Methods regarding English teaching and learning are evolving at a breathtaking pace alongside technological innovations; I don’t think there are still teachers out there using old-fashioned and obsolete teaching methods and materials in their English classrooms. Nobody wants to deprive themselves and their students of a brand-new world of technological innovations. Teachers are getting more professional at using presentation tools to teach grammatical points; They know where to find the best podcasts for enhancing students’ listening skills or how to use the world wide web in designing reading activities for their class; A modern English teacher would know how to encourage their students to publish their writings on appropriate platforms. If you’re reading this post, it means you’re always looking for ways to keep pace with the competitive world of the newest methods and technologies in the field of teaching English
Let’s dive in & review some of the existing methods for being an outstanding teacher.
Try out online coach training programs
Any teacher ambitious enough to level up their teaching experience can take advantage of various online training programs designed specifically for English teachers. You can join the Certified WordUp Coach program and access a world of opportunities. WordUp is an AI-powered vocabulary learning application that offers subsidiary programs for teachers all around the world. Any English teacher can join this program; It starts with an online course about vocabulary learning science deepening the knowledge of teachers to help their students to achieve their goals faster. A great bonus this program offers is that upon completing the course and passing a test successfully, teachers will get certified and become entitled to a range of benefits and income opportunities:
- They will be granted a free WordUp Eagle Membership, worth £70 per year
- Their students will get discount
- Teachers will be able to track students’ progress and the analytics through a specific dashboard.
- Using WordUp collaboratively in a class promotes the loyalty of students to their teacher and their learning.
- Teachers can earn up to 15% commission per sale of membership to the students
Turn your classroom into an e-learning environment
Any learning content delivered electronically is called e-learning. E-learning courses are usually managed through a learning management system, “a multiuser software application, usually accessed through a web browser”. (Foreman, 2017) E-learning can be cheaper than the traditional classroom, it can be held anywhere at any time, and benefit a large variety of learners. The teachers will require a set of new skills; they should have general e-learning design skills, e-learning tools, skills in specific design tools and software, overall instructional design knowledge and skills, and audio/video design skills. (source)
Cross over your teaching experience
Although not a new method of teaching, it evolved to keep pace with the newest developments in technology. But the idea remains the same: Crossover teaching combines the strengths of both formal and informal learning environments and aims to provide students with the best of both worlds; Several years ago, the informal learning environment was limited to museums, small trips, and after school educational clubs; The 2015 Innovating Pedagogy report highlights ‘crossover learning’ as one of ten innovations that are on the brink of having a profound influence on education (Sharples et al., 2015). Technological innovations such as virtual reality, smartphones, and iPods with extremely high-resolution cameras made it unbelievably easy to be in a variety of informal contexts and learn “how” to use language instead of “what” to use. Informal learning as an inseparable part of our lives can be the best source for learning a foreign language. (source )Using language learning applications by all members of the class can be a great way to cross over learning too; WordUp can be a great supplement for social media if users would like to use the “add friend” feature. Once connected, a weekly leaderboard will show a competitive chart of the most active learners. Users can also compare their vocabulary knowledge with their friends, down to the individual word level. Also, WordUp users can receive free upgrades by referring friends and family to become new WordUp users. Users can interact with each other to play word games, send examples, and do a range of other activities. In a nutshell, this application can facilitate cross-over learning a great deal.
Flipp your classrooms
Flipped learning is the opposite of a traditional centralized classroom. It simply reverses the traditional learning: “school work at home and homework at school,”.Technology plays an important part in a flipped learning classroom (cloud software, audiovisual devices, and portable devices are necessary). There are a lot of misconceptions about flipped classrooms so the leaders of this model have introduced four pillars of the flipped classrooms:(FLIP)
Educators try to provide flexible spaces either for group work or individual study in the classroom; they can easily rearrange the physical space to fit the lesson plan.
Instruction takes place in a learner-centered manner; classroom activities are focused on creating rich learning opportunities and students are involved actively in the learning process.
Teachers should be able to identify what they should teach and what to leave for students to explore on their own. They use the “intentional content” concept to adopt the learner-centered approach and take advantage of classroom time.
Although this model is learner-centered, the role of educators is of utmost importance. They continually observe students and give instant feedback or assess their work immediately; they can handle the chaos in the class in a controlled manner and can support their students in learning activities.
Differentiate your teaching style
As an English teacher, you know well your students’ needs, interests, and weaknesses. The “differentiated instruction approach” states that teachers should consider their students’ learning styles; Students should be given choices regarding the content of the lesson, the process of teaching (through visual, auditory, or kinesthetic lessons), types of assignments they’re going to produce ( a written text, a poem, a story or even an artwork) and finally the classroom environment; Respecting students’ individuality can help them learn better and give them opportunities to keep pace with learning objectives. (source)
English teachers often do not have a clear understanding of their students’ needs or even their proficiency levels. They can take advantage of applications that facilitate assessing students’ knowledge.WordUp offers a vocabulary size test for estimating the vocabulary knowledge of the users; By using it in a classroom setting, teachers can easily access each student’s knowledge map (the words they already knew and the ones they need to learn) and keep track of their progress; So, WordUp can be a great tool assisting teachers to apply differentiated instruction in their classroom.
Methods and techniques for teaching a foreign language are changing rapidly and they can’t be covered in just a single post. As an English teacher, it’s your duty to refresh your knowledge once in a while and search for the best and the newest methods. We offer you to take a break and refresh your knowledge by reading all about ins and outs of teaching English in our Coaches Blog.