2021 Online ESL Classroom: Top Tips for Planning Online English Lessons


hello hello um if you guys join me please let me
know in the comment section that you can see me clearly and you can hear this
uh video uh so that i know that my equipment works smooth
um so please let me know that you're here and you see and hear me clearly
i'll be very very thankful for that um and um yeah
to start with uh my name is lisa i'm an itttttt tefl expert and
an online english teacher and today we will talk about one of the most
important things in tefl teaching online lesson planning well we will talk
about lesson planning in general but as long as i'm more specialized in
online teaching i'll try to share my personal experience in planning online classes
um hello guys thanks for joining me um i hope that you are having
a great time especially after your long winter holidays um let me know where are you
from i'm located in beautiful yukatarenberg russia which is in the middle of
the country and today is quite chilly here uh it's almost uh 30 degrees below
zero uh just imagine that uh but i stay in the comfort of my home
office so it's quite good um so and uh
yeah if you guys are ready and everything is set uh well uh
let me ask you this question um where are you in your
um teaching career um have you already been teaching for a while
or you are just starting this job and you are willing to dig a little bit
deeper and understand how it all works so let me know please and and um
i would like also uh know um about your tefl experience are you guys
tefl certified or uh you're just beginning uh to uh get into this sphere so uh
let me know and i'll share some of your uh answers uh so that we all uh
stay on the same page okay um and just a quick um
reminder uh please don't forget to like us and subscribe uh to
our various uh social networks um we at itt always
try to share useful stuff related to teaching and
tefl certification so make sure you follow us and you keep in touch
and there is another announcement at the end of this session i will share
a special offer which will help you to get a nice discount on
any of our courses if you are interested okay and just quickly let me check
the chat box okay so there are some people from thailand
i can see hello nice to see you guys and wow uh here is the teacher
from frank from france who is working in esl for
29 years already that's awesome thank you for joining us um
it's great pleasure uh to have you here okay there is someone with a celta
certificate it's awesome okay and uh here is a person just beginning uh
their tefl classes which is awesome as well
if you're thinking about tefl or tesol certification um
i hope you will find a lot of useful things in this session
and yep um let's keep going with the main topic of
today's um life uh so i want to share my experience of
planning lessons and to be more exact i'll show you uh the way i plan my
online english classes because i have um switched
to this mode of teaching um recently and i suppose
uh it's really vital for many um online teachers and
uh just teachers in general um so this session isn't uh going to have
um any presentations uh but uh i'll show you my screen so that
you uh see a tool i've been using
for my online english classes all right so let me start sharing it
so um can you guys see the board right now um so when i
do like this it should become bigger or smaller
and if you uh joined me a couple of weeks ago um you should have already
been acquainted with this online tool um i've been using it's called mirror
it's a really useful um collaborative online board i find it
really convenient for planning organizing my classes and sharing stuff
with my students um and um one of the most
important uh features of this board is that there are a lot of tools that help to
connect different ideas and add visual aids to the
presentations so it's really really cool um if you don't know it uh
check it out and if you prefer to use any other
tools any other platforms uh it's absolutely up to you uh no pressure
uh if you like uh any other online boards or just stick to um good old um
i don't know zoom uh sharing or something like that it's absolutely
normal uh but i want to give you just some ideas uh how you can
uh boost your online teaching and um right now you can see
uh a part of my work uh with my um 12 years old
student uh she is preparing for um a b1 preliminary english test
and we work on her skills in different uh areas of english
uh so i uh usually try to organize my lessons uh devote just based
on some particular skills or tasks related to this exam
and here is a little disclaimer as well i prefer to stick to
books i mean course books or um any other related literature
because um i find it quite challenging to um to plan my lessons from scratch
when i don't have any materials when i don't have any ideas but course books they help to
find clues and ideas on how to organize lessons and how to
build the whole course uh for a particular student uh what i do from uh my site
as a teacher uh is um adding some more um
visual aids um some helpful uh lead-ins and um
maybe videos so some contents uh that uh help to um
um expand uh the whole um content of a course book
um and as for this lesson so i have already mentioned um we've
been working on the b1 preliminary english test and um
this lesson was devoted to the reading section and
the main purpose of the lesson was to learn how to skim texts and how to fill
in the gaps quickly so i took some um
ideas from the course book uh from and from the teachers book uh by
cambridge uh and uh created this first activity
related to uh the topic of migration and english learning and i encouraged
my student to think of some ideas how this people can be
related what do they have in common and i also set a timer
and asked her to type in her ideas into this chat box
so mirror is really convenient for um
