Many of you will be experienced in teaching Exam English to your students, but usually it’s in a classroom environment or individually on a one to one basis. With technology marching ahead there is no reason for lessons to be in the traditional classroom set up and in fact more and more students are taking lessons from their own home in a time scale suited to them. So, to embrace this new demand, especially for more specific lessons such as Exam English, here is what you will need to know.
You don’t come to a lesson and leave half of your teaching material at home, so when you attend an Online teaching course, especially in Exam English you really need to be prepared. Nothing is more irritating to the student than having a teacher constantly leave them and go into another room and find material they should have brought with them at the outset. Online lessons are just as good as physical classrooms and in fact can certainly engage the student and achieve better results. If you are having a lesson with a student in a time frame to suit them you can hope that this is the time when they will be the most engaged so use this time to the best of their advantage and you and they will see some amazing results. It goes without saying that you should have fast internet connection and a good online Platform such as Zoom or Google Classroom. Skype has been known to drop out and buffer so don’t consider that to be either your first or only option.
The job of all educators; teachers; tutors; trainers is to show in the easiest and clearest way possible materials whereby your student can prepare and feel confident about taking Exam English. These Exams are notoriously difficult and your student will be nervous about sitting them. Try to reassure them. Your role will be to explain; show; inform; listen; and generally move your student forward in a positive and professional way. Your students will come to you hoping that you can steer them to a pass so ensure you know all that there is to know about the specific English Exam they are working for.
The guidelines typically construe the teacher as the locus of control in the classroom and even at times imply that the learners are potentially disruptive.
Your Students Role
Make sure that your students have been set homework and know what the next lesson will be about. Allow them to read up and be prepared so you don’t waste valuable time explaining something that they could have read before. Of course for you, you will need to have superfast broadband; a good set of headphones so you can hear your student clearly and make sure that the same is true for them. Don’t let them attend a lesson using their mobile phone. How can they see the materials you are using and sharing of other text materials on a small screen? Make it mandatory they use a proper laptop or computer.
Online Lesson Plans should be interactive. You can download each part of the syllabus and with Google Classroom or Zoom you and your student can write on each Resource and really take part in a very personal one to one experience. You should prepare your Lessons the normal way; working out Methodology; past tenses; Past Perfects; Vocab.; Conversation and oral sections; Phrasal verbs; constructing good sentences and doing all of this in a clear and concise way. Each of their Exams will be set to a strict time limit so it is important that they can work to strict guidelines. Giving them past Exam Papers to practise on is the best way forward to help them acclimatise to the exam conditions.
However you choose to conduct your lessons, please ensure that each one contains the most improtant modules of reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Teaching methodologies vary according to the topic
This means that it is a tried and tested way of doing something – such as teaching English and, in particular, Exam English. It is a very formal way of teaching and relaying information and some would say, old fashioned. New ways of teaching are certainly more interactive and ensure that both the student and the teacher contribute evenly. It has a strong following in countries which like more traditional and formal ways of teaching, such as Asia where students are encouraged to listen and not openly participate unless asked. It was also very popular in Europe but with the onset of everything “American” lessons in Europe have relaxed and become more informal. Using a more relaxed way of teaching, or methodology, should not mean that the quality of the lesson is in any way diminished. This is particularly true with Exam English which has strict guidelines; core modules which must be understood and completed and little opportunity given for anything other than clear and concise answers. This means that the Exam answers should be written in a clear way and using a tried and trusted formula or methodology for this should never be underestimated.
So just remember that whilst we have travelled to a more relaxed and informal way of teaching, when you come to formal exams or lessons, such as business English, we should not underestimate the tried and traditional method of teaching by methodology.
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