TEFL Q&A: Online ESL Teaching


hey guys welcome to the itty weekly live stream
uh my name is lisa and i'm super glad to welcome you uh today uh so while i'm waiting for
some more people to join us uh let me introduce uh today's topic
uh so today's live stream is going to be pretty short but concise because i'm going to focus
just on one specific point which is online esl teaching
uh and if you guys have any questions related to this problem feel free to comment uh
feel free to uh use the comment section uh to send your questions or maybe concerns
um and uh as for myself i am actually going to address uh top five
um questions i've been asked recently on the point of online english
teaching um so this is probably the outline of today's session if you
have any questions related to uh some other topics um like
tefl teaching or whatever i feel free to send your suggestions for future
sessions okay uh and just a quick reminder here
in the left no in the top right corner of this live stream uh you can see the
qr code this qr code will lead you to the itt website
and if you are interested in online teaching esl teaching tefl certification
whatever you can use this qr code to get a 30 discount
okay um and yeah by the way guys please let me know that
you are there you hear me and you see me clearly because frankly speaking when i'm
presenting some something uh online i'm not completely sure that my
uh equipment is working normally and that there is actually someone
because i'm literally speaking to myself okay and also um don't be afraid to
share your locations um greetings from your
sunny countries because this is the way i can understand that we are truly
global and we have this uh super powerful teaching community
okay all right thanks a lot thanks a lot for sharing and um yeah
thanks steve um i'm glad to see you here by the way uh there are 13 people
watching thanks a lot for tuning in and yeah if you have any questions
on online esl teaching uh feel free to comment and let me just switch uh to a different
um banner uh so and i'm going to comment on this
problem so uh i've been asked a lot of times like uh is there a demand for online esl
teachers uh because like um still there are some people who prefer to
um study english in a real classroom uh for some teachers and for some
schools it is extremely challenging to switch to this online teaching mode and um i should say that
yeah it's obvious that the demand is pretty high because of the general digitalization
of our world so internet uh becomes accessible
from um almost everywhere and people try to um
get connected and they want to learn this international language that is why uh
english teachers who are able to work online are really really um
in demand so if this is the area you are concerned about don't
worry and try to look for um some ways to learn how to work online to learn
how to switch to this distance learning mode because it's not just um a popular
mode of teaching um it's also a really important life skill i believe um like if you
compare um today to the situation like um of
two years ago uh we we can definitely say that online teaching mode is getting more and
more interesting not just to teachers but to students in general
and there are more and more um online schools emerging
so this is a great business to start as well so why not trying to teach online right
um and as for the demand as well um if you are not someone to start your
online business from scratch you can definitely try to look for a
position um on various um platforms or uh you can look for online schools
which um also have um like real representatives real um
classrooms uh because i know that many language centers uh they try to
uh combine both modes of teaching they still have their centers and they
offer students to come to their centers but if it is more convenient
to stay home and learn english why not right so um we actually have
um a section on our um itt website yeah
which is devoted to online jobs so if you are interested uh in
an online position uh feel free to follow the link from the chat box and
you will see um some possible job job prospects
um another problem which i would like to address as well is that uh some people believe that
uh online teaching is less paid than um teaching somewhere abroad
and this is actually not true because um situations um change
and uh while like a couple of years ago uh teaching in china for example was really
really uh perspective and they paid a lot of money to uh teachers from
various places not just from um native speaking countries
so they they paid a lot to all possible teachers um these days uh they understood
like that online teaching is a great business and they can make even more money um
doing it online so they started hiring teachers uh
for online schools as well and um they um the
payment rate is pretty equal sometimes it might be even higher
um i know that um uh online language centers from uh china
may pay um like 20 25 uh usd uh
to per hour yeah so if this problem concerns you
you should also understand that it's just a matter of
your activity of your productivity um so if you want to make more money
it doesn't necessarily mean you have to go to some um emerging markets where
um pay rates are higher um and things like that yeah uh so demand is pretty high and
online teaching um is something to try for sure
okay and the next point i'd like to cover is teaching methodology
so um it's obvious that online teaching is um not the same as teaching
in a real classroom uh but there are actually more advantages to me
versus disadvantages uh of course there is no um there is not so much
um uh i don't know there is not so much presence probably
because you are literally in different places and sometimes um your students might be
in different cities and different countries but it's actually normal because if you
um d like in the at the beginning uh if you uh pay close attention to
uh relationship building it doesn't mean that you um you will be lacking
some communication or it's going to be challenged somehow just
because you are in different places so and speaking of methodologies
