I do realise I haven’t written for a while, but, as my elementary students say: I have been very, very, very busy 🙂
The reason is simple – I’ve started teaching online and it’s quite challenging (hence no new posts here). But since I’m comfortable with the new environment, I’d love to share my impressions so far – I’ve been teaching online for almost two months so far and I find the experience really fascinating (especially that I teach regular groups, not the one-to-one conversations).
First of all, I work with an online school, so it’s awesome as all of the material and procedures are prepared beforehand, so you don’t have to stress out over the basics. The minor drawback is you have to cover all the material assigned for a lesson (you can’t say ‘yeah, let’s return to this part in our next classes’), as the homework is also prepared according to what should be covered. The structure is very important here as the students have to know the material before they start doing their homework assignments.
Surprisingly, online classes seem to encourage students to speak English. I am to use a webcam, but students don’t have to use theirs, they only have to use headphones and some of them feel better without webcams.
As one lady said: ‘Naturally, even on online dating sites if you don’t use a webcam you’re far more daring’.
That’s what she said 🙂
Anyway, I believe that online courses are the future. You can use a lot of additional materials from different sources like YouTube, you can google and share links to grammar exercises, articles and whatever you need.
And what about the students’ point of view? Well, the great thing about an online course is that the classes are recorded – and all the recordings are available – so whenever you skip a lesson or feel that the lesson’s pace was too fast, you can always ‘redo’ the classes.
As to the homework, there are so-called ‘individual classes’, a set of exercises to work on after every class. You can retake them as many times as you want because you need to score at least 60%. Why? Because if you don’t cover all the ICs, you won’t unlock the exam – and if you don’t pass the exam (you can retake it as well), well, you fail the course.
It’s rather obvious I’m enthusiastic about the whole idea. To be honest, online courses are completely different to popular conversations via skype. I highly recommend that form of teaching…
…and I’m thinking about learning online as well! 🙂