Online English lesson have become rather popular recently. Even I have started using Skype to teach. It is a very different beast to classroom teaching, though, and it takes some getting used to. Here are my top 10 tips to help you get the most out of teaching via the Internet.
1. Use the chat box as a whiteboard (a place to make notes and offer corrections that both the student and teacher can see)
2. Have good eye contact by looking at the camera (not the screen)
3. Speak slowly and clearly (computer speakers may distort your voice – counter this by enunciating)
4. Give the student time to think and respond (sometimes teaching via the Internet can be unnerving – being patient with your student is a must)
5. Have your materials prepared as printouts (it makes them easier to refer to)
6. Make sure the materials have specific reference points (i.e. page numbers) to ensure that you and the student/s are on the same page
7. Regularly check comprehension and offer to answer questions (without direct contact it can be easy to leave the student behind, so keep them up to date and check that they understand)
8. Put students at their ease by being friendly and jovial (if your students are wary of using the Internet, your relaxed attitude can put them at ease)
9. Keep a record of student phone numbers of e-mail addresses (if there are technical issues you will need another way to contact them)
10. Adapt your teaching method (conversation and explanations work very well – songs, games, and pair/group work is not as advisable)
Feel free to leave your top tips in a comment below.