Posted on 25 January 2013.
online teaching with text books
The Textbook Dilemma: Should You Use Them?
There are too many resources that you can use as far as English language acquisition is concerned, from grammar books to pronunciation recordings.
And some of these are even offered for free on the Internet, all you have to do is to patiently scour the web. But what should you teach exactly?This is one question that even seasoned online English instructors still have difficulty finding the answers to. While most teachers rely on a textbook’s syllabus, others think that this is not a good practice.
A textbook contains activities that work on the assumption that they are what the students need. But in reality, you cannot really pinpoint the needs of the students unless you have a thorough evaluation of their skills first. On the other hand, there is no doubt that a textbook provides a good guide or a solid structure for actual lessons.That said, online English instructors should not heavily depend on textbooks. In other words, teachers should use a combination of textbooks and their own creative input when they plan their lessons. These lessons should target the students’ needs, and the activities must always be interesting.
Steps in Planning Lessons
Suggestions for Effective Online Classes
But if you’re an inexperienced teacher, you will find this a bit baffling. If you’ve never planned a lesson in your life, you will grope in the dark; and yes, you will be tempted to rely on textbooks. So to help you plan lessons that target your students’ needs, here are some suggested steps to take.
1. Before you start teaching your students online,set aside some time to evaluate their English skills.
There are several ways to do this. You can request a free meeting to talk to the student so you can gauge his proficiency. Or you can let him take a trial lesson .
2. Take note of your students’ English level and their weaknesses.
In general, online English students are classified according to three levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. You might want to do some research to determine some criteria to accurately classify your students.
As for their weaknesses, take note of their grammar, fluency, pronunciation (vowel and consonant sounds), word order, and sentence construction. past tense , irregular verbs, etc a good grammar book will come in handy E.S.L Amazon store
3. Check which weakness should you target first.
Some students would want to study grammar with you, while others want to improve their pronunciation skills. But if they let you decide which one to work on, make sure that you target the most immediate need first.
Or if you think you can combine at least two weaknesses, your students will be forever thankful.
4. Create an outline or syllabus of all the topics you intend to study with your students.
If you’re offering to teach conversational English online, you can start with the basics. Here’s an example syllabus or course outline.English Course: General English Conversation Course
Level of Student: Beginner
Topics / Course Outline
Day 1: Greetings
Day 2: Introducing Oneself
Day 3: Saying goodbye
Day 4: Saying happy birthday
… and so on.
5. Create lesson plans for each topic in the course.
This is the fun and tricky part. You need to come up with activities that are interesting to students. For instance, in Day 1 (refer to the course outline above), you may want to show your students a video of funny characters before you simulate the situation.
For more suggested activities, scour textbooks and include lessons that you think are appropriate to your students’ level, interest, and needs. You can, of course, modify these lessons if you want.As a brief conclusion, always remember that as an online English teacher, whatever you teach your students should focus on their needs. So take your time to determine what they need to work on through thorough evaluation procedures.
After that, think of interesting activities that you can use in class. And if necessary, you can use textbooks for more ideas and lesson suggestions.