Go Remote! Skills for Teaching ESL Online | Hana Drdla | Skillshare

Go Remote! Skills for Teaching ESL Online

Hana Drdla, Web Developer and more!

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12 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Welcome!

    • 2. What is Teaching ESL Online?

    • 3. Equipment Needed

    • 4. Companies to Work With

    • 5. Filling Out the Application Form

    • 6. Interview Process

    • 7. Teaching a Beginner Level Class

    • 8. Teaching an Intermediate Level Class

    • 9. Props and Background

    • 10. You're Hired! Get Bookings

    • 11. Give Yourself a Raise

    • 12. Final Tips


About This Class

Opportunities for teaching ESL online have grown enormously over the past few years. It is a great job to work if you are looking to work remotely, or to supplement your income. The opportunities are huge but the vast majority of applicants do not pass the interview process due to lack of preparation.

In this class, I will show you exactly how to prepare for your interview to teach ESL online through an online platform. I will show you what skillful online ESL teaching is composed of. This includes how to communicate with a completely new English learner, helping the student feel comfortable, and of course getting them to understand sentence patterns and respond, speaking in full sentences. I’ll tell you where to find work teaching ESL online and what you can expect in your interview.

You should take this class if you are looking to apply for the first time to an ESL platform, or if you haven’t had success in the past and are looking to learn how you can improve your online teaching.


