Teaching groups online

course design, guests, tools and more…

Do you teach groups online? Or are you planning to? Then this post is for you!

🟡 If you haven’t read it yet and are interested, please, go to the previous post about BUILDING GROUPS which also includes why to build groups, how to promote group courses, pricing, etc.

🟡 In that post I do not talk much about :

  • course design
  • methodology
  • guests
  • tools

So let’s do it right here!

🟡 COURSE DESIGN

This is the most important activity you will do, apart from teaching the course. It is, of course, closely connected to the methodology (see below).

Good questions to ask yourself are:

  • what is my goal with this course? (for the students)
  • what is the overall theme?
  • what type of client is it for?
  • how many lessons and how long?
  • how can I best help my students reach the goal?
  • what is available to me? tools, guests, guest-teachers

🟡 METHODOLOGY

You can create the whole course as you want and put it together with all the options above (and more) depending on your goals, expertise and ideal client.

Good questions to ask yourself are:

  • do you want to use a fixed lesson plan structure or go more free as the course develops, adjusting to your group’s needs?
  • do you want the students to be very active or even take charge in the topics’ choice, lesson resources, techniques ?
  • how do you want to get the students to the goal? what will help them the most?
  • what are some obstacles you might run into?
  • what if several people miss some of the lessons, what if they are not active with their tasks, …?

🟡 GUESTS

It is always more fun to invite guests or even co-teachers to the course. It will take the weight of teaching all by yourself off your shoulders and it will spice it up. It’s also easier to market the course if you say you have co-teachers or guests.

Good questions to ask yourself are:

  • Czech/Slovak or foreign or both?
  • how many per lesson / course?
  • what are their time zones?
  • how to include them – teaching or interview or just join activities?
  • how to use break-out rooms for students to speak to them more privately?
  • how can you use their culture, background, accent, location?

🟡 TOOLS

Skyping is not even a thing anymore, that verb is gone from our dictionaries now. There are so many more and better tools to use, right? I am not a big fan of all the apps as I like to have conversation based lessons but I have seen amazing lessons with the use of all the great apps out there and am always entertained. You can find them all in our section “Best website for teaching English”.

Which tools do you want to use for:

  • running the lessons – Zoom, Whereby, Google Meet, Teams?
  • creating a virtual platform – FB groups, G-docs,
  • recording the lessons
  • listen to songs / videos
  • annotate, write on the virtual board
  • playing interactive games, sharing the screen

And

  • are you ready with your wifi/data?
  • what if your internet is off?
  • how will you solve occassional bad connection (you and the students)
  • are you ready with plan B if the student can’t use your interactive apps? best way is to use the chat or speaking

🟡 STUDY BUDDY

Buddy system is a very useful concept in language group courses. The learners can help each other stay motivated, do the tasks, they can cooperate on projects or simply be in touch to feel more “alive” in English between lessons.

Good questions to ask yourself are:

  • how and when will I introduce the idea?
  • how will I pair them up? or should they pair up themselves?
  • how is the buddy system going to help the goal of the course?
  • how can I support the learners to stay in touch?

What did I miss, is there something you consider important and don’t see it here?

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