5 Tips For Teaching English Online

Many people are interested in online teaching. It offers flexibility and minimal investment to set up. For school and program administrators, facilitating online education can be a lot easier than traditional teaching.


First, materials are easily updated. Access to certain files can be restricted by using passwords, time and date access. Aside from that, teachers can facilitate large classes easily and course materials can be easily distributed.

It is also more flexible since online teaching can encompass different limitations like time zones, geographic locations, and physical limitations. Technology can also help in enhancing learning and knowledge among students.

Technology allows your students to collaborate with other students. Teachers can explore different teaching methods of presentation.

To make online teaching a great experience for both teachers and students, there are things that you can do.

1. Set Time Frames

Set time frames at the beginning of the course. Use these times to respond or reply to student comments and questions. This practice will help a teacher develop discipline among students and at the same time set a routine for them. Make sure that students are well informed about the time frame you have set.

If any circumstances arise that makes it difficult for you to respond to students within the established time frames, then make sure that your students are informed.

You should also inform your students if you will be missing for any part or the duration of the semester.

2. Provide Feedback

If you have assignments and discussions, then provide general feedback to the entire class. This allows students to get exposed to other ideas and at the same time learn from each other. Give your students positive reinforcement and encouragement. Give them feedback that actually helps them improve their work. Comments like “good” are never be sufficient.

3. Let The Students Do The Talking

Avoid over-facilitating.  As a teacher, you do not have to answer all the questions. If you having online discussions, let your students answer each other. For example, if somebody asks about a certain topic do not respond immediately. After a few days, you will notice that some of your students will be giving feedback on their own.

4. Use A Message Board

Use a free messaging board so that students can continue to practice even when class isn’t in session.

To make sure that the discussion is continuous, regularly post acknowledgment to student comments or post an idea that would encourage students to answer or post messages. Aside from that, avoid having long lulls in the discussion boards. There can be times when students are not posting anything since there is nothing new to post about, and that’s when you get to shine.

Students also tend to stray away from the assigned topic and discuss something else. Guide your students and make sure that they are discussing the topic. Redirect the discussion but do not appear to be harsh. Use humor, jokes or graphics to redirect the discussion.

5. Summarize

Before you move on to a new topic, make sure to summarize or have a closing session about the topic. Make sure that students are united in understanding the concepts. This can be the time to level-off with the students so that they do not get lost in the next topic.

Online teaching has many benefits, it is flexible and technology can be explored in different ways so that you, the teacher, and your students can benefit from it.

About Nate Drescher

Nate spent 10 years teaching overseas before returning home to Canada to start his own publishing business. In that time he taught in South Korea, Thailand, Russia, Ukraine and Poland!

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