Teach English in Shuiquan Zhen - Xing'an Meng — Hinggan

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A teacher must be able to get a child’s interest if he/she wishes to teach English online. Typically, a teacher teaches children online individually and as a result, lose the classroom dynamics. However, it is important to get a child’s attention and get them interested in the topic or subject because children tend to have a low attention span compared to adults. Children can get distracted easily and once they lose interest, it is very difficult to get it back. Nevertheless, children can absorb information very well and have the potential to learn material quickly. When teaching children online, it is important to have a strong introduction and warm-up, teach with visuals including pictures and props, and reward appropriately while making the class fun. First, introduce yourself and the topic of the class to help the child pay attention to the class. In addition, a teacher can have an interesting warm-up. For example, a warm-up can be to show different props and ask to name its color. A teacher can have a conversation about his/her favorite color. Then, the teacher can ask the child to describe the color of the sky or the color of grass. This stimulates the child’s brain and focus on colors which can transition to your next topic – adjectives and colors. It is important to keep warm-up activities at the appropriate language level. For short 50-minute classes, a teacher can keep the introduction and warm-up to about 5-10 minutes. Finally, a warm-up can also include a quick review of past lessons so that the child can reinforce his/her current knowledge of the English language. Next, the teacher teaches the lesson (i.e. adjectives, present tense, future tense, etc.). If a teacher wants to teach about adjectives through colors, it is vital to have several visuals ready in the form of pictures, toys, and through exaggerated actions. Since a teacher can only be seen through the computer screen, he/she must be visually dynamic. When teaching online, a child needs a reason to look at the computer screen and not at objects around them. Other than physical props, a teacher can split the screen between his/her face and pictures of colorful objects. When teaching about colors, show the following: red apples, green grass, white clouds, and brown doors. In addition to visuals, the teacher should be enthusiastic and fun. A teacher who has enthusiasm and energy can keep a child’s attention. A teacher should also speak slowly and clearly especially if this is the first time the child is learning about this topic. By speaking slowly and clearly, a child can easily mimic the teacher’s way of speaking and learn the topic with less difficulty. Finally, a teacher can finish the lesson with a mini-quiz. The teacher does not have to make it formal. For example, the child may be asked to describe the color of objects around him/her. Whenever the child answers the question correctly, the teacher can reward him/her with a sticker. If, for example, the child collects a certain number of stickers by the end of the course, he/she can receive a certificate of achievement. It is important to reward children to keep them motivated in learning English. Throughout the course, some topics can be dry and uninteresting, especially for children. Reward systems like stickers and certificates can keep a child focused on their learning objective. By the end of the course, they can look back and be proud of their accomplishment. Finally, when teaching children online, a teacher can consider keeping the lesson less rigid by having a conversation with the child. A conversation is a good way to keep the child comfortable with the topic and keep him/her motivated. When teaching English to children online, it is vital to keep them interested in watching and listening to the lesson. This is why it is vital to be enthusiastic and excited about a lesson. In addition, it is okay to make fun of oneself and not be too strict or rigid. In keeping with this spirit, it is also okay to have a conversation with the student. As long as the teacher can teach the important topics, a teacher can introduce flexibility in the lesson. For example, the teacher may end up having a class solely based on conversation if the teacher can cover the subject topic, correct the student’s grammar appropriately, and do a mini-quiz through asking questions. Having props, pictures and other visuals are resources a teacher can use to teach a topic/subject. Children are drawn to visuals and can absorb information well when they are able to see what they are learning. After the lesson, it is beneficial to review the topic with a mini-quiz or a conversation about what was learned. When a teacher finds an error, it is important to correct the child but never over-correct them. Let the child self-correct as much as possible and lead them to the right answer. Overall, these tools and strategies may be used by teachers to teach English to children online effectively.