Taking your first language class ONLINE? In this video, I’ll be sharing my recipe for success, to help you get the most out of your online classes. Trust me. I teach English online 😛
Where do I *teach* online? 👩🏻🏫 Here, at TLP: http://bit.ly/TheLadiesProject
Where do I *learn* Spanish online? 👩🏻🎓Here, at Lingoda: http://bit.ly/EmmaLingodaOct
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Well hey there I’m Emma from mmmEnglish. You’ve probably taken some English classes at some point already, right? Maybe way back when you were at school you might have tried traditional classroom lessons even as an adult but perhaps you’ve even tried some online lessons as well.
Whatever way you look at it, taking regular English lessons is a big deal. It usually costs money and it takes up quite a bit of time. So I want to help you to get the most out of your English classes.
That’s exactly what we’re doing here today. In particular, I want to focus on online language classes.
So have you ever thought about taking English lessons online or have you before? Online classes in particular can offer more flexibility and can also make your classes more affordable too. So as I said, today I want to give you some tips to help you to prepare for your first online English lesson but even if you’ve been taking online classes for a while now, I still think that some of the tips that I share today are going to be really helpful to help you get more out to help you get more out of your lessons.
Now I’ve got four important things that I want to share with you today and the first one is relevant even before you decide which course or which class to take.
And that is:
Why are you taking this class?
Now I want you to think further than “I need to improve my English.”
Think more specifically than that. The more specific you can be, the more likely you are to find the right classes, the right teacher and get the results that you want.
So ask yourself: Are you learning English because you need it for a job? Do you want to focus on your pronunciation? Do you want to try and understand a specific English accent? Do you want to travel abroad? Is that why you’re learning? You want to go to an English-speaking country.
Or maybe you’re planning on sitting an IELTS or a TOEFL exam.
In fact, tell me in the comments right now if you were to take an online English class, what type of class would you be looking for?
You see if you’re planning to live or travel abroad, then conversational English, travel vocabulary these types of things are going to be really, really critical for you to learn. But if you need to improve your English skills for your job, then business English classes are going to be way more useful for you than general English classes. Maybe you just found out that you’re going to present your work at an international conference and you really need to improve and focus on your verbal communication skills. If you’re planning to sit an exam, well, of course you need to practise all of your skills.
But it is so powerful to study with a teacher who can help you to understand and to practise the format of the exam. So having a really clear answer to this question is going to get you the best results.
Get tech-savvy and organised!
So tech-savvy means that you understand technology not that you’re some kind of guru but you know we’re talking about online classes here so, of course, you need to be at least a little tech savvy, right?
If you’ve never joined an online class before, you need to spend some time understanding the software that you need to use to connect.
You need to download it, you need to test it before the time of your class and even though this sounds really, really simple, I can’t tell you how many times students of mine have been trying to join my classes after it started and if it’s a group class, the teacher may not be able to stop the class and try and help you with your technical problems.
And if it’s a one-on-one class, well, then you’re just losing the time that you’ve paid for. So my advice is to put in a few minutes, yes that’s all it really takes, so that you know how to join the classes when the time comes.
Alright, so excited about my Spanish class!
It says my video’s not working.
I plugged it in.
There we go.
Can’t you hear me?
My microphone’s not working.
How do you change the settings?
Where are my headphones?
I left them downstairs.
Alright, can you see where I’m going with this? Just get yourself organised before your first class.
And one more note about technology. Although it’s really, really handy to be able to join your class from anywhere on your phone, it’s really hard to see the screen. So if your teacher’s using a digital whiteboard and or maybe even asking you to read a document, it’s going to be hard to do that on your phone. So using your phone should be a last resort. Joining an online class from your computer is always going to give you a better experience.
Tip number three. Take notes.
Now I know this is a really obvious thing to do in an offline classroom, in a normal classroom but I feel like I really need to make a point about this for online classes.
Online classes are great. You know that I’m a fan. I take my Spanish classes online with Lingoda and I rave about my classes all the time. They’re affordable, it’s flexible, I can choose a time that suits me. In fact, I really recommend Lingoda, I’m going to leave a link in the description so you can check them out. They teach English classes as well.
But online classes can be so flexible, sometimes we’re a little too relaxed about it, you know we forget the basics. You need to have a place that is quiet and calm to do your lessons and you need to be able to take notes.
So if you’re joining your class from your computer, you’ll be able to take notes on your computer but just be aware that if you are typing on a laptop, it can actually be really noisy and distracting for everyone else.
And if you’re joining from your phone, you can’t take notes anywhere so you need to be somewhere where you can write.
Now I don’t need to tell you why taking notes during your English classes is a good idea. You know why. But I do want to remind you that you create the environment for your online classes okay.
When you go to a school into a classroom, it’s quiet, you don’t have any distractions, you have a clean desk to work at and it helps you to stay focused on your lesson. You might have workbooks, things like that. Take this same respect with you into your online classes and you will thrive, but you’re in charge.
Come prepared with questions!
Definitely come prepared with questions or things that you want to work on during your lesson. You assume that when you go to an English class, that the teacher is going to be there to guide you through, right? You can sit back and relax. And you can do that right but coming to the class with really clear priorities and questions will help your teacher to give you what you want from your lessons. So you’re preparing for your first online class. Now if you’re meeting a tutor one-to-one, then this is a golden opportunity for you. Tell them what the challenges you’re having with your English are. Help them to help you, okay?
If you tell your teacher what you’re struggling with, then they will likely gather materials for the next class so that you can practise working on those things together. But if you don’t mention anything well, that’s fine, but then you can’t really be frustrated if they never helped you to master articles because you didn’t tell them that that was a priority for you. They might focus on something else. If you and your teacher work together as a team, then you’re going to go so much further with your classes.
Now if you’re joining a group class online, you may not be able to get as much personalised attention but there will probably be times when the class finishes a little early and you can jump in and use the opportunity to get one of your questions answered.
So that’s my advice as an online English teacher but now I want yours. I’m sure you’ve had some experiences with online English classes.
In fact, if you’ve got any advice that can help others who’ve never tried it before how can they make their first online English class awesome?
I’ve tried quite a few different online language platforms and for me it’s really important to have contact with a native teacher. That’s why I’ve really enjoyed my group classes with Lingoda but if you’ve tried any other platforms or other types of online classes, then I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Let me know down there.
And make sure you hit that subscribe button too. Come back next week for another mmmEnglish lesson but in the meantime, you can keep yourself busy with these ones. I’ll see you in there!