3 Tips to consider before starting teaching a Foreign Language Online

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”

Oscar Wilde

Ever been in a situation where you had to teach yourself a certain topic or subject at school/university, because either the class was too boring to follow or the teacher wasn’t creative enough? Many times you would come home, frustrated and upset from another day spent in vain and thinking to yourself, maybe for the fifth time, if there was any point in going to an educational institution ever again? But as much as we want to quit education, that much we need it in our pockets.  We need a degree to get ourselves a decent job or even a part-time one, and thus we start looking either for private tutoring or search information in the Crash Course – YouTube database.  Yet, a week ago a friend of a friend of mine asked me, if I was willing to tutor her child online German, just to have a good mark on its annual report, and the first thought that into my mind was: “I will teach someone, so that they do not go through the same mistakes as I went, through school as a child.”  So, I’m writing this article for all of you out there, who know a foreign language or two, but don’t know how to help your siblings/friends when struggling with their homework.

1# Don’t be afraid to use Technology

I would say tech is the best tool in visualization and making a child’s learn experience much more interesting and intriguing as well.  I remember 10 years ago, when online classes weren’t such a big trend, my father used to tell me, to start making diagrams or semantic maps with the help of MindManager Software, in order to have a more organized and strategic learning process.  My first idea about this online tool, was that it consumed so much time and energy, that it was easier for me to draw a mind map on a piece of paper, and afterward stick it on my textbooks. What I didn’t realize was the fact, that handwritten notes can be easily lost and especially those from the previous semesters.  So in order to learn new vocabulary or even new concepts, make your life easier by using different online apps.

The Future of Education

2# Podcasts

A new trend, nowadays, has become the use of Podcasts.  A podcast is a recording of audio discussion on a specific topic like: travel, language learning, business etc. and is distributed exclusively over the internet.  You can easily download and listen to it on your personal device and become more motivated in learning your target language further.

3# Traditional or Modern teaching?

When we recall our days at school, we can still remember and hate that one teacher, that always ruined our evenings by giving us poetries to learn by heart and reciting the next day in front of the class. Yet, the question arises, what kind of methods should we use in an online teaching in order for students to learn efficiently?  Personally, I don’t think that we should totally forget about the traditional teaching and switch to the modern one, yet we should learn how to combine different strategies, so that students are able to solve complex problems at any given circumstances.  Let me give you a simple example: we all know the funny quote:

“Life is too short to learn German.” 

Oscar Wilde

Believe me or not, when studying German as a foreign language, it is required from the beginning of the A1.1 level learning by heart some basic phrases and verb structures, in order ‘to survive’ till the end of the course level. 

Teaching online is a reverse school, in which you have to guide the student, by checking their progress daily with the help of interactive worksheets.  These worksheets not only check their knowledge on the spot, but also encourages them not to fear knowledge testing in schools.  We should couch them more in virtual/face-to-face classrooms and use the method practiced in German schools for little to no homework at all, because in this way we motivate the student to study for themselves additionally. 

It’s not the students who cannot adapt to the new Online Teaching System, the teachers are the ones who don’t agree with online learning methods.

However, even after the Pandemic will end, we should take into consideration the online teaching experience, and start implementing it in schools, in the blended learning mode (combination of face-to-face with online activities).

Published by Andreea Apetri

Foreign Languages (Linguist): Romanian, German, English, Albanian Hobbys: Blogging 👩‍💻 + Badminton 🏸

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