Rethinking how we teach English as a foreign language

Rethinking the way we teach English as a foreign language

Rethinking how we teach English as a foreign language guides you through learning choices and adapting to online English teaching. Whether you are looking for initial online English teaching training, or you are an experienced teacher who wants to get further training in teaching English online, you will find my article useful.

Most TEFL schools will try almost anything and everything to get you to enrol. This is why it is so important for you to do your homework and research before deciding on the online TEFL school you end up attending. Students often do not bother finding out who the teachers are at an online TEFL school.

What kind of teaching staff are you looking for? It is a given that you want teaching staff who have real-world experience in their field, but does that particular online TEFL school have a teaching staff that know how to teach online? There are clearly major differences between teaching in F2F (Face to face) and online, live-streaming classes.

Why is rethinking how we teach English as a foreign language important?

Not all teachers who teach in the traditional face to face classroom are good online and vice versa. Each online teacher has their own online teaching style. Many people ask me why I teach online, and I thought I would share my reasons with you in this blog.

My name is Tita Ashton, and I have been teaching EFL and ESL in Face to face and online classrooms for 25 years! I started teaching mainly F2F classes, but I have transitioned entirely to online courses in the last ten years. Please keep reading to find out why rethinking how we teach English as a foreign language and transforming into an online English teacher is a good idea.

Screenshots of EBC’s live streaming online teacher training

Online English teaching trainees

EBC online English teaching trainees

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Learning how to teach English online

Learning how to teach English online

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Teaching English online

Teaching English online

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Rethinking how we teach English as a foreign language

Here are the top 10 reasons why I teach online:

  1. Diversity of Students. I have taught for years in traditional face to face classrooms. I have found that many of my students came from similar racial, ethnic, religious, age, and geographical backgrounds. Teaching online has exposed me to students of different races, ethnicities, religions, ages, and most of all, geographical regions of the world!
  2. Flexibility. I can sleep in most mornings and plan and take my breaks at will. If there is a family emergency, it is easier for me to get up and help and not have to inform my boss at the workplace. I can also go on holiday as I please just as long as I have my laptop and air card (portable Wi-FI). I don’t have to put on a business suit for work. I can teach in my tracksuit for as long as I look clean and presentable to my class.
  3. Social Media and Relevance. I can easily communicate with my students via Zoom, Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, E-mail, Texting and LinkedIn. When I see relevant online information that will be useful for the classes I teach, I can share it with the class with a click at any time!
  4. Availability. I often find that I get in touch with other language institutes to speak about the graduates of our school faster. I can talk to partner language schools, other online campus administrators a lot quicker online than I could when I worked in a traditional face to face classroom. I find myself getting lots of things done in the same 8-9 hours workday I had when I was teaching F2F full-time.
  5. Diversity of Classes and Institutions. I can teach several online courses for our school and freelance for several other institutions. For example, I teach approximately 8 courses per quarter. I teach online courses in Communication in Business Situations, Interviewing Skills in English, The Language of Meetings, Intensive Aural Comprehension, The Language of Presentations, English for the Banking and Financial Sectors, Reading Business and Technical Documents and GDPR. I also teach in various sectors, giving classes to Banking executives, University students, Postgraduate students, people working in the law, medical and consulting fields. Being the CEO of EBC, the only course provider running the Trinity College CertTESOL and CertPT courses in Madrid, I am in charge of the overall management of courses. I am also the COO of a GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) company dealing with companies’ data protection in the EU and the world. I could not do all of these as a full-time teacher in a traditional F2F (face to face) work environment.
  6. Individual Attention. Each day I work, I can mould and motivate hundreds of students and give them the crucial individual attention needed to succeed.
  7. Learning. As teachers, we sometimes think that it’s a simple process of our students learning from us. This is where I differ from many of my colleagues. It’s a two-way thing – my students learn from me, and I learn from them. Sometimes I think I am learning more than my students. Since I am exposed to many different nationalities from different walks of life, I learn from their life experiences, cultures, religions, and unique perspectives on life. I enjoy learning from them and interacting with them in the online learning environment. I am pretty well-versed in what is happening in the world because I keep myself abreast with the news. Still, listening to my students gives me a better perspective of what real people care about and not just what I see on TV and social media.
  8. CPD (Continuous Professional Development). I can access many professional journals and online resources for free. I also get to learn, share, discuss with my fellow teachers across the world. I also get to attend many free weekly online workshops, classes, and webinars.
  9. Creativity. I get to practice and use my online skills. I make creative, fun and relatable PowerPoint online images and pictures. I can take ownership of my courses because I planned, designed, created and taught them. Just call me the online Professor!
  10. It’s fun, practical, relatable and exciting! Enough said, enjoy your online, live-streaming career!
Online English class