i would say that it is possible to implement uh all existing um methodologies
which work uh in a real classroom as well um but what you have to focus on
uh is your students needs so when you start working with either
an individual student or with a group it is extremely important to
check out their needs so do a kind of this needs analysis
and create a customized program which will address those needs
right and when you have this um outline you will be able to
understand like um what methodologies might work uh for this or that need
um at the same time um you have to count on students personality
and when working with online technology uh it is super
convenient to um address all possible
um personalities i would say because uh there are so many different
uh techniques how to um communicate with students how to implement different
strategies and and so on using um various uh activities which can be
created online and like whatever so it's all uh the matter of your creativity probably
and um it's a matter of your time so you you have to be um consistent
in creating uh such approaches and you have to bear in mind that
your students are actually um people and and they have their
personal qualities they have special like different lifestyles and so on so if for
example you work with business english students and you know that they are interested in it technologies
or i don't know social media this is where to
start from so um think about their interests and then choose the most
appropriate teaching methodology so usually when you create online english lessons
uh it's not about just one methodology it's probably about a combination of
different words for example when i work with my
business english students as an example i combine clil
which i talked about last week so it's uh content-based
learning um so the i feel like this is the best
approach because obviously we can't use something like grammar translation right
because i work with international students and i can't speak their languages
so i just avoid grammar translation plus it's slightly old-fashioned and
it's it's not that interesting to most of students especially to adults um although
like the majority of people especially from the soviet uh soviet uh
countries they were taught using this method and i'm not an exception
i was taught using the same methodology like at school and then at
university and oh my god that was so boring that was so useless and um
i don't know how i i could progress in english counting on that
method solely okay so the main idea is that
when working online try to combine as many methodologies as possible but make sure
that they suit your students um and let's move on to the um
to the third question which is also um like a top priority uh in online
teaching because if you um create lessons
uh using one specific methodology for example and you well don't
use as many possible ways uh to present uh your content
students may get really bored uh quickly so as for
online teaching materials i would say that there are many of them and uh let me just share my favorite
ones because they are super uh convenient to utilize as an english teacher
as a busy teacher uh if i might say like this uh and also uh
they are super attractive to students who like
creative teaching right so um yeah let me just share uh
this um list of materials i've been using in my
online teaching so um i'm going to share them over uh over the comments but i'm also
going to introduce them so uh when i create
uh esl lessons uh what i usually do is i think about
designs because um lessons should be appealing to students
and uh it is important that uh they look pretty um and
for this sake uh i usually use canva which is a great tool to design
whatever you need there are ready-made templates for
lesson plans for slides and so on but if you don't want to create your
canva account you can basically use google slides um however they are uh
less um interactive probably there are less
there are less tools to create uh designs however you can add something from
google pictures and and yeah just mix and match so uh canva and google
slides are okay um but like together or separately
it's it's just up to you and what else um google docs are really useful when
you work with texts and for example um um
if you for example want to present a text and to have a reading activity
over this text you can basically utilize uh google docs and
it it's going to be enough so let me show an example um using my
google doc because this morning um i've i've created
this morning i created a a text a text activity
for my for my students and yeah and i was using
google docs yeah here we go so um yeah
now you can see it but let me zoom it in
so here you go um so i found the text on on the internet
related to echo breaking so i'm created i'm creating a lesson devoted to ecology
so i found this text i just copied it and pasted it here on the google doc
and then i started reading it myself uh in order to find some interesting
vocabulary uh and maybe some challenging words um so i um highlighted them um i used this
uh bold uh layout yeah text uh and yeah
then after that i'm going to um put those words uh into quizlet uh
pre-teach my students um with quizlet and then uh we will read the text together
um in order to uh dig deeper into this topic and this is how i'm going to work
um using google docs okay um and what's next um
there are also some other tools uh i mentioned and one of my favorite ones
is miro so it's an online collaborative whiteboard um i work on nero all the time
all of my classes are on mirror because first of all it's a great storage where
you could you can put all your materials all your lesson materials
with a single student or with a group and they won't disappear
anywhere from mira so you will you will just have it uh there and
whenever you need to use uh any materials or review them or assign um home tasks to your students
um you can just open mirror and here you are everything is just in front of you so if
you haven't heard about mirror um just make sure you check out one of my
