What Materials Can be Used for Teaching English Online?
If you’re anything like me the thought of teaching online can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. One of the first thoughts that I had when I thought of myself becoming an online teacher was, what do I need to have to ensure that my students are learning efficiently and effectively? At first, this question was difficult for me to answer because I knew to teach online was vastly different from having a classroom. This led me to do some research and become a little creative to determine what materials I could use to teach English online.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Danielle C. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Why Using Equipment?
The first and important thing I can say is that the equipment and props used by an online teacher can make all the difference between a mediocre teaching and class experience, or a great one. There are five essential types of equipment and props I would deem necessary to teach online. The first being a headset, this is needed to make sure that the communication between the teacher and student is clear. The next thing I would make sure to have is a laptop stand that you can adjust depending on where the teacher is working. This helps with the use of props that complement the lesson plan and there are many different options of stands that can even be used for the teacher that tends to travel and work. The next is something that is in all classrooms and essential to making sure online students are keeping up. Dry-erase board and markers, this helps the teacher depict the lesson aside from only vocalizing and help the students read and be more involved in the lesson. Another helpful tool in teaching online is flashcards. Flashcards are dated way back and have still proven themselves to be an effective learning tool for all ages of learners. These help the more visual learners and minimize the teacher talk time. Another great thing about them is the student can create their own and practice outside of the class. Lastly, props are a great way to help bring the lesson to life. Using a variety of props such as stuffed animals, puppets, songs, or even "do it yourself" (DIY) projects can help the student become more engaged in the lesson and learn actively.
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Aside from those five essentials, there are many more instructional activities that can be used online as they are in a regular classroom setting. With that being said, there may be a few minor adjustments to be made to the activities to better suit the online learner. For example, the teacher can still hold a class Q&A however, it may be more of the students asking the teacher questions instead of each other. The next would be a scavenger hunt, where the teacher could ask the student to search for household items and the student shows each item that is on the scavenger hunt through the webcam or a drawing. Due to the class being online the teacher could also create online games for the students to play to help them learn actively. For the more advanced learners the teacher could use published articles and have the students critique them for any errors, this would allow them to develop their reading and sentence structure abilities. Lastly, if the teacher is teaching an online classroom, she can assign group projects that revolve around solving a problem or building a report.
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There are many materials that online teachers can use to teach their class and ensure that their students are learning to the best of their ability while having fun. To ensure that the students stay motivated an online rewards system should be implemented. This helps the students understand that they are doing a great job in class and that their efforts are recognized. There aren’t any said materials that need to be used for this system and it is completely up to the teacher and their creativity. With all of these in mind, hopefully, the beginning questions seem a little less daunting and excited you more and more to become an online teacher. All it takes is a little creativity and a positive attitude.
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