakers since it requires no formal teaching experience. A personsâ understanding of the natural turns of English and idioms is what many adult learners need to improve their English use. It gives the teacher the ability to create his teaching path and teach in a way that is believed best for the students (Salmon, 2011).
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This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Yuanchun L. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
According to Hewett, tutoring English online requires video contact with students hence requires a laptop or desktop with a high-speed internet connection and a webcam and a noise-canceling USB headset. Teaching props that include a hand puppet, flashcard with letters, and a whiteboard are also required.
The companies where a teacher can teach English online have their teaching systems and curricula in place; hence making it easy to plan the teachersâ lessons. Some of the companies that are looking for online tutors in English include Education first, Cambly, Magicears, Vipkid, Mango languages, English hunt, and Gofluent among others (Hewett, 2015).
The flexibility of teaching English online depends on the company since different companies have different scheduling requirements. Most of these companies are based in the pacific region and the hours taught are based on this timeline (Salmon, 2011). Some companies allow a teacher to choose a schedule with as few or as many hours desired while others require a tutor to set and commit to a weekly schedule.
Most of the online teaching companies require the teacher to work minimum hours ranging from three to four hours. The teacher schedules their hours while accepting their contract and commits to teaching those same hours weekly. The companies also require a teacher to work during weekends as the peak time for teaching is over the weekend. Some companies, however, allow a teacher to work as little or as much as desired allowing time off as needed by the teacher (Salmon, 2011).
The pay varies according to the different companies and experience that the teacher has. The companies also offer incentives and bonuses as extra payment. The online teaching companies consider the teacher as an independent contractor; hence, taxes are not cut from the teachersâ payment. Putting aside thirty percent of each paycheck is recommended since a teacher has to file tax returns.
No formal teaching experience is required; hence, most of the online teaching companies offer video training and mentoring services throughout a teacherâs career. The companies in their quest to make a great teacher provide feedback on the first several classes stating strengths and what needs to be improved (Hewett, 2015). The contracts offered by the companies do not state that the teacher cannot work for another company. The teacher is, therefore, free to work for multiple companies.
Most of the online teaching companies have a hiring process that involves an initial interview, second interview, and at least one simulated teaching class. The hiring process lasts one to two weeks. Upon hiring, student bookings will be slow, but after receiving positive reviews, the bookings will start to speed up.
Using tools such as the google calendar, Evernote, wave apps, active campaigns make teaching English online more relaxed and fun. The tools help in tracking finances, running emails, saving lesson plans, recording what the teacher has done with the students, and organizing lessons. A teacher is also recommended to connect with fellow English online tutors to share ideas and gain insights (Salmon, 2011).
It is also critical for TEFL teachers in understanding the context and background of adult learners. If an adult learner is learning English for tourism purposes, business, or for fun, it means that they require different learning content and syllabuses. English beginners and intermediate adult learners can be provided with lessons as a group since they share the same needs. Advanced learners need more specific and customized lessons, which will require the TEFL tutor to customize to suit the unique needs of each group.
Last but not least, it is also vital to engage adult learners in speaking programs to put their learning in action. As an online learning program, adult learners are given anonymity, which protects them from losing face or dignity in class. TEFL tutors must reduce instances of surprises and occasions that might embarrass adult learners in front of the class. According to Bhagan (2018), TEFL tutors should also consult adult learners individually to review their level of understanding, which may involve conducting exams and evaluations to identify fast and slow learners for more personalized training.
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