previous live streams because i created a couple of live streams uh devoted to
um online teaching materials and i told i talked about miro a lot
and i even showed um a lesson template on mira and shared it with my viewers
okay um the next tool um i like to use in my lessons
uh is quizlet but sometimes i also combine quizlet with word wall so
let me just show you how quizlet looks uh because it's a great uh tool for
english teachers and for students um it helps to uh memorize vocabulary
faster so um from one perspective quizlet is like um a drilling
tool however uh there are different modes um for uh memorizing vocabulary so
there are different activities offered to students and um while they are teaching while they are
learning it's up to them which activities to to choose which games to play so um
here you can see my dashboard yeah right now you can see it yeah let me
zoom it in once again so the dashboard is pretty simple
can i move it somehow okay so
i hope you can see it clearly but um i'm just going to share this general
layout uh so that you could have this understanding so uh before
you create your set you pick out some vocabulary and then put everything into this system
so um you choose your vocabulary and put put all single words on the left
and then add definitions or it's also possible to add translations
to your languages but i usually prefer to add either
translations or pictures like here uh because this way
uh is more effective uh in terms of um teaching vocabulary
graph again grammar translation method is super old-fashioned and um
it doesn't allow students um think themselves uh so
that is why i prefer to add definitions and sometimes pictures
sometimes i use pictures even for um some concepts
but it's pretty rare because um it is harder to contemplate
so if you for example want to explain some specific things
which are presented uh in real life like modular units for example uh why not
using a picture to show how it looks instead of explaining uh with words
right and when it comes to learning uh from the students side um they have
this ready-made cards they um if if you click on the card you get
a definition on on another side however when you are pretty bored
drilling those words like this uh you can you can actually choose a different
study mode so you can for example learn this way okay
so uh you are going to be offered a definition and you have
to match uh with a specific word
what else if you for example want to drill
spelling or writing it's also possible if you choose spelling um
an automated this machine is going to vocalize
the word and you have to type it in here and that's all so this is
another way to drill this vocabulary so there are also tests and if you want
to play if you want to have this gamification you can choose one of this
possible variants as well and i i personally really like gravity
it's a super fun way to learn some words so uh
while um this is falling you have to write down a definition or a word something like
that um you have to be super fast but some students uh they they like to be challenged
okay so this is the way um quizlet looks uh
like and let me also show you um word wall because word will is
another tool which is um super exciting if you want to offer students some some
games and activities during the lesson instead of boring drilling okay so let me show you
um oh no i cannot show your word wall because i
have to confirm my account okay anyways
let me try it on i'm so sorry i i wasn't expecting that
okay so
yeah just one moment and i'm going to switch my um screen sharing
okay so just one second and you're going to see it as well so
um word wall actually offers a lot of free templates but um i pay
like about two dollars or some something for the pro version because
it's super convenient and there are so many um fun techniques
for creating activities if you don't want to look for if you don't want
to spend time uh on creating your own activities it's actually possible to pick
out uh one of the ready-made templates from other teachers and sometimes
they're just awesome you can actually
save time on creating those personalized activities okay
and yeah this is the way this game mode looks like uh
and my students they love this activities especially if they
are like this if they are like game show uh mode yeah and they have to spin the
wheel sometimes it's also possible to to to pick another theme for example
and it's going to be even more fun uh so yeah like this
they spin it and then they do those tasks which i want them to do
and that's pretty much so this is word wall and the last thing to mention let me see
no i believe that those are just two tools uh i've been using to create um
activities uh based on uh grammar or vocabulary just instead of those grilling
techniques and uh the last point to mention is that
if you want to save time on creating whatever activities whatever lesson plans
uh you can actually buy ready made lessons and
two resource resources i've been using um are esl brains uh and teachers pay
teachers so teachers paid teachers is like a supermarket for um for teachers
you can find uh whatever content you need there um and you have to pay
like from one dollar to um a different uh
amount of yeah like money um sometimes it's like 25 dollars for a
set of some something but it's not that um expensive and esl brains uh it's a resource
for teachers who work with adults or business english students um general english students as well but
adults or young no not young teens but maybe teens but closer to
adults yeah uh and this resource is just awesome there are so many interesting
lessons uh and my students appreciate those materials because they usually
offer a little bit more than just learning english it's also about
learning various other topics various other subjects as well for example
with one business english students we learned how to create an
elevator pitch how to design and organize a linkedin profile
then how to prepare for an for a job interview and all those materials were just
from esl brains i didn't have to think myself like how to organize those
lessons and how to address my students needs i just picked an interesting topic
