Online education industry has witnessed a big rise due to the outbreak of Covid 19. “Covid-19 won’t last forever, but online learning is here to stay,” former Hong Kong finance chief says in predicting ‘new normal’ for education. With more students changing their ways of learning from a traditional classroom to an online environment, the demand for online education of quality becomes higher.
How can online teachers grasp this opportunity and overcome this challenge?
First, let’s find out students’ expectations on online language learning experience based on italki’s research.
Want quick and proven result
A challenge most students face now is a lack of time to study. Students and students’ parents hope to see obvious progress and growth in a shorter period compared to traditional classroom learning. Effective lessons become the major requirement from the students.
Need guidance, encouragement and support
Another challenge mentioned by students is a lack of understanding of where to start and difficulties in keeping motivated. Students need a qualified teacher who can diagnose the current problems, levels, strengths and weaknesses and show them the right path to success. Students hope to find a charismatic teacher who can motivate them to learn.
Learn with autonomy
Most students are cost sensitive, and therefore not able to take lessons as frequently as they want. They hope they can learn at their own pace, do self study outside the classroom and interact with other learners with ongoing support from the community without relying on learning with the teacher only.
Then, let’s move on to the implication of the above on the trends of online teaching.
This requires teachers to customize the teaching according to each student’s interests, motivations, strengths and struggles instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach. It is important to incorporate what you have learned from your student into your lessons. Here below is a checklist for you to consider when you plan your lessons.
- What is the main reason the student is taking lessons?
- What is the current language proficiency level of the student?
- What is the student’s learning goal?
- What is the student’s learning style? (ie. visual or auditory)
- What are the current problems/struggles in language learning?
- What is the strength and weakness of the student?
- What are the areas of interest for your student?
- What kind of learning habits does your student have? (ie. prefer homework)
- What teaching tools does your student prefer?
- If you were the student, what learning strategies would you apply to reach the goal? What is the learning strategy your student is currently using?
- What learning materials and activities will be helpful for your student?
Teacher’s role as Coach
The transformation of the teacher's role is mainly attributed to the rapid development of online resources. Teacher’s role is not confined to the supply of information but rather to find problems, create solutions and support students to implement the solution and reach the goal. Students can find all the resources online and do self-study but need a coach to show them the right direction and motivate them to reach the goal. Therefore, besides figuring out a learning solution that is suitable for your student, it is also important to ensure the lessons are engaging and interesting as well.
Why not apply games in your lessons?
Learn some “Creative Teaching Methods” with your fellow teachers.
Learn how to motivate your student to keep learning.
For kids, check here.
This poses a challenge to teachers as language learning takes time and it is hard to achieve results quickly. However, it is easier to identify the learning progress and celebrate success in each lesson so that your students acknowledge the fact that they are making progress in every lesson, for example, using a new word, correcting the mistakes in the previous lesson, asking a good question, performing well in the exercises, completing homework on time. It is also recommended to create a progress report on your students, focusing on different aspects of learning, or simply provide formal feedback to your students at the end of each lesson.
Let’s make lessons more and more effective, motivating and personalized!