for doing different types of activities uh so she uh shared some ideas she
brainstormed some ideas how uh these people are connected
and then we expanded a little bit more we discussed
uh the whole idea of um well being non-native and native
she also um talked about this woman as a native english speaker and she
called her like a native american then we uh discussed the fact that
native americans are not the same americans as
we believe uh we also discussed other people
and uh moved to uh the next part so she couldn't come up
with the idea of migration she just thought about
the fact that they have english and common english learning in common and maybe living in different
countries and being famous so i gave her this clue and asked
to remember a word related to this definition
uh and when she struggled uh to come up with an answer um
ideas um on the left and on the right there was just
one word and uh i asked her to expand um on this word and to think
uh how um what are the reasons people migrate
and she also brainstormed we wrote it down
she also didn't know some words in english so i gave her this word in english and the
translation in russia so as you can see from time to time um
i um use different methodologies for lessons
uh although my preferable methodology um i try to follow to is esa
uh like engage study and activate uh if you guys uh took a tefl course
um you uh should probably known uh that um esa
is one of the most um convenient uh methodologists which
helps to plan lessons easier and
this part of the lesson is all related to engagement stage and a little bit
um of um study stage so after we talked about um
this word we got back to um the task
from the textbook um and it was um appointed at skimming
but before we started i again used um an idea from the teacher's book
um and i asked her to think of the questions to think of some answers
related to uh the questions here and to these pictures uh and then i said
that uh there is such um thing as skimming uh and
this skill is vital for doing different english tests um
when you read um to save up a lot of time i pre-taught
how to um skim and then i asked
my student uh to skim this test uh this text um in 15 seconds uh so i gave her
a limited amount of time uh to uh practice this uh skill
uh she skimmed the test uh the text um for um answers
and then we discussed uh the whole um thing about this woman
and moved uh further with the reading activity um
in this part we focused more uh on
gap feeling and how to do it correctly i explained that sometimes we have just
gut feeling and it is okay to fill out the gaps during the reading
and maybe when you have read the text a couple of times
you have to make sure that all of the words make sense um and
so she tried to fill out the gaps uh on spot and when she
was ready with the task um i just opened um
the options here and i asked her to self-check
and then we discussed some um um some gaps where she
was doubtful uh and we tried to understand why this word uh is
okay for this gap and that word is not so she also
i also tried to uh use eliciting elicitation uh to
help her think herself and it was quite uh successful because
uh the student um um found out uh the way how to approach to this test
task and it's that skill we develop as well
in terms of this class there was um another activity i've prepared in
advance um to um for the for that case uh if she was
really fast with the previous activities but she uh but we actually couldn't um
get to it uh we talked um a lot about skimming
and gap feeling so we quickly um recalled all of the ways we
approach this task here and i assigned this activity as a
homework so um the purpose of the activity was to
refresh the knowledge of present simple and present continuous
and i asked her to use a chat box again because it's a really fun way to
structure um ideas and to organize the homework and
a really important task to fulfill at home was to do
the same text with gap feeling um i should say she didn't like skimming
uh and i feel like this skill um is not liked by many students but
they get used to it in in terms of preparation
and as a result start using it more often so uh that was
uh the whole idea of planning the lesson um around one particular
task around one particular uh type of uh skill
um and um from my point of view uh the way um to organize
the lesson this way is really convenient and obvious in terms of following
ideas it was quite easy to start and go from one stage to another
so it helped me to um make sure the lesson flow uh is
smooth and the student uh doesn't get bored or doesn't feel um
the whole lesson is too difficult so uh it was just all right
um and yeah i think that is all um about
this particular lesson but as for uh planning in general i should say
there is no uh particular way uh to plan lessons um especially when you start practicing
uh it quite often um there are still people who uh ignore
ignore lesson planning uh especially in online teaching but i believe um it's bad
because it helps us to understand the goals to understand
students needs and to be well organized as teachers
what do you guys think is lesson planning important or it's like
overestimated thing let me know in the comments and i can see that there are a lot of
um um that uh a lot of uh things happening
uh in in the chat box so i'm going to check it really quickly and if you guys uh have any questions
related to um this lesson plan on or to some other planning ideas
uh let me know in the comments i will try my best to ask to answer you
and if you have any other questions so feel free to comment and
i'll move to the part of q and d um so
let me see so there are many questions related to
um tefl certification
yes and here is one question um the platform is called mira you can see it
right here in this section so it's not mirror it's mirror
