Online teaching is a rewarding career. One can help people develop their skills and learn a new talent right from their homes. One field of remote learning that is in demand these days is learning a new language. Every learning academy has a foreign language department. If you are someone fluent and conversant with an international language, you can earn a decent income teaching the language online. Here are our seven effective tips to help you be a good virtual foreign language teacher.
Ensure leading-edge technology
When teaching online, you must invest in gadgets and the right tech setup. Language is as much about your intonation and expressions as your grammar and vocabulary. Investing in a good camera and headset is, therefore, a must. Your students must be able to see your expressions. They should be able to gather the nuances of pronunciation of the International language they are learning. A headset with a noise-canceling microphone will help filter out your background noise. This will further help your students in listening to you.
Exaggerate your body language
Your students may sometimes miss out on subtle nuances in your expression while they try to learn a new language online. This could be detrimental to their learning because the language being taught to them is foreign. Therefore, it is imperative to be focused and exaggerate your body language a little so that your students don’t miss out on anything. Pronounce all the syllables loud and clear. You might be using a lot of the language your students are comfortable in. But when you teach a world language, gestures and enunciation are important. Making them loud will make the language easy for your students to grasp.
There are quite a few free language teaching apps available in the market. For example, Duolingo is a very popular app used by youngsters all across the world to learn a foreign language. You can use these apps to help your students be more conversant with the language beyond your classroom. Some other apps like Memrise, Busuu, and Babbel can also complement your classroom teaching. Each will have some features that you will find to complement your teaching goals. Besides, you can set up a leaderboard to instill healthy competition among your students.
Make yourself comfortable with technology.
In the virtual model, more than teaching strategies, technology is our best friend. But let us face it. Not everyone is comfortable with it. Using an app for video conferencing, another one for class management, yet another for creating lesson plans and assignments, and yet a different app for managing your students’ fees. That is a lot to handle, even for the ones conversant with technology. Why not keep it simple? With Classplus you can have your customized teaching app that caters to your needs exactly the way you want. So, you can teach and manage your classroom activities without any hustle of transitioning between different apps.
Engage your class
The biggest hurdle that any remote world language teacher faces is keeping the class attentive. If your class is not attentive, your best lesson plans and teaching strategies will not yield results. And engagement is the key to students’ attention. A lot of online activities and games can be planned depending upon the age and level of your students. You can host some cultural activities around the language you are teaching or organize some quizzes. Peer teaching and role play are my personal favorites. They not only keep your class engaged in the learning but serve an additional purpose of complementing your lesson plan.
Keep your class environment fun.
The language you teach your students may be completely alien to them. They will mispronounce, mistranslate, and in general, make mistakes. Try to be patient and laugh their mistakes out with them. The class environment in your foreign language courses should be encouraging, and your students shouldn’t have a fear of interacting with you. Show them the correct usage of words by enacting them. For example, if you are teaching French, instead of just flashing the words Bonjour to them, you can move around and show them the different scenarios where they will need to use the term.
Include speaking and listening exercises
As a language teacher, you know your student is quite comfortable with the language. However, when it comes to speaking, he may not be fluent, which is quite natural. The language your student is learning is foreign, and the chances are that beyond your classroom, he is not even using it. Therefore, plan a few speaking and listening activities in your foreign language department regularly. This will help enhance their fluency. You can be a little creative or adventurous and include some movie sessions in your classroom. Such moves can be great language teaching tools too.
Teaching a foreign language online is a rewarding job. But remember, there are a plethora of foreign language courses available online. What differentiates you from them is going to be the game-changer. The commitment of both time and effort is required. You need to prepare yourself aptly in terms of your skills and technology. With some preparation, you can ace the role of a teacher teaching a foreign language remotely.