The Coronavirus pandemic demands social isolation, which means that all schools and learning centers will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
This has made teaching and learning less accessible but not entirely impossible.
If you’re an English teacher, read on because we’ve compiled a list of helpful strategies that can come in handy when teaching English online:
Assign A Reading List
What better way to improve one’s English skills than by reading books? As an English teacher, you must already be familiar with how important reading is, and when you can't be physically present to teach your students new words and phrases, let books do it for you.
To make sure your students are reading the right kind of material, create a reading list for them. Providing them with quality material will guarantee an improvement in their English skills. The reading list should contain material that is accessible; avoid recommending books that your student will need to go out to the bookshop for.
Instead, you can recommend passages from their textbook, if they have one, or compile a set of articles they can read online for free. There are also many public domain books available online for free, like The Great Gatsby, which is a classic and has an excellent vocabulary.
As a teacher, you need to be patient and understanding with your students. We are currently in the midst of a global pandemic, and some of your students may be more stressed than the others. We are all facing high-stress levels and living in a state of fear; the least one can do be understanding of another's condition.
If you notice any of your students acting odd, consider reaching out to them or offering them some leniency when checking their assignments. By being considerate, you will help relieve some of the stress from their shoulders and ultimately make it easier for them to engage in your class.
Allow Open Student-Teacher Communication
If you’re a teacher, you already know how important it is to maintain an approachable stance. Your students should feel comfortable raising any issues they’re facing with you. This ties in with the previous point; make yourself available as a teacher and be patient with your students.
Allowing your students to reach out to you through email or other formal means can help them become better learners. They should be able to ask you questions related to the subject and have healthy discussions about learning English, too.
Use Online Educational Platforms to Share Leaning Resources
There are many excellent ways to keep your students in touch with their education; using free online learning platforms, like Google Classroom, can help keep students in the loop and can serve as a means for information sharing, too.
Teachers and students can share helpful online resources on applications like Google Classroom; these resources should aim at improving one’s English skills and must be free for all to access.
Encourage Students to Engage with Classic English Cinema
Some people learn better from listening and seeing things rather than reading them; such students are called auditory and visual learners and will benefit from watching movies produced in the English language.
As a teacher, you can recommend appropriate films for your students to watch. Not only will these films help them improve their English skills, but they will also help keep your students engaged and may even help release stress during these trying times.
Anyone who wishes to improve their English skills can stream movies online for free or use paid applications instead. To make things easier, here is a list of great movies to watch for English learners.
Newspaper articles are written by trained experts, and boast perfect sentence structure, brilliant vocabulary, and excellent format. There are many great online newspapers available for free; reading them is a sure-fire way to improve one’s English reading and writing skills.
Offer Students Ample Time to Turn in Assignments
Yes, your students are at home all the time, but this doesn’t translate into a free-pass for teachers to expect them to turn in assignments on unnaturally short deadlines. It is important to keep in mind that your students are human, too, and are likely to be experiencing high levels of stress and tension. The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone, including learners, so avoid pressuring them.
Make Room for Delays
Some students may face delays when submitting work. This could be a result of anything; perhaps their internet isn’t working, or they don’t have immediate access to a computer for online assignments. This is a time when human empathy must exceed our expectations from one another. So, be ready to make adjustments and accommodate delays in your teaching or learning schedule.
English learners can benefit a great deal from recorded lectures. Teachers should consider recording their lectures and allowing students to access them at any time. Those learners who cannot afford to log on for online classes should be able to use recorded lectures to learn whenever they have the time. There are many pros and cons of online colleges, but providing students with recorded lectures can help make up for the cons and make learning accessible to all.
Provide Each Other with Hope
The community bears a massive impact upon an individual’s mental health; when a community holds fear, every individual within it resonates with that fear-but when a community places its trust in hope for a better future, each member finds it easier to have faith.
As humans, we are always learning from experience, textbooks, and more; so, whether you’re a teacher, a student, or just someone who’s willing to learn something new, do your part to spread hope.
Words of reaffirmation can help, as can encouraging others to look at the bright side. If you’re a teacher, consider spreading the message of hope to your students. It could help them cope with the pandemic’s stress-and, remember, less stressed students make better learners!
As you can see, there are many strategies that can help make learning during the pandemic much easier. Use these tips to encourage education in these troubling times; as long as we all play our part, we can get through this together.