1. Welcome!: Hi, everyone. My name's Hannah and welcome to my course on how to develop your teaching skills to get your first job teaching SL online. I've been teaching SL online now for two years, and it's a great job because I can work from home. My schedule is very flexible and it's stress free. For the past year, I've also been assessing teaching applicants. Now, only 10% of the people that I meet are actually hired, and this is Onley due to a lack of preparation, not due to a lack of positions available, the interviewers look for very specific teaching skills. So in this course, I'm going to prepare you to show your interviewer that you have these skills. I'm positive that by following my advice, you can get a job teaching SL online. You should take this course if you're looking to apply for your first online SL teaching job or if you haven't had success in the past and you're looking to see how you can improve those teaching skills. By the end of this course, you'll know exactly how to show your interviewer that you're ready to teach online for your class project. I want you to upload a picture of your prepared classroom, any props that you have, as well as any notes that you have handy going into your interview. I'm looking forward to helping you find work teaching SL online because it's a really great job. And I want that for you, too. I hope to see you in the classroom. 2. What is Teaching ESL Online?: Let's first talk about what an online SL teaching job ISS es el is English. As a second language, you'll be teaching people whose native language is not English. This means you must find ways to communicate effectively. Although there's a language barrier between you and your students, your goal is to help them develop their aural and written comprehension of English as well as to develop their conversational skills. It requires you to be a patient person who is sensitive to their students needs, but also being able to identify the areas that they need to work on and helping them improve that many teaching applicants that I see are actually public school teachers. However, they lack some skills to be able to communicate concepts across the computer screen. So in this class, we're going to look at what skills are specific to teaching. Yes, L Online 3. Equipment Needed: to teach online, you need some basic equipment that you probably already have. First, of course, you're going to need a computer or a new iPad. Not all platforms except ipads. So having a computer is your safest bet. You'll also need a webcam so that you and your student can see each other. This will help you develop a better relationship with your student, keep you both more engaged, and also it can help with some things like pronunciation. When you concede the shape of the mouth, you absolutely need to be wearing headphones and a microphone. If there's any delay at all, your interviewer will hear an echo of your voice, and this could be very distracting for you both. Hopefully, your headphones have a microphone attached to them. It's best if you can get a microphone that reaches all the way to your mouth. This way you can be heard more clearly, and it also avoids taking in sounds from your surroundings. For example, if you live on a noisy street, one thing I will mention about buying a headset is to make sure that it's compatible with your computer. When I went to the store, none of the connectors were compatible with my computer, So I ordered one online that allows me to connect with the USB ports. Now you'll need a working mouse or track pad you want to be able to use is pretty well so that you can circle objects on the screen, even spell something out on the screen. Because the video and audio are so important in a lesson you're going to need fast Internet teaching online requires a minimum upload speed of two megabytes per second, a download speed of 20 megabytes per second and, most importantly, a ping lower than 200. Now we can check this out by doing a speed test. Let's search for a speed test. We can choose the 1st 1 little clique. Go and see what numbers we get. Okay, so my speed is quite fast. If you find that your speed isn't fast enough, try connecting your computer to the router with an easier in accord, and that should help a lot 4. Companies to Work With: Over the past few years, many new online tutoring platforms have been developed. Deciding which one you want to work with depends on a few things Now I say work with because you're an independent contractor, you will not be an employee of these companies. Your options may depend on your level of education. Some companies require that you have a bachelor's degree. I would say very few companies require that you have a temple teaching certificate. Nationality. Some companies require that you're from a country whose native language is English. This isn't always the case. I'll show you in a moment. There are platforms for teaching adults or Children. I would say that teaching Children is a great way to get consistent teaching hours. Next, do you want to think about If you want to be teaching 1 to 1 or on some platforms, you might have one teacher teaching for students at a time. I would suggest that you try both because I don't think that one is harder than the other. They're just different preparation. Some teaching platforms will not require you to prepare any materials at all, which is great because there's no stress. Once the work hours are done. I would say that if you're looking to teach adults than you will probably be preparing the material yourself. And, of course, your schedule. Depending on what hours you were available and her students are available, that may determine which company you can work for. You also want to look into which companies require a minimum amount of hours per week. Let's take a look at this website oe t jobs dot com. We'll hold our mouse over online SL jobs, and here we confined the categories of jobs we can select. What we feel would bring us the most success based on the criteria of just mentioned the 1st 1 who chooses Chinese. Currently, these air the companies that you can likely get the most work from while having an income. That's quite good. And we see some of the biggest companies here that we can apply Teoh Magic ears say ABC v. I. P. Kid. If you're a non native English speaker, you definitely want to look at that list. And of course you should then go to the company website, look at their requirements and the answers to their frequently asked questions to