Many teaching strategies you’ve learned won’t work outside a physical classroom when you teach English online to kids. Online language lessons aren’t just about cracking open a textbook and lecturing for 25 minutes.It’s your job as a teacher to make sure that each lesson finishes as a hit instead of a hit on your approval rating.
Follow dose tips below to learn how you can teach your kids online
The first thing you have to do when considering an online teaching job is to understand the differences between having classes in a traditional educational environment and having them online.
They are two completely separate experiences.
Your TEFL course might have touched on online teaching a little, but mostly focused on practical classroom skills. Those skills, however, don’t always translate from a physical classroom to an online one with the type of fluidity you might expect.
In an online setting, incorporating outside media, using physical objects, and involving kinesthetic learning methods will largely be unavailable to you as an educator. the way you plan your lessons will change depending on whether you only have one student or a group of eight students online.
Remember, the structure and audience of an online lesson will always influence the approach you should take. For a successful online career, it’s so important to learn the most effective methods to teach kids English online.
The Key to Online Teaching is Student Engagement
In the online industry, most commonly learners you will teach will fit the description of being 5 to 11 years old. Most bookings tend to be 25- to 45-minute one-to-one English sessions. That gives you just enough time to make an impression, be memorable, and make the kid’s parents want to book you again.
The most important thing to remember about teaching English online, especially to young learners in a one-to-one setting, is that it’s imperative to make them feel good. That means you must give them your full attention, always be pleasant and smile, and deliver quality work. By being kind and friendly, students will feel comfortable engaging with you.
Student engagement is the most important part of the lesson. By being active with you, they will learn more and will likely want to take your courses again.
Prepare Your Classroom
Keep a tidy background. You don’t want your dirty laundry making an appearance in the background of your video. Neutral and muted colors look best. Don’t select rooms in your home with vibrant walls or strange acoustics. Make sure you have proper lighting in your room.
If necessary, buy a small, portable lamp to make sure the student can see you clearly on the screen. Sometimes, only using room lighting isn’t enough to illuminate your face on the screen. Make sure your camera is positioned properly and centered in the middle of your screen.
Show Up a Professional
Remember, your clients are children and their parents! That means you have to be a role model at all times. There is an expectation that you will show up promptly to each class, smile, be well-groomed, and maintain a professional decorum at all times.
Keep in mind that each class that you teach is recorded and monitored. Not only does the student retain a video copy of every class on their student dashboard, usually there is a company employee also reviewing each lesson for quality control purposes. If a lesson starts steering in an unprofessional manner or a teacher dresses unprofessionally, they will soon hear about it.
Even though you’re teaching online, it is important to remember that it is a job. Certain standards must be upheld, and every company has an image to maintain. A smart, preppy blouse, a button-up shirt, a collared shirt, or a nice, clean polo work best.
Use Activities and Props
For a young learner learning about fruits, being sure to have flashcards of different types of fruit would be a great idea. If you have some of those fruits in your fridge, take them out and show the student. Ask the student to describe the fruit and ask them questions such as “What do you think this fruit will taste like?”, “Do you like this fruit?”, “Do you eat this type of fruit often?”
There are so many games that you can play by incorporating flashcards or physical props while teaching English online to kids. Just a few weeks ago, I had a class with a young learner about pets.
She really wanted a dog, but her parents weren’t convinced of the idea. During the lesson, I brought my puppy on screen and we described what it looked like together, what tricks dogs can do, and where dogs like to go.
She was so delighted to see the puppy in class and left a wonderful post-class evaluation. I will be seeing the same student next week for another online lesson. Many young learners are just starting to learn their numbers, colors, and ABCs. There is so much you can do to make those lessons more entertaining than simply reading from a book.
One of my favorite games to play when students are learning colors is “Find the Color”. It is basically a scavenger hunt where I tell the student to find something around them in the color that I ask for. They love to laugh and run around looking for the perfect item.
When teaching numbers, I always use stuffed animals to teach students how to count. My favorite game is “How Many Bears Do I Have?” The students count each bear, learn to describe them, create stories about each one, and solve math equations using them.
Effectively Use Your Voice and Gestures
Remember the importance of your body language. Be pleasant and smile throughout the class. Nod when your student is speaking. Be mindful of the sound of your voice. Keep a soft but audible tone. Use body language and gestures with your hands to help establish your points. Be enthusiastic about each student that books you.
Always Have a Backup
When teaching English online, sometimes things happen. Whether there’s a family emergency, a power outage, an internet issue, or an online textbook not loading, always have a backup plan.
Document everything. If there is a glitch on a website that you need for your lesson, take a screenshot of it. a student is late for class or a no-show, be sure to record that in case that information is needed later. If concerned whether or not a textbook will load, download it in advance.
Remember, when you teach English online to kids, you only have one shot to make a lasting, positive impression. What you do in your online lessons count.
So, show up dressed for the job, put on a smile, and prepare some games and fun activities to use in the classroom. It doesn’t take too much time to do and the young learners and their parents always notice it and reward teachers for it by booking them again in the future.
One of the best parts of being an online English teacher is having the satisfaction of seeing your students improve throughout their time with you. You may also realize you have grown as a teacher, too. So, teach, teach, teach and remember, there is no perfect teacher. What matters is getting the online English teaching experience you need and putting your best effort forward to grow in your skills.