um next yeah and the same question this is the
resource i am teaching with it's really helpful
and it's so convenient to organize your work
let me show you the way it looks so mirror is like
um an indefinite infinite white board or something like
that so you can zoom in zoom out and make your visual clues bigger
or smaller so this is the whole course um with this student
and this one is just one of the lessons
so it's really convenient i recommend it
and thank you guys for your questions
do you use the same method once teaching a group of students thanks for this question i
don't normally work with groups of students but i run um english clubs
english speaking clubs and uh i use the same tool for this purpose uh
it's really uh convenient uh to work on this board um in collaboration
and i usually organize visual clues in the same way because
it's really easy to follow and it's easy to give clues to
students who join clubs but i know a lot of english teachers who
work with huge classes and they uh create
a lot of cool lessons on mirror as well um and as for the methodology
uh i suppose uh esa is the most convenient one
because it helps to create particular lesson stages so when you um
stick to one particular methodology you can choose esa because it gives you
a lot of uh place for flexibility
um so but uh there are still um
opportunities to mix different methodologies in your teaching for example uh as in
this lesson the whole lesson was structured according to the esa
method but i also used some grammar translation like here because my student couldn't
quickly understand the word so i also used grammar translation and
it would it's i think it's quite normal uh when uh when teachers mix a lot of
methodologies and uh try to approach their students uh in a personalized way
okay yeah i can see that you guys are
uh really into um lesson planning and it's great to know
that uh there are people who are also interested in tefl teaching
so if you guys have any uh further questions related to
tefl let me know
okay so uh as for this question um yes i uh i have primarily
been using cambridge courses cambridge course books
to be more exact with this particular student we work on
cambridge complete it is called complete key for for preliminary english test
it's it's a really a cool uh course book but there are more um materials
on their website so you can basically um use free materials from their
resource and just organize your lessons uh in a different
way i prefer to buy books so um i can
plan lessons um during my office hours and
i don't like online versions of of those books but i
still use them and when i need uh to show it to my student i just take pictures of
uh some activities and put and attach to this board
so if you are interested in the esa method uh more
i encourage you to check our youtube channel there are a lot of useful videos
related to teaching methodologies and as for uh teaching groups um
esa is absolutely um convenient uh for uh this matter
so yeah you just need to get acquainted uh with this methodology and try to
implement it uh in your lessons but generally speaking um it's it's a really really
uh nice methodology to use with groups and as for um students
ages um they are they can be basically as young children
as adults so the methodology is quite flexible and
there is no particular age group it is pointed at
um so and uh
okay um i've taught for two years in face to face setting with um
in lingua i wish to go online but i'm not sure uh from where i get a course plan uh
and resources um so um at itttttt uh we have a lot of
um materials um on our social networks you can start
from here uh we try to um share useful tips
uh about online teacher teaching as well so feel free to check up
the resources we have uh and there are also a lot of online um websites
which give different ideas how to organize english classes online
and frankly speaking it's more about starting than
planning when you find your first students uh it will be much easier
for you to uh plan your online english classes because you will
get to know your students you will understand their needs their interests
and you will be able to create your online course
just for them um
yes i'm a freelance teacher but i also tried to work um for an online school
um it was actually a great experience at the very beginning of my online
teaching career uh because uh online english platforms provide you with all the materials you
need you don't need to plan any lessons from scratch you don't need to plan
um anything at all they provide you with all the materials and that's all so you just need to um
you just need to show up and deliver your class and that's all
so it's actually also an idea how to start teaching online
if you're scared to find students on your own because you
are not sure uh about um lesson planning um you can start teaching
um for an online platform or an online school
and after you get some experience and understanding how it looks like
you will be good to start freelancing
okay so uh as i have already mentioned uh my favorite resource is
uh but i also uh use um some um for example
when i teach my young students i use maple leaf learning
um i i believe they have an online website
but i usually just take some pictures and videos from their youtube channel
so if you work with online english students
[Music] who are younger you can choose between
such platforms as maple leaf what else esl kids stuff
um yep um i can't uh think of any other uh resources
because i usually work uh with teenagers and everything
i need is cambridge dot org um yep that's pretty
it uh so let me write it down cambridge
[Music] uh what else
maple leaf learning and what else esl kid stuff
[Music] i think these are the three resources
i've been using um all the time because they are um really really
well structured and they provide you with all ideas you just need especially cambridge