get a better idea of their expectations. Now that you've chosen where you want to apply, let's look at filling out the application form. 5. Filling Out the Application Form: the reason that filling out the application form well it's so important is because it's often a computer deciding your fate. The computer will scan for certain keywords in certain requirements, and in an instant it will tell you if you're invited for an interview or it will give you a polite No, this isn't always the case, but for the companies that are receiving hundreds of applications a day, the computer is deciding whether or not you moved to the interview stage. So let's look at what the computer is looking for in your application. Obviously, we fill out our contact information here. Nationality may be very important for some companies. In the case of this company, if you don't put U. S. A or Canada, your application will be denied later. You will have to provide some I d to show them that you're from this country. The same goes for education for this company. They require a bachelor's degree, so if you don't put this in your application than it will be denied, you will be required to show this before signing a contract. Now for experience, you want to show that you have at least one year of experience, working with Children or teaching. This does not have to be formal experience, but it could include volunteering at a summer camp, being an after school tutor, baby sitting anything that you feel relates to education when we're done, it's possible that will know the outcome right away. If you're not given the opportunity to interview, don't take it personally. Like I said, it's often a computer deciding these things. Take a second look at the company's requirements. Try rephrasing things in your application to include keywords that you might think they were looking for and think about what other relevant experience you might have. You can then apply again, but you'll likely have to use a different email. 6. Interview Process: interviews for teaching online usually involved teaching a practice class. You'll be teaching your evaluator as if they're your student. Now. You might feel a little bit silly if you're teaching a Children's class to an adult. But don't worry. They've seen it 1000 times, and the more silly you are, the more that you'll have fun and actually feel more comfortable. This evaluator might be called a mentor. Your mentor will give you a brief introduction. You'll teach the class, and then we'll give you some feedback on what they liked and what skills you can improve on . You will likely have to do 23 or even more of these practice classes. Now. Don't get discouraged if you need to do more than three classes, because this is actually your only opportunity to be helped by another teacher. This is basically your training, and after this you need to meet the expectations of your students or even their parents, So this is a great opportunity to get coached. You want to prepare a lot for these classes. This is because they both determine your wage and determine if you will be given a contract and given access to the student base. Let's get into how to prepare to teach these practice interview classes and what your interviewer is hoping to see from you. 7. Teaching a Beginner Level Class: in this section. We're gonna go over 10 points to help you teach English to a complete beginner. First, I want you to imagine yourself in a scenario where someone is speaking a different language to you that you don't know. Maybe you don't understand anything, or maybe you can pick out a few words that you've heard before. But you don't know what the person is trying to say. This might be what your student feels like in class, especially if they're five or six years old. They're gonna have a lot of trouble trying to understand what the teacher wants them to. Dio, Let's look at what we can do in this situation. Firstly, you want to have a slow talking speed. You want to minimize the language that you're using to about 30 words or so using Onley the words that they know. For example, if you're teaching the word ball, you would just say ball ball. You wouldn't say the first word is ball or can you say ball because almost guaranteed, the student will repeat back to you. Can you say ball? And they're not really getting the meaning of the word. Another example would be. If there's a picture of a girl holding a ball, you would say she has a ball. What you wouldn't say is the girl in the picture is holding a ball. Your student will be completely lost. So this is what I mean about simplifying your language. You also want to be very careful when you're teaching the letter sounds. For example, teaching the sound of letter K. You want to say not? Ah, lot of applicants. They add this vowel sound at the end of the letter sound, and that's actually incorrect. And the reason that is important is because when you're teaching a student to read to, for example, to put three letter sounds together, it's gonna be a mess for them. If they've learned that all of the letter sounds and with search YouTube for synthetic phonics, this will help you teach each letter sound more accurately. Next is tp our total physical response. This is basically using your body to teach language. T P R includes mining of actions like I walk, I swim and also off new vocabulary words like pig or a dog tp are really helps the student understand what you're trying to say, For example, I see a dog even if I was saying that in a language that you didn't know, you would get some idea of what I was trying to say. You definitely want to use TP are when you're teaching new vocabulary because it really helps the student remember and stay engaged another time you want to use T. P. R is when you want the student to repeat something or you're waiting for them to speak. So if I want the student to repeat ball, I'll say, uh, and show them that I'm listening for them to speak fall. You never want to be doing this at the same time because then you're giving conflicting commands. Next is modeling. This is showing the student what you want them to do or how to do it. You can show them using TP are such as circle Draw a line, or you can show them on the screen by actually circling, matching the big and small letter and then letting them do it themselves. You always want to indicate to them on the screen what you're referring to or what you want them to read, so you can just draw a box around it or circle it, and then that will