Like so many other business activities, studying and teaching English has developed into a much more online activity. 2020 has been the year of the pandemic. Many students overcame their preference for face to face interaction with the need to socially distance. However people have became accustomed to the world of online learning. They are losing many of the negative perceptions. They are realising the advantages of online tuition.
Manage Student Interaction
In-person English lessons have benefits but there are also some features of online platforms which a classroom cannot offer. Teachers using online platforms can split students into “breakout rooms”. Students can practice and interact in pairs or small groups. There are fewer distractions (such as the sound of other students’ voices) and less confident students gain confidence to speak up, to try. There are more options for team games during lessons. Teams or pairs of students can work together. They can practice in peace. Then the groups can combine again for additional challenges and contests.
Quick and Easy feedback
During my one to one, in-person lessons I take as many notes as possible. This is for myself and for student feedback. Using a laptop to do this creates a barrier. I usually resort to hand-written notes. During online English lessons on platforms such as Zoom or Skype I am able to type notes. I can send these to students immediately. This is especially useful when I am coaching group conversations. I can send messages to individual students with encouragement or hints. This allows me to widen the range of skill levels of students I can teach in one session.
There are other advantages as well. Students are not visiting my premises in person. I do not require public liability insurance. Like many teachers, I also offer a free trial lesson. For less socially secure students, or for children, having an online lesson is more convenient. It is less daunting for adults and children alike. I don’t think English teaching will ever go back to how it was pre-Covid. Now that students and teachers have realised the benefits and features of online English tuition, it is here to stay.