um picked a ready-made template and used it in my class that was all
so that's pretty much related to online teaching
sometimes sometimes i create um lessons myself and um
frankly speaking i've been creating one lesson for ages but i'm going to share it on my
facebook group really soon and if you are interested especially if you
are interested in what in ecology and topics related to recycling
and so on please feel free to um join my facebook group um
i'll share my uh lesson when i'm done um hopefully it's going to be really
really soon because i i am just in the middle of designing
um the whole lesson but yeah let me just give you an opportunity to see how it looks
because uh yeah because my presentation is opened uh in a different tab so let me share my
screen and show you the beginning of that um lesson and how it looks
and then i'll give it out for free on my facebook group yeah so uh yeah as you can see
uh i'm using canva to design this uh lesson related to
recycling and echo breaking so um i just picked a beautiful template
and now i add my own content i created this teaching plan uh
specifically for teachers who are going to use it who
will probably use it then i added those resources as you can
see i chose several tik tok videos as a lead-in
i placed them on my google doc no not on my google doc on my google drive
then i created that set of quizlet cards created the text and
later on i'll add different activities for example in the study
stage students are supposed to learn um the vocabulary uh using quizlet uh then uh read the
text and then activate the vocabulary that they've used that they've learned
um doing this uh gap fill activity
and then the final stage is going to be devoted to um creating a kind of a project
based on infographics so this is actually coming and i'm going to
share uh this presentation and all the materials on the facebook group
so stay tuned tuned and if you want yeah just uh join my group and let's keep in
touch as well all right so uh let me quickly uh
check out the questions that are on the comment section
and i'm going to address it okay all right there are so many people
from various places i am so so happy to see you guys
thanks for joining me and here is the first question um which is
straight to the point uh so do you need a degree to teach online
well basically um if you don't know how to teach in general you you do have to
have some training [Music] if you are not a teacher professionally
it is actually a great idea to take a tefl course that was actually my um
way of thinking a couple of years ago so i wasn't trained as a teacher i was
trained as an english russian translator so i was lacking those teaching skills and
decided to take a tefl course in order to get this
basic understanding of teaching and then i started just uh developing my
skills in in this field i also took some other courses related to
teaching uh like how to teach children how to work with multiple intelligences and and so on
so uh these days i'm working with um adults and i'm trying to uh get some
more um teaching experience related and teaching knowledge related to
teaching adults as well so basically uh speaking of a specific
teaching degree maybe you don't have to get it if you teach online
but if you want to um know how to teach properly it's actually
preferable to get some training yeah just to make sure that you understand
how to do it and you this way you will feel confident yourself yeah
all right let's see the next question um
all right so that's a great point as well uh does teaching different group age
groups affect the rate um well um i believe it depends on the company
uh you teach for uh for example i know that uh in china because of uh
their demand in teaching uh children is pretty high they pay a lot of money
to online english teachers who are um able to work with young children
as young as uh three years or four years so just imagine that this age group
is really challenging to be taught online and i personally uh wouldn't work
online with these small children however last year i taught
children from seven to nine years and they were okay but i was paid
much less yeah and uh these days i'm working um as a freelance
teacher i'm trying to have my own online business you know
uh so i charge students uh based on um the current
price rate um because in russia um the general rate is
i don't know like 25 or some something for business english classes
and for what what else um general english classes as well um
preparing for exams no not twenty five dollars it's too much but um yeah it's like from 20 to
24 dollars some something like that uh but i before um
charging this amount of money i did some research and understood like uh if it's actually
normal for this region to get paid this amount of money yeah
so it depends on many various aspects and when you uh charge your students you
have to um think of of this global market needs
and global rates as well okay all right so um
if there are no more questions related to um money or some something let me
switch to yeah it's actually another point i would like to address
and it's closely connected with pay rates as well so um where to find students
and the first thing to find for students would be um like online teaching
platforms uh there are many of them um i believe that uh there are online teaching platforms
almost in every country for example in russia the biggest company
which offers this job placement for english teachers online is called
skyeng so if you if you if you heard about it um
i know that um they are going public in some other countries like in europe
but they are huge and they are the biggest um online teaching company
in um in russia and in those close
close countries like um belarus what else you the ukraine
uh what else like many various countries uh where where students speak russian
as the first language yeah also uh there are such teaching platforms
as prepley italki uh what else cambly
so if you come across those companies uh you can try to work
for them uh because they offer this um placement and you don't have to