help them know what you're talking about. Another thing that you want to model is sentence patterns. If I say once, do you like to eat? Maybe the student doesn't know how to respond. They've understood, but they don't know what to say. I can show them I like to eat hamburgers. What do you like to eat? This is showing them how to respond using the sentence pattern. If your student still doesn't understand, try further simplifying your language, drawing on the screen and using more T P R. If your lesson content is given to you, you want to think about what is the objective of each page that I'm teaching. Is it to learn a new vocabulary word? Practice in new sentence pattern practice. Question an answer. Conversation. Sometimes when the student reads a text, the objective of the reading might be for them to understand what's happening in the text and then answer questions afterwards. Other times, the objective might be just to read the words, and you'll notice that if a lot of the words are rhyming than it's possible that they're just practicing, blending the letter sounds so you always want to think about. If you've reached the objective of that slide, and then you can move on when you're teaching a new word, you should always have the student repeat it back to you at least two times turtle turtle, and then you might go on to use it in a sentence. After teaching a new word. You always want to check for retention so you can ask the student toe, identify it in some way, circle the turtle, or what color is the turtle? If they're able to answer these questions, then they know what turtle is. You always want your students speaking in full sentences. This is really important so that they can practice both the vocabulary and their grammar together. Very, very often, my students give me a one word response. What do you like to eat? Bread. Okay, I like to eat bread. This might be because they're being lazy or they're afraid to get the sentence pattern wrong so you can just give them an example and then have them repeat it back to you. For super beginner students, Sometimes I will count on my fingers. How many words, Aaron The sentence to make sure that they get them all. This is an apple. Students of every level are going to make mistakes. So you want to catch those errors and kindly correct, Hm? Some very common errors to look out for our pronunciation misuse of, uh, an or sometimes it's even missing a missed word in a sentence such as I live China. Well, you would correct that, too. I live in China, and in an error that you see in all the levels, is grammatical mistakes such as he run this area. You'll see both when they're speaking, and even when they're reading, they'll just skip over. That s so you definitely want to highlight that circle where the issue is on the screen. So it's clear where the error occurred to show them where the error occurred. You either show them on the screen, you can show them on your fingers and emphasize with your voice this is an apple, and then you want them to repeat it back to you so that they can remember with what the error waas extension is all about. Adding level appropriate knowledge if your student is ready. They're doing well in the class. Then you can help build their interests by teaching them new words. Some ways that you can extend with absolute beginners are having them count their rewards. How many stars are there? You can teach them shape or color names, and you can extend with the sentence patterns I like. And I have. I like my toy dolls. I have ah brother. You can show each other your toys and tell them the name of their toy. I have a robot now. You want your beginner student speaking about 50% of the time. This is why you really want to simplify your instructions, simplify your language and give them all the opportunities you can for them to speak instead of making the lesson of repeat after me kind of style trying to make it a conversation. If you're asking them questions and they are responding in full sentences, then you can try to meet that 50% goal by using T P R. And modeling. Your student can have the best chance for success because they'll understand you more. If your student has said something correctly, there's no reason for you to repeat it back to that. Tell them great job and move on. Finally, you wanna have a good attitude? Of course, you need to be very friendly and patient with your beginner students. A lot of students come into the class very shy to speak with a foreign teacher, and you want them to feel as comfortable as possible so that they're encouraged to speak. You can give them a lot of praise clapping, thumbs up high fives and you'll see that they become very excited to When the student arrives and you start your class, you can tell them your name. My name is Teacher Hannah. What is your name? Nice to meet you. How are you? In this introduction, you begin to develop some kind of report with them. But you also get an idea for their personality and what level they're at. Just from answering those simple questions. You don't have to be over the top with your personality, but try to match the personality of your student, see if they like it when you sing or if they're very mellow. Remember to be very patient with your student if they're not understanding. Speaking louder is not going to help them understand. You want to just try to simplify what you're saying. Use a lot of T P R. Draw on the screen. Use props, but don't yell at them. All right, that's all for my beginner tips. Let's move on to teaching an intermediate class, which is a little bit different. 