As you teach English online, keep your young EFL learners engaged throughout the lesson using these practical tips as used in 51Talk online teaching.
One of the key factors that influence your student’s learning success is the level of engagement you can achieve as an online English tutor. Students are never truly able to learn, understand, and retain what they are taught just by listening to the teacher talk all the time.
The goal for every teacher is to get the student to participate in the lesson. However, it can be challenging to keep young learners engaged in EFL learning, especially in online lessons.
In this blog, you will find seven practical tips and tricks you can follow to keep your young EFL learners active and focused throughout the session.
Start the lesson with a big smile on your face; make them feel that today’s lesson is going to be fun! You must establish a happy and exciting atmosphere as soon as your session starts to help your student ease into learning mode and look forward to what you are about to teach.
Ask them to look at you and pay attention to what you are going to say. Furthermore, you can make a gesture to let them know that you are about to start the lesson. With your best smile, put a thumb up and ask them if they are ready.
You will also come across nursery rhymes in the lesson materials provided to you. As you come this part of the lesson, encourage your student to sing it with you. Singing a familiar and catchy melody can help them overcome their shyness and even put them in a good mood before you start teaching.
Visual cues can help your learner retain words better. Rather than seeing only words on their screens, you may also show real-life objects for the new words you are introducing as you teach English online. For example, showing them a real banana instead of an illustration will help them associate and remember the word to the object. If the actual objects are not available, you can also use props such as flashcards and toys that represent the word or phrase.
Additionally, you may also use props to help you manage the session or make instructions easier to understand. For example, you can use a thumbs-up sign for every correct answer or show a green light sign to indicate that they can start answering.
Moreover, if it suits your teaching style, you may come up with your reward systems by using colorful stickers and illustrations. 51Talk’s online teaching system encourages teachers to praise, encourage, and motivate young learners throughout the lesson.
In this video, you will see a 51Talk teacher use a clear book containing various engaging reward systems for her learners. From shooting basketballs to gaining strawberries in a bush, these are all creative ideas that can pique the interest of young learners and encourage them to participate in the activities for that lesson.
Thinking out of the box and using creative props and toys can help you teach a new word or phrase easier, pique the interest of your young learner, and keep them listening from beginning to end.
This is not to say that you should be theatrical, but one good way to keep your EFL learners engaged is to perform.
Play with the intonation of your voice as you deliver the lesson plan and make your excitement evident in your voice. Recent research has shown that using an excited and high-pitched voice can grab the attention of young learners and help them learn and imitate speech.
Likewise, mind the body language you use. Use hand gestures whenever appropriate, too. It is also important to incorporate gestures and facial expressions as you speak so that your students can also subconsciously learn the appropriate body language used when delivering certain phrases or expressions.
Don’t forget to enjoy the session; bring a contagious excitement to your lesson! You must understand and remember that your role is not only to teach but also to engage with the student. So smile, be pleasant, respond with enthusiasm, and laugh with them.
However, you will not always have a sunny disposition. That is understandable, but remember that the mood you bring to your lesson will significantly affect how your student will feel throughout the session.
This is why, as much as possible, you should try to enjoy what you do. Being an online English tutor can be exhausting, but if you are having fun at what you are doing, you won’t stress yourself out too much and your students will see that you are having a good time. As a result, your students will find learning English fun and exciting because you have already set an example for them.
When your students and their parents give you feedback, learn to embrace it, and use it to adjust your teaching style accordingly. The feedback may not always be positive and it could be difficult to accept it sometimes, but understand that feedback is necessary for your growth and your students’ improvement.
As much as possible, be proactive about the comments that you have received and try to apply them the next time you teach. Moreover, follow up regularly to see if the changes you made have been helpful to your student.
Engaging students, especially young EFL learners, requires a conscious effort from you. Because of the limitations they have when it comes to using English in their daily lives, it can be challenging to teach them new words or phrases. However, it’s not impossible! As their teacher, you have the power to help them overcome these challenges and be able to speak the language confidently—but only if you are intentional in engaging them in every lesson to make sure they’re grasping each concept.
While it can be demanding and challenging especially at first, your efforts to engage your young EFL learners in every lesson will not remain fruitless.
With consistent effort, you will see them focus and retain information better, which is surely one of the most rewarding things to witness for every online English tutor.
51Talk is looking for thousands of home-based online teachers to give one-on-one English lessons. You can earn up to Php80K as a full-time teacher and enjoy a wide range of perks –