Teach English in Haimenshibinhaixinqu - Nantong Shi

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Online Education can be a big hit influencing ESL. According to Zigmund Bauman, a prestigious education philosopher, who detailed how society was transformed from “solid” traditional education to the “liquid” phase of modernity, in which all social forms melt faster. There are nowadays, two big different worlds in education, SOLID EDUCATION - the traditional Prussian education, face to face classes, with a teacher upfront, fixed schedules, discipline, that started to form soldiers for the Prussian Army to learn and obey their superiors. This educational system was kept for over three centuries till Century XX LIQUID EDUCATION - the modern education, more flexible, with the knowledge at the students fingertips, Internet, computers, online classes, etc. changed in a few years everything. Students adapted immediately to this world, even though online classes require more self discipline Departing from the fundamentals that I belong to the Orthodox Solid Education from XX Century, and being an online teacher for over seven years with a student body that pertains to the Liquid Education from XXI Century, it is very clear to me that the changes in the ultimate times have been vertiginous fast. It is necessary to adapt teaching to Liquid Education. This interesting transition from Solid to Liquid education is being done, with teachers from last century teaching students from this century. We, the teachers grew up with face to face classes, books, fixed schedules, very well structured education, and, we had to learn about computers, technology and so on, on the other hand our students were born with computers, technology and Internet, they are native Liquid Education Students. This is an advantage to make the change happen. As a teacher online, our role is not just transmitting the knowledge but the comprehension, not just being a motivational teacher helping students with self esteem, and, not just help them reasoning but making them capable of making decisions. Certainly, there are advantages and disadvantages on both education worlds, Solid and Liquid. SOLID EDUCATION LIQUID EDUCATION Commuting to school limited space No commuting, from home, no limiting space Face to Face on rigid schedule Digital, Flexible schedule, no need to see each other Access to Education more expensive Access to education less expensive Productivity is less than digital More productivity is digital Not too many innovations Very innovative Group teaching Individual teaching Limited group learning Collaborative learning (forums, blogs) Group feedback Individual feedback Certification or diploma Certification or diploma Socializing Isolated Discipline Self discipline So, if modern life works with TIC’s, cell phones, Internet, computers, considering all the conveniences we added to our daily life, why in education, we have to remain traditional instead of taking advantage of modern technology? Traditionally, English as a foreign Language, has been taught through text books, hours of conversation, tests and of course a teacher face to face in class at certain days and times. Today, technology allows the creation of new tools based on computer programs, very promising, since they put together the grammatical elements and pronunciation that we pursue learning English. In the last twenty years we have had a social phenomena identified as a “Boom” of TIC’s, development of multimedia and massive accessibility to the Internet giving a new role to computers on teaching languages, modifying traditional educational tools. The teacher in Liquid education, became a facilitator, and, the student had to adapt to the new educational tendencies, with a more active role in his own learning, with new strategies and more motivated to learn the language. Software nowadays, is extremely helpful with tutorials, hypermedia, simulations, games, learning tools and evaluations, very updated emulating the teacher and helping the student to replicate the language. In my own perspective, as an online ESL teacher, it will be very demanding prepare the materials for the class, even though the school certainly, will supply the studying materials, the virtual class on a platform, the tools as video conference rooms, forums, blogs, messenger, chats, and supporting materials; we as teachers must be very creative to engage students and get them more involved and stimulated, convincing them that online class will be fun and a lot of learning, at the study phase starting from elicitation, we need to be imaginative and prepare our class focusing on the language information and how is it constructed and interacting with the students to ensure they are understanding, through video clips, exercises, conferences, etc. and, last, but not least, activate phase to encourage students to use any/all of the language they know though we can focus on fluency more than accuracy in this stage. Online classes require more self discipline on both sides, the facilitator and the student, because the students are not really monitored, they have to schedule their own time to study, understand what they are doing, and be prepared for the activity or test to be taken. Studies have shown that a good student will perform in both systems, but with the Liquid education students will excel. I am a believer that online classes for ESL is the future that is here and we have to learn and adapt to the big modern Liquid Education world. It is challenging but we can make it happen. IRMA CECILIA HERNANDEZ VAZQUEZ