because they um they have this um long-term um deep understanding
of english teaching and i suppose it's just gold for
uh teachers all over the world okay um
all right so um online platforms that let non-native english teachers
teach i know for sure about prepley and um in a couple of days
there will be a blog post on our tefl course website um
it will be an interview with a teacher who is not a native speaker but she works on this
platform it's called prepley you can check it
um as far as i know it's really easy to set up your profile there
and um there is no particular competition between uh
native teachers and non-native teachers because students can choose
according to their needs and preferences so for example if um a student
wants a teacher who can speak indian and who can speak hindi right and
uh who can speak english uh they can um input this um
things into the filter and find uh teachers um that possess
such skills so that's it um i also know italki
but with this platform it's a bit uh more difficult uh to set because uh they
they don't have openings for english teaching though um they although
they have openings for other languages and if you guys are um
if you guys are uh professionals in teaching other languages like
for example teaching hindi or i don't know what else french whatever
language you know uh you can check up openings on italki as well and try to
teach uh through this platform um okay can i get an english teaching
job uh after 60 abroad uh it's a great question thanks for that um
i believe it depends on a country you want to
teach in there are some countries that restrict to
teach over a particular age or under a particular age so
uh you need to make sure you look for um the guidelines and
requirements uh on their webs on the country's embassy's websites but there are still
chances to find a job online as well so if you are a professional english
teacher uh and you want to work um
with um esl students feel free to start an online job at whatever age
you are it's absolutely normal
and yeah thank you guys for your good feedbacks i'm glad that you
joined me today i hope the session is informative and
you can find ideas that will help you in your future job
or that will help you right now
and if you have any further questions let me know but right now i would like to share
um a special offer with you so we are giving a 30
discount on all itt courses today um and if you are interested in taking
a tefl certification uh feel free to copy this link and make sure
you apply using this link because um it will help you
it will help you to get this 30 discount okay
um let me see there is another um question i've been working with young
learners up to b2 level and i'm interested in getting more experience in teaching more advanced
levels any advice it's a great question
thank you i have been teaching the same um uh group
the same levels uh as you um and i think that um
when you want to uh upper the level of your students uh it should
start from you first so for example um you can consider preparing for
exams for example if you have your b2 students um
offer them to pass an english test a test in c1
or i don't know maybe ielts or something so that they would be encouraged
to learn english further with you and it will help you to move from
this intermediate group to the advanced group um i believe um
exams are really exam preparation is in great demand especially
this year um i think it's a great idea to um well to change
uh the group uh you want to teach to yeah you can try
this and i also think that your further
education is also important for example if you have a c1 certificate
um you have approved that you are at this c1 level
and if you want to um teach c1 students um they would probably consider
it unreasonable just because you are at the same level
so maybe you should continue your english learning as well
and get c2 um so something like that um
thanks for the question uh and if there are no other questions uh
thanks guys for joining me today i hope this uh lesson plan was interesting
and you found it um applicable to your online teaching
if you get any other ideas um related to um
tefl uh related to english teaching um feel free to
share your ideas with us on um the social media and uh
we will try to uh use your ideas uh for further um lives
and we will share our experience and ideas with you as well
thank you guys for joining me today uh i hope to see you next time
um let me know if you have any further questions uh and we will finish this session
thanks a lot and don't forget to use uh this coupon link it will help you to get
this 30 percent discount which is uh really valuable
so uh is tefl necessary for teaching abroad
i'm i'm already having teaching certificate like uh bachelor's right in education
is it not sufficient i'm a teacher now working in our country uh thanks for this
question so tefl certification uh is um just a proof that you
are eligible to teach in some countries it's a general requirement to
possess a tefl certificate uh but there are some countries uh which don't um
check uh your certification uh and they are okay with um your
bachelor's degree solely um but it is important to
uh check the requirements of um the country you want to teach in for
example uh in china i used to work in china
and there it was um a must to possess a default certificate so
i took a course with itttt um and the certificate uh helped me to
find a job there yeah something like that but there are still some countries
uh that have different regulations and different rules so
uh just make sure you check before you apply for jobs
okay so thanks for your questions uh so thanks for your questions guys uh
i hope to see you next time and um it was a really
um productive session thank you for all of your questions and yeah bye bye have a go
have a great week see you next time