Teach English in Yingtian Zhen - Yueyang Shi

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There are a variety of factors to take into consideration when analyzing the differences between English teaching in-person versus online (one-on-one) teaching. These factors include student level(s), methodology approaches, and the environment (including equipment). It’s important to point out the challenge of teaching a wide range of students at various language levels and learning abilities in one particular class. Even an experienced teacher faces this difficulty at times. In this type of situation, you inevitably choose to focus your efforts towards the level of ability of the majority of your students. In the meantime, you work on differentiating materials and may even try pairing various levels of students to work together. When it comes to online (one-on-one) teaching, you have a greater opportunity to address the individual needs of your student. You have the time to solely devote your attention to that one student. You can tailor lessons to match the particular interests of this student. Engaging in activities that are of specific interest to a student can be a great motivating factor for him/her. You also have the time, in this circumstance, to re-teach areas of English language learning. These could consist of specific grammar topics that, through assessment, you have discovered the student has not yet mastered. Certain methodologies transfer well to online learning. It is still possible to utilize the straight arrow “Engage, Study, and Activate” methodology for online learning. Elicitation can still take place as part of the engage phase. The teacher can have a whiteboard available in the camera view to record down the student’s responses from these types of brainstorming engagement activities. For this phase, the teacher also has the ability to display flashcards, real objects, or drawings. This can help encourage the eliciting of responses and engages the student’s attention. Miming is also very conducive to perform within the camera space. This activity would also help reduce teacher talk time. With online learning, study stages could include board work, pdf worksheets that can be downloaded by the student, or pdf gap fill/word searches/ crosswords sheets that can be downloaded by the student. The activate stage can still include a role-play activity that is acted out for the teacher, debate can be conducted, and independent presentations can be organized (involving story building or story writing). Memory and board games may be a challenge to implement in an online learning environment, when compared to a typical in-person English teaching classroom. However, if you are able to find any digital interactive versions of these types of games that would work alongside the online learning software, it may be possible. The online learning environment is excellent for being able to build rapport with students, devoid of the typical in classroom distractions (doors shutting, chairs moving, intercom etc.). However, the online (one-on-one) learning environment decreases opportunities for students to learn through peer interaction. The online English teacher takes the role that a peer would usually take during pair work activities. Some students are shy. In this case, online learning is beneficial for them to have less worry of embarrassment in front of their peers. They can only present finished projects, such as stories or visual presentations, in front of the teacher. Of course, this also lowers their chance of building confidence through varied interactions. With online teaching, gestures can be important, especially for younger students. Gestures are another way to visually capture the student(s) attention, and provide an alternative way of communicating meaning. The teacher definitely doesn’t have to think as much about the arrangement of physical space or seating charts, when it comes to online learning. Despite this, it is still important for the teacher to carefully arrange learning tools/props/a small whiteboard/posters etc. for the student to see via the camera for the online learning space. Projectors are a tool used in classrooms that conduct in-person English language learning. They are not beneficial for the online classroom. Overall, teaching English language in a physical space (in-person, in a classroom) and facilitating online learning each have their own advantages and disadvantages. We can see that with a few modifications and creative approaches, activities that are commonly implemented in a physical classroom space can also be implemented in an online learning environment.