Teach English in Wuyou Zhen - Yancheng Shi

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It is becoming a trend that more and more teaching activities are conducted on the internet. It’s very flexible to use network platform to teach, both the teacher and the students could share large quantities of learning resources online easily. And people are not limited by space and time, they can learn everywhere at anytime, also they could use the recording to review the class. This is an ideal way for busy office workers and students who have limited time to study. Much advantages of online teaching are developing gradually and can not be ignored. However, online teaching also has some problems, especially for EFL learners. Students would become distracted and feel tired for lack of face-to-face interaction, self-discipline and teaching aids. Besides, the teacher would find it hard to conduct written exercises during class. So, EFL teachers need to design and set up effective activities for online class to avoid these problems, and make it more interesting. In the following part, I will take an vocabulary lesson as an example, and list some activities that are suitable for different types of online EFL classes. 1. Brainstorming —— for class of 3 or more learners Whatever it is a face-to-face class or online class, brainstorming is a great activity for warm-up session, it could arise students’ creation and get into class quickly. But there is a little distinctions between them. That is, it will take longer time during online lessons due to the delay of internet speed and the progress of typing. So the teacher should try to keep students’ output as simple as possible. For example, if I want to teach the verb ‘guide’, I will first let students to say some other words have the same or similar meaning with ‘guide’. During this progress, students could evaluate others’ answers and I can also discuss with them. As a result, students would become familiar with each other quickly, and also learn the multiple expressions of the same meaning. 2. Check the wrong option —— for one-to-one class It is easy to become bored and tired when only one student facing the screen to listen the teacher. Under this circumstance, the teacher should try to keep the student be focused. It will be quite helpful to let them check which option is wrong. It is noted that, don’t keep the sentences too long or too difficult, and try to use the words familiar to students. For example, after teaching the usage of ‘guide’, I will display the following 4 sentences. There is only one correct sentence, and other three sentences are funny and not too hard for correction. A. I have fed my fish too much food, guiding it died of obesity. (incorrect, guiding leading/causing) B. The boy guided us towards the tower of forest through paths. (correct) C. Can you guide us to the Captain America’s spaceship? (incorrect, guide lead/take) D. Do not always guide me! I know what to do! (incorrect, guide direct/command) As a result, not only would the student review the correct usage of the word, he/ she would also feel relaxed and enjoyable without dull language. At the same time, it would encourage the student to think about and compare the usage between different words. So the teacher need to prepare well before class, and highlight or circle key words during this teaching session, which could attract their attentions. 3. Tell me what he thinks —— for two-students class For two-students class, it will be useful to make them become a pair and set up some pair works for them to do. I think it’s a good idea to let them share ideas with each other and then tell me what the other student just said/ If their expression are smooth and frequent, I will let them comment each other’s thoughts and talk about their own opinions. Student-to-student interaction and student-to-teacher interaction would increase a lot through this way. Moreover, it allows students to focus when they are listening to each other, and trains their listening and speaking skills at the same time. There are a variety of interesting activities to apply for online EFL teaching. Teachers could choose the most suitable ones, with correspond to the types of students. To have a good online lesson isn’t more easier than a lesson in a classroom. Students are more difficult to get involved and to be monitor. It’s necessary and important to prepare enough in advance, to manage the class sessions well and to keep our lessons interesting and attractive.