8. Teaching an Intermediate Level Class: intermediate students have a much higher level of comprehension. They don't need that much instruction on. They're able to make a lot of conversation with the teachers so you can really connect on a personal level. However, they do struggle with other things for example, delivering response to you, using past tense verbs that might be hard for them to get into the habit of doing. They also might struggle with pronunciation when reading. We want to deliver some more complicated concepts to them and then check their comprehension of these topics. Let's look at 10 points for success In this situation, you want to present content to the student in a way that breaks it down into steps from more simple, to more difficult. An example of this might be teaching them a new vocabulary word. They read the definition themselves, and then you ask them a question, either to make a sentence, using that word or using that word somehow to relate to their own lives. You always want to foresee any difficult content and quickly think about how you can break it down into simple steps. For example, when I reach a grammar exercise in my teaching I might quickly review the grammar rule and then asked them to do the activity. Repetition. You want the student to repeat new words back to you at least once, so you can hear if they have pronounced it correctly, and then they'll read it again in the upcoming reading. If not, get them to save another time. If it's a difficult word, you can break it into syllables like Guy No score and drawn the screen where the word breaks into the syllables. After teaching the new words you definitely want to check for attention. Using level appropriate language might mean that you need to get a feel for the students level. So, of course, the material you're teaching will give you a clue. But you'll be surprised that many students have totally different levels. Even if they're being taught the same material you might need to refrain is what you're saying sometimes. For example, if I asked, have you ever been to New York? The student might not understand the phrasing of this sentence, so I might rephrase it to Did you ever go to New York because they know, Did they know Go and New York so they can figure out the meaning of the sentence. Where is have you ever bean? They might be wondering why What does have doing in that sentence? So if they haven't been taught it, then they might not understand. Yet in intermediate levels, there's sometimes a lot of reading. You want them to do all of the reading, give them as much talking time as possible. Then your job is to help them make any corrections and to check their understanding of it. Make conversation with them about this text, but you want them speaking as much as possible. The student should be speaking about 70% of the time in these levels, and you can help them reach that by getting them to speak in full sentences and doing all the reading themselves Now. Although there is a lot of reading, our job isn't to just supervise their reading. It's the check that they've understood and then help them discuss the reading. You want to provide opportunities for your student to speak freely. You can ask them level appropriate questions that relate to their lives or relate to the story you really want to try to ask. Open ended questions, thes air questions that don't result in them just saying yes, I do know I don't. So, for example, what does your city look like? This has endless responses that the student could give to you by asking these kinds of questions. The student can go into more detail, and you can have a better conversation with, um, whatever the student tells you, you want to make sure to give them a meaningful response. Either continue talking to them about what their city looks like or tell them what your city looks like. Students often make pronunciation or grammatical mistakes when they're speaking and reading . Sometimes when they're reading, they completely skip over words. Or they change the word to be something else. A very common grammatical mistake is mixing up is an R. My shoes is red. You definitely want to correct errors like this and show them why if necessary. When a student is reading or speaking, you don't want to just cut them off and correct their mistakes. Let them finish, and then you can go back and help them correct it because you really want to promote their fluency, make sure that they're reading smoothly and you don't want them stopping all the time because it's going to be really hard for them to capture the meaning of the text. If they keep pausing well. You also want to do is promote self correction. If you can tell them that there is an error or and asked them to fix it. Or sometimes I tell my students, what is the past tense of this verb? Okay, we're talking about yesterday, so we want to use the past tense. I went to school. Not I go to school, but I give them an opportunity to correct themselves first. We always want to try to extend the lesson, to try and get the student more interested in the topic. So this includes teaching him a new word that they might be actually interested in learning . For example, if I asked my student what's your favorite sport and they tell me badminton, well, then I went to to them the words racket and birdie, because thes air words that they can later use You can also extend just by telling your own little stories or telling them about yourselves so that they have a chance to listen to something new that isn't from the lesson. Although T pr like this isn't crucial at this level, it can still be really helpful for teaching vocabulary words. Imagine you want to teach your student the word crab or wave in the ocean. It could be really helpful for conveying meaning of a word, and you'll see that your students will actually do it to you to when they're trying to tell you something, but they don't know the word for it. You also might want to have some props or flashcards with grammatical rules on them to show your students and to have for quick reference so you don't always have to write it on the screen. I often use my phone or iPad too quickly. Look up a picture when I'm trying to describe something difficult or I'm trying to show my student Niagara Falls because we're talking about landmarks. I'm also always drawing on the screen with my students to help them understand and to help connect with um, you want to give very simple instructions to your student of what to dio, So if you want them to read, just draw a little marker of where you want them to read on the screen. You also just want to keep all your instructions. Pretty simple. Toe limit. You're talking time in tow. Limit their confusion. For example, if there are Siris of pictures that should be put in order, you can just say what happened first instead of now, we're going to put these pictures in order. When you start your lesson off, you always want to ask your student their name, how they are and maybe what they did that day. What did you do today is a really great way to assess your students level, to see if they're using past tense. If they've even understood and what kind of vocabulary they can bring into the conversation . You want to be really sensitive to their personality and try to show them that you're interested in their culture and in their lives. So they're happy to share and engage with you. With these classes, you might be really worried because there's a lot of material and a lot of reading to cover in a short amount of time. As I mentioned, you want to make sure that they're speaking and doing as much of the reading as possible. You want to make sure that the objective of that slide Ismet, have you taught them a new word and then check their comprehension of the material? You always want to make sure that the student has understood and related to their lives. So you can practice some conversation. Whatever you do, do not rush through the material. You want to show your interviewer that you have all these other skills and pacing is just one of them. In a real class, you are responsible for getting through all of the material. But in your interview, you want to make sure that you can show that you have all these other skills that I've mentioned as well. Okay, Now you're ready for teaching an intermediate level class. 