Why and How to Teach a Foreign Language Online?
It is obvious that in today âs world the number of people using the Internet is constantly growing. The Internet has a great number of various functions and might be used for an undefined number of goals. Teaching and learning a foreign language via the Internet is just one of them. Why this way of teaching and learning becomes more and more popular?
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This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Barbara P. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
In my opinion, nowadays, there is a growing demand for online learning and teaching, at the same time. One of the reasons that make people choose distance learning, instead of a traditional one, is the fact that they can learn anywhere and at any time, assuming they have access to the Internet. Some people also prefer individual learning with a tutor, instead of working in a group, as they claim it is more effective and they can learn faster. Furthermore, at present, many white-collar workers are often offered a possibility of taking an online English course, during their working hours, and then online learning becomes a perfect solution.
One more advantage of online classes is the possibility of choosing an online tutor, suitable for oneâs requirements. While looking for them, potential language students are not limited to their hometown only or even the country, but they can look for their English teacher all over the world. One more point of view in favor of online learning, are commuting problems. Even if the teachers and their student live at the same place, teaching and learning online, prevents them from being stuck in traffic jams and paying for transport, which saves their time and money. One more important thing is that teachers are not obliged to be at a specific school or even at their home while teaching, but they can work from any place in the world, for instance from a hotel, which enables working while for example, traveling. But also those who appreciate working from home, because of numerous reasons, such as a need for being independent or necessity of staying at home with their babies, can successfully do this online job. Similarly, students are also free to choose their place to study.
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The online teachers should remember, that most of the teaching rules, applied at the language schools should be also used when teaching online. Obviously, the studentsâ age and their language level must be taken into account. At the beginning of the teaching process, diagnostic tests are highly recommended, to enable the teachers to select the right teaching materials. Similarly, teaching aids ought to be tailored to individual students and their needs. While preparing a language syllabus, TEFL experience can prove very helpful. As like in this course, the range of the materials to be mastered by the students, should be defined and the time frame should be established. The whole material should be divided into shorter units and after each of them, the students should have the possibility of checking their knowledge in a progress test. To check the studentsâ listening skills, some video material might be advantageous. Finally, the students should be required to write a kind of composition in order to check their writing skills. First of all, the students ought to be clearly informed about all the requirements of the course.
To sum up, the Internet has become an enormous tool for learning a foreign language. The students and the teachers can communicate with each other by means of such communicators as, for instance, Skype or Zoom, which enable them to see each other, to talk to each other and share different files, such as PowerPoint Presentation or Google documents. There are also various e-platforms, specially designed for learning foreign languages. A great variety of teaching aids such as films, games, authentic recordings and many others, make the process of learning a language very interesting and attractive. I strongly believe that online teaching and learning will be still developing and in my opinion, there is the most comfortable way of learning or teaching, while sitting in an armchair, with a laptop and a cup of coffee on the table, not to mention that you can talk to a person from a very distant place.
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