Teach English in Xushi Zhen - Yueyang Shi

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Due to the advancements of technology, many people try to find new ways for teaching and learning English. Teaching English online is one of the best options for learners and teachers. They don’t need to commute, it is time-saving, less expensive and the students are given an opportunity to have their own learning pace. The materials we choose for teaching online mainly depend on the level of our students. One of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced as an online English teacher was working with young learners. The classes should be conducted in a way that can help the kids to learn the basics of the language, like the alphabet, simple words and sentences in a fun and effective way. Let’s say, the objective of the lesson is to teach my student the names of four shapes and to be able to answer the question, “What shape is this?” We start with a warm-up activity. I show him/her things that are square, circle, heart and triangle. The student listens and repeats after me. “This is a square. This is a heart, etc. “ Then I mix the shapes and have the student answer my questions in complete sentences. We can have a play part as well, for example, I can say the shape and the student will have some seconds to click on all the things that have that shape. If there is extra time, I show the student some pictures and ask them to figure out which shape is missing. This is a good practice for them to memorize all those four shapes. While working with kids I have found TPR to be effective and motivating for them. I use colorful pictures, songs trying to keep my lessons fun for them. When it comes to intermediate and advanced students, I use a wide variety of materials. First of all, I try to introduce topics that can help them improve their communication skills. Daily news materials are one of the best ones that can meet the demands and needs of the students. We cover a range of materials, like science and technology, culture and entertainment, economy and business, etc. I follow these phases when teaching daily news materials : First, we have a vocabulary preview, I read the words and definitions and the student repeats after me, If there are any mispronounced words, I do the drilling of those words. If I see that the student is struggling with the understanding of some words, I ask him / her to create their own sentences using those words. I provide example sentences if needed. Then we read the article and have a discussion related to the topic. One of the favorite materials of my students is describing pictures materials. I believe this is one of the good ways for students to practice their speaking and broaden their vocabulary. If the students face some difficulties, I provide helpful vocabulary. As a professional tour guide, I teach travel and culture materials, which can help my students when travelling abroad and get acquainted with new cultures and explore new ways of thinking. I teach them useful expressions related to the topic, we have dialogue practice. We have gap-filling exercises where the student uses the vocabulary he / she learned in class in order to complete the dialogue. Then we have a role play where the student practices the actual usage of those words and expressions. Pronunciation materials can be taught online as well which can help the students improve their pronunciation. Let’s say, I teach minimal pairs /v/ and /w/. First, we practice the pronunciation of those sounds by reading some words. When the student understands the tips how to produce those sounds, we have some sentence practice. I read the sentences and let the student repeat after me. Then we play find the sounds game. I tell the student some words and they need to choose the words that contain those sounds. This is a good practice for them to distinguish those sounds. Business English materials are the best for those who want to pursue their career goals. They can learn vocabulary that they will need for different business activities. First I teach my student some useful expressions, then we do a dialogue practice where they can see the actual use of those expressions. I always do role plays in class. The student needs to use the expressions that we covered in that lesson. If there is extra time, we have a discussion about the students own experience regarding that situation. Sometimes the students just want to enjoy free talk in English. We need to be careful with the topic, we need to choose one that sounds interesting to them and suits their level. I’m always careful in order not to discourage my students with my corrections. I let theme express themselves freely, take notes, share those sentences in the chat box and then discuss those mistakes. I teach them better words or expressions for expressing their opinion. My classes last 25 minutes, so I take two minutes to wrap up the class by reviewing what we’ve learned in class and double check some mispronounced words and grammatical mistakes. In conclusion, I believe all kinds of materials can be taught online. It depends on the level of your student and the reason why they learn English. The most important thing is to create a nice environment for them to enjoy this wonderful journey called learning the English language.