I wanted to focus specifically on teaching online in this post. In our time teaching Cyber School we were relegated to the “Cyber Center”….fancy words for some cubicles and computers outfitted with webcams.
While teaching online Josh and I were each given 3 classes, each 45 minutes in length and with students of varying English speaking, reading and writing abilities. For the most part my students were at an intermediate to advanced level of speaking. Josh taught some of the lower level English speaking students so many times he would focus on phonics and pronunciation. Since I taught students with more advanced English I would focus on grammar and what I felt would be common questions and topics they would experience if they traveled to an English speaking country.
Everyone has their own method of teaching, my main emphasis was first on pronunciation, then grammar and then conversation. If the students were particularly good at speaking English then I would like to spur them into conversation based on what they enjoy, and yes this means that I have had 30 minute conversations about why Hawkeye is the best Avenger and that Thor is clearly the strongest. My opinion is that if this student actually traveled to the States and struck up a conversation with a kid their own age, being able to argue these points will be really imperative.
Overall, I really enjoyed teaching in Cyber School. In the beginning it was a bit of a challenge to get the students engaged in the lessons but I quickly overcame this and found topics to teach that the students would find engaging…basically I would trick them into learning.