Teaching English online now
I started teaching online three years ago and I came to really enjoy this format. Despite its downsides, there are many benefits for teachers of doing lessons online. The obvious one is just the sheer amount of time you save when you don’t need to commute endlessly across the city. Plus, you open up to thousands of other students and job opportunities. But teaching English online today is not a choice for many and it’s simply the only way they can do it. Justa and I are on the same boat as many of you teachers out there and we figure we can do something to make it easier.
Our worksheets are not really online-friendly. PDFs are great to maintain the same format no matter what text editing software you use. You can click download, enter number of copies, press print and off you go to your lessons. But PDFs are not the best for online classes. It’s too static and you lose the dynamic aspect of an online editable format. There is just so much more possibilities of formatting your materials when you’re not constrained to A4-sized sheets of paper.
We’ve been thinking for some time how to adapt the worksheets we share with you to the current times. And with many ideas in our heads, we couldn’t decide what is the right way to do it. Then, the coronavirus pandemic took over the world in the span of a few weeks, our holidays were ruined and we had to do something to make it easier for other teachers and we had to do it now!
Introducing E-Lesson Plans
Today we’re unveiling a new worksheet format suitable for teaching English online. We call it ‘E-Lesson Plan’ (might sound cheesy a bit but there’s no time for brainstorming the name now). These are our standard lesson plans, flipped lessons plans and extra worksheets (soon) converted into Google Slides presentations. Of course, it’s not just copy+paste into Google Slides. We had to tweak the lessons a little bit here and there, and adapt the tasks to make them usable in Google Slides format.
What E-Lesson Plans mean is that you get:
- editable ESL Brains lesson plan
- one file with both student’s version and answer sheet
- animated presentation that you can present straight away during your online classes
- a digital format suitable for teaching English online which you can work on with your students in real-time
How to use E-Lesson Plans
Get your own version!
Make a copy or download our e-lesson plan so that you can adapt, send it to your students and edit it with them in real-time during your online lessons. If you have a Google account you can click File > Make a copy > Entire presentation. If you’re not a Google fan, click File > Download > Microsoft Powerpoint and you will get the e-lesson plan in ppt format.
- Start using a videoconferencing tool!
Get a videoconferencing tool so that you can share your screen and let your students take control to do tasks in real-time during the lesson. It doesn’t matter whether you choose Zoom, Skype, Hangout, Webex or something else, all of these have such a functionality. Our favorite is Zoom but it’s all up to you!
- Use the present mode
With the present mode you’ll see the animations and transitions that we’ve built so the lesson flows smoothly. When you want to edit a presentation, for example, to do some task online – just exit the present mode and let them work on the presentation.
- Split the slides if you do a Flipped Lesson
Divide the E-Lesson Plan (Google Slides) into ‘pre-class’ and ‘in-class’ parts. Share with your students the ‘pre-class’ section and focus on in-class use of new vocabulary and grammar during your online classes.
- Work in pairs and groups
Use breakout rooms (in Zoom) to split your class into smaller groups and let them work individually on some speaking tasks.
- Never done teaching online? Get some tips from other teachers
If you’re anxious about teaching online or don’t know how to do that, get some tips and best practices from other teachers out there. We recommend starting from Sandy Millin’s blog and her tips on using Zoom.