How to teach an English Language telephone class.
In our TEFL Academy in Spain, we know that Learning English as a foreign language is a growing trade. Today, many people are having to juggle an extremely busy work and social schedule. So how do they find the time to learn English too? Thanks to the invention of the mobile phone, telephone classes are becoming more popular. You can learn anywhere you like! (providing you are not driving or have phone signal of course). Telephone classes are not only growing in popularity with those wishing to learn the language but with those wanting to teach. These classes give both the learner and the teacher flexibility, especially if they have a family or a demanding work schedule. A
As classes generally only last 30 minutes they are short intense lessons specifically targeting a learning need. So, you may now be wondering how you can sign up to English over the phone? Well, with these easy steps you will be able to place yourself in a field which is growing in demand.
STEP 1: Preparation
With any teaching position, it is important that you prepare for the class you are going to teach. However, with a telephone class it is important to have this material sourced so that you can share it with your student prior to the class. Although you may not be in the same room or even country as the student, this does not limit what you can do in a telephone class. You can use videos, newspaper articles, websites or even a recording you have made. If you can send the resource via email to your student you can use it.
To accompany your resource you will also have to create between 6 to 8 questions to go with the resource. It is key to ensure these questions are open so that the student can expand on their answer and practice speaking.
STEP 2: Sending Materials
Unlike a class in an office or academy, teaching over the phone means you need to allow your student time to view the materials you will be discussing and then answer the questions. The time frame to do this in is very dependant on the student's schedule. 24 hours is a good time frame (after all we are using technology and things are bound to not work or not send correctly). By sending the student the resources 24 hours prior to the class this allows for you to resend links or materials if they do not come through correctly, but also allows them to view the resource when it is convenient to them.
STEP 3: Phoning the Student
After you have sent the resources and the scheduled class time has arrived, you will need to phone the student.
When you make contact with the student it is important to spend some time just talking with them about how their day/weekend has been. Consider this a warmer. This is important because it is unlikely that the student will have used English as their main language since your last class and so they need time for their brain to switch languages.
STEP 4 : Cover the lesson content
After around 5 minutes of general chat, start talking about the material that you have sent to the student. The idea is to ask the students the questions and listen to their explanations. If there is new vocabulary covered in the lesson, ask the student what this word means and for them to use this in context.
During your phone call it is important to be making notes of the errors made. However, it is vital NOT to correct these mistakes in the call as this will stop the flow of the class. You can make notes however you like. Whether this is electronically, in a pre prepared document, in a notebook or even by recording the call.
STEP 5: The Goodbye!
Once you have covered the material and the class has come to an end it is important to praise your student and arrange a time frame to get their corrections sent to them. For example ‘well done on today’s class, I will get the notes to you by 6pm’. It is important that you get the corrections to the students within the same day as any later than this and the class will not be fresh in their memory.
STEP 6: The Corrections
As stated above, you will have to give the student corrections from their lesson and you must stick to a time frame. However, how you choose to give the corrections to the student is completely up to you. You could type up the corrections into a pro forma and simply send this to your student. If there is a pronunciation issue then you would have to think about how to get across the correct pronunciation (This could be using the phonemic chart) or you could use your phone to voice record the corrections, this will help your student with the pronunciation of words, however, if they have a low level of listening they may struggle with understanding the corrections. Therefore you may need to have it both written and recorded.
However you plan to correct your student, teaching English via phone classes is an exciting new prospect for those with busy schedules.
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