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Teach English in GuAntAn Zhen - Huai'an Shi
With the advent of the digital age, the education sector has undergone a process of rapid transformation within the course of the last decade. It is no longer necessary to travel abroad in order to teach English to foreign students. Currently, widespread internet availability has made ESL courses accessible through online means, making it possible for teachers to simply interface with the pupil from his/her home. With the existence of online English courses, the concept of teachers offering their services to their students has now been simplified to a great extent, without the hassle of arranging any sort of physical location. While this certainly makes it easier from the teacher’s point of view, the propensity for a child to learn comes with its own set of challenges. Contrary to adult learners who are motivated simply by their desire to further their knowledge (and hence, tend to display a greater level of focus), children usually need to be encouraged, requiring special techniques to retain their attention. Neither being likely to listen to a teacher talk monotonously for an hour or watch slideshow presentations, children learn better when participating in highly interactive lessons with an engaging instructor. Here, we will go through the aspects of managing an online lesson for young learners. The foremost idea is that a teacher must conduct the lesson in an ‘energized’ manner, as a tedious class will likely bore students, making them prone to distraction by something happening off screen. Therefore, it is highly important that enthusiasm is emphasized, including speaking in a ‘high pitched’ and explanative way. ‘Cheery’ body movements also help in this respect, and serve to help the student stay focused. Further, the duration of the lesson must start and end on a positive note, thus keeping the learner interested and sustaining a joyful atmosphere. Doing so will leave a memorable impression on the learner, helping him or her to remember the lesson and leave the student looking forward to the next lesson. This entails that teachers make an effort to smile; a simple smile lets kids know you want to be there and that you're happy to teach them. Importantly, teachers should always keep the lesson cheerful. Kids have a habit of being silly, as they are still immature in regards to any ridged standards of conduct. Therefore, having a teacher who is comfortable with talking to them in a way that they can resonate with, through empathizing with such ‘silliness’, will make the child feel more at ease. It will also make them more comfortable with speaking their minds. The teacher can wear silly hats, colorful shirts (and other crazy outfits), make funny voices and sound effects, exaggerate information, and expressively congratulate students (with balloons and confetti, for example) when they grasp a difficult concept. Despite this lively strategy, there should always be the initiative to speak slowly enough for the child to process and tune into the conversation. Adults have a tendency to speak quickly and explain away a lot of information at once, especially when speaking in their native language. Children, however, are usually focused on specific ‘parts’ of dialogue, and take notice of the broader narrative later in the conversation. Because of this, meaning is often lost in the explanation. Now imagine adding a foreign language to the equation. It isn’t necessary to speak like a video playing in slow motion, but the teacher should utilize shorter sentences, pace, and regular pauses to their advantage, so that kids will have a chance to keep up and ask questions. Following the previous explanation, we should also realize that children can only follow a limited number of steps when given instructions. Hence, teachers should break down the teaching process into smaller steps. If bigger concepts or themes are at issue, instructions should be taught to them in multiple stages. This will assist kids in following the flow of information and help the categorization of material memory-wise. Once the lesson is done, the teacher can combine multiple categories for a review. Speaking-based ‘explanatory’ strategies are suitable, but children are mostly visual learners. They don’t memorize spoken words as well as anything visual, mostly because they need to picture what is being explained. The use of props and visual aids can assist them in seeing content from multiple perspectives and provides clues to retain the information. For example, utilizing puppets or toys to mimic vocabulary will help make the content more memorable for students. To further avoid boredom, the teacher can introduce different audio and video components into the lesson and present information in new and interesting ways. Sing a song, watch an English language conversation, recite words and phrases to a beat, or temporarily use a different accent; such techniques help in grasping a young learner’s attention. A good idea is to know the student’s interests beforehand in order to then incorporate any corresponding materials into the lesson, helping the teacher bond with and motivate them. Talk about their hobbies, favorite foods, favorite TV characters, or their favorite colors, then regularly include those elements as part of the lesson. If the child loves Disney animations and characters, the teacher can incorporate these throughout the course of the lesson (Characters or even scenes from a movie could be mentioned). Last but not least, children love the feeling of succeeding or winning at something, so it is a great idea to offer rewards for good marks. Online English teaching services usually integrate a reward-based system into its methods, such as digital stars or stickers built into the platform. If they don’t, homemade cut-up stars or drawn Certificates will do the job. Throwing a mini party while giving the reward can also be effective. Overall, teaching young children online is fun and rewarding. But it is essential for a teacher to know the different techniques used in order to make it an enjoyable and successful experience.