um work for them specifically uh you will just have your
representation on their website and uh they will just
charge some fee for advertising you and that's all as with skying for
example uh they are a teaching company so they offer not just a placement
but they also offer you um students you don't have to look for
students yourself they offer you materials and you basically don't have to do
anything but teaching yeah so there are two different uh types of online teaching platforms
and uh by the way i actually also created a separate live stream devoted to
online teaching platforms i also interviewed my friend who is teaching
for prepley so if you are interested uh just check out uh this folder
uh on our facebook uh group on on the itt facebook page
um we store all previous live streams uh on this folder
and you can find um those live streams you're interested in so i created a live stream on online
teaching platforms uh i interviewed my friend i also created uh live streams on mirror
and some specific points of online teaching so check it out okay
uh all right so there is a question uh
i'm not sure about so what what specifically uh what
what do you mean by saying tefl org um you could share um if you
if you mean um tefl providers so itttt is the tefl provider
and we are one of the lead leading um organizations um
uh giving you like certifying with tefl or tesol
and if you follow this link uh you will get to our website and see
um all possible courses your you need so if you for example
want to get tefl certified uh we we actually do that
okay uh and yeah the last point i would like to cover
today is here so um i've been constantly asked like how to build uh my
own online business and um although i have already done another live stream
devoted to how to present yourself over social media i would love to um mention
another time um that your online business should start from some specific um
social media where you not not necessarily should but
you can do it and it's probably one of the easiest ways so if you want to start your online
teaching business uh you can choose um a social media which is popular in your country
or in the country you would like to find students in and start um
building on your uh personal brand over that social media uh in order to
connect with your prospective clients and as for me let me actually show you
uh my um my endeavor my uh recent
um project so i have actually decided to build on my
personal brand over social media and i decided to focus on instagram
first and um i am not that active on instagram yet as an
online english teacher but um i try my best and i have already
created these two um what these two
posts and what else um so i'm going to be more active
um i added this uh header uh placed my uh link where people can
book a lesson and see my prices and i started creating like
useful posts um i wrote a couple of posts in russian related to
english t english learning uh because my page is devoted devoted to um
english learners so um in in perspective in future
uh students when they enter my page uh they will uh get some useful information
about english and if they like my content they will just um book lessons with me
so this is as simple as one one two three i believe but this is probably one of the ways to
start building on your online business it's also possible to
create a website and start um advertising it over um over the searching
engines so there are many various ways but i believe that social networks is
probably one of the easiest approaches yeah so if you have a questions uh
if you have a question related to um finding students and building your
businesses um just feel free to ask me as well
uh if not this is actually all what i wanted to address what i wanted
to share you with today um i still want to help you out a little
bit more and if you have any questions related to
online teaching just feel free to ask me right now also um if you want
to keep in touch with me um i just um i just offer you to join my
facebook group because i am from time to time i try to
go online and try to create some i don't know some useful content for
other english teachers so if you are interested just feel free to
contact me you can also add me on facebook as a friend um so that's pretty much
if there are no further questions another reminder is that you can follow this link
and get to the itt website if you want to get tefl certified
if you want to learn a little bit more about online teaching we also have a course on online teaching
as well so feel free to follow the link from the chat box
and probably this is all for today uh that was a great session and i should
say that i'm a little bit uh exhausted uh to speak because um i don't normally
speak this much as on tuesdays yeah but i have fun
and i really appreciate that so many people come to join my live streams um yeah it's
it's a great pleasure to see so many uh people who are interested in this teaching
topic yeah so i hope to see you next week guys
if you have any topic suggestions uh feel free to comment as well
after the session you can actually write your comments under the facebook post under the
facebook video and uh if you want something particular to be um addressed uh in the
in the future um live streams just feel free to suggest
uh i'll try my best to address your needs and yeah and be as helpful as it is possible
um yeah so this is all for today thanks a lot guys for coming for tuning
in um i know that people from various places
um spent some time with me today and i'm impressed i hope to see you next
week and don't forget to check out all all of those previous live streams
i created um as well and this friday uh my colleague linda is going to go
live as well so if you want to get some um hands-on experience from a native
speaking teacher and if you are interested in south korea for example or some
other asian countries working abroad and so on uh she's a professional
she's a professional in that field because i'm more focused on online
teaching that's my cup of tea so make sure you check out linda's lives
and i'll see you next week bye bye guys