9. Props and Background: for your classroom. First, you'll need a quiet room. Turn off your phone. Get a baby sitter for the kids, for your dog in a different room. Whatever you need to do, toe have a distraction. Free environments. Next, do you want to think about your background? Ideally, you have a plane while behind you. You definitely don't want to have your camera looking into your living room or into your kitchen. If you're teaching Children than you definitely need to have some kind of decorative backgrounds, you can put up a map with your teacher name, colorful wrapping paper or seasonal decorations such as for Halloween. You want to wear a plain shirt. This could be a T shirt, but it shouldn't have any distracting text or patterns on its position yourself Well inside the camera frame, you don't want to be too close or too far, but close enough so that the student conceit your props, as well as your facial expressions and the shape of your mouth. Speaking of props, you need to prepare props for your interview. Ideally, you prepare three different kinds of props to engage your student. Some examples would be using a whiteboard using a stuffed animal showing pictures on the iPad, flash cards or physical objects that you're teaching about from around your house. This obviously depends on the age group that you're teaching, but if you're teaching kids, you definitely need to bring props to the class to help engage the student and even in some cases, to help them understand. You can use things from around your house, make your own props or go to the dollar store, where they have a lot of teaching materials. When you have your classroom and props prepared, go ahead and take a picture of them. Please upload them to the Project gallery so we can all see what props you prepared and be inspired by your classroom. 10. You're Hired! Get Bookings: Hopefully. Now, after all your practice classes, you've been offered a contract. Great. Now all your future students can see your profile and are able to book, You know, how can you get them to choose you? Of course. First, you'll need a professional looking headshots. You can also include pictures of you with your family to show your personality and to show your smile, upload a short video of yourself, inviting the students into your classroom and showing them that you're a friendly teacher. Make a short description highlighting your experience and your education. You might want to also include some of your hobbies or what you enjoy doing. Now you have to wait for bookings. You want to make yourself as available as possible by opening all the slots that you're able to teach, if possible, opened them to be booked on short notice. A very good tip toe help get students to book you is to take the first month to work overnights on weekends. Let me show you what I mean. Looking at my schedule, I'm on a European time zone and I teach Chinese students so I can see what times they're hot and likely to be booked week days. Of course, it's after school for these kids, but on the weekends they're available all day. Now most teachers air sleeping during these hours. This means that the students are awake without many teachers to choose from. I am sure that if you open your availability during that time, you can get some bookings. If students enjoy, your class will book you throughout the week during more regular hours, so you don't need to work overnight anymore. You can work overnights on the weekends for one month as a way to get some experience pickups and regular students, and also get some ratings on your profile. Once you have readings, other students will be more likely to book with you. Think of this as your business. You need to go where there's little competition until you can build up your loyal customer base. 11. Give Yourself a Raise: because these companies pay per hour worked. Let's look at some ways we can maximize our income. One way to earn extra money is to reserve some of your classes as short notice. This means you're able to be booked within 24 hours of the class start time. Some companies pay about $4 extra per hour. If you do this now, you should only do this if you're relatively confident that students will book you on short notice. If you're just starting out teaching, you definitely don't want to do this. You want to give your students a lot of time to find your profile and to book you in advance. You can see here on my schedule that I reserve the superhot class times for a short notice booking and usually my weekends as well, so that I can decide if I want to work or not. The day before, always pay attention to incentives offered by the company so often around the North American holidays. They offer incentives for you to work because a lot of people decide to take time off and there's not so many teachers available, so they want to incentivize you to work. Next, Keep an eye out for hiring bonuses. Many teachers work for more than one company, and I know at one point there was a company offering a $300 hiring bonus. So you want to look for opportunities like this within the teacher community online. And finally, I know that some teachers who worked for two companies find a way to get paid twice for the same time slot so they might open slots with one company that guarantees a pay but does not offer short notice classes. And if these classes aren't booked, they open with their second company and hopefully get these booked this way that could be paid twice for the same time slot. You want to be very careful doing this to make sure that there's no schedule and conflict, and also take a