Written by Aidan Tyler-Scott
Whether you are teaching your first lesson or a master with thousands of hours of teaching on your resume, there is always space to grow and improve your online TEFL teaching abilities. We have compiled 6 tips from teaching experts to help you teach successful online classes.
1. Introduction & free-speaking
When having your first lesson with a student, getting to know them always breaks the ice. Ask a few questions to start the conversation:
- “How old are you?”
- “What grade are you in?”
- “What’s your favourite animal?”
- “What’s your favourite colour?”
A free-flow conversation helps you assess your student’s English proficiency level while easing your student into the lesson. After your first lesson with a student, it’s important to create a space where they can practice freely speaking. The beginning of a lesson is the perfect time to ask your student how they are doing and tell you something about their week or a story. A free-flow conversation before starting the lesson allows your student to feel comfortable to speak freely and eases your student into the lesson plan without rushing into the content.
2. Lesson warm-ups
After a short conversation with your student, introducing a warm-up before you begin the lesson plan is a great way to engage your students. Use a tongue twister, a word game, or a quiz to start the lesson with some fun. A fun class means that your student will be more interested and engaged throughout the lesson. A warm-up is also a great way to introduce vocabulary or pronunciation that your student may need to work on.
3. Explain objectives
When you explain the objectives of each lesson to your student, it will help your student understand what is indeed from them during the lesson. Understanding the objectives will help them ask questions if they don’t understand or need extra explanations.
4. Routine is important
Creating a lesson routine for each student is essential for their learning journey because it ensures a structure to their lessons. Beginning the lesson with a free-flow conversation and a warm-up, then moving onto the lesson’s objectives and teaching the content is an excellent routine to follow. However, find the best routine based on your student’s needs, your teaching style, and the curriculum.
5. Student engagement
For a successful teaching experience, student engagement is crucial. An engaged student means that they are focused on the lesson’s content and responsive to your instructions. Warm-ups and relevant props make the lesson more fun. Eye contact and smiles also engage your students.
6. Total Physical Response (TPR)
Remember always to use TPR when modelling new vocabulary. TPR is the universal method for teaching Second Languages because it works! Say the new vocabulary while doing the physical activity related to the new vocabulary, and then ask your students to repeat the words and the actions. TPR will help your student to understand the new vocabulary quickly.
Use these 6 expert tips to go into each lesson feeling ready, confident, and excited for each lesson! Making your lesson fun and interesting will make your student feel excited during the lesson. An excited student means that they are engaged and focused on the work. A successful lesson is one with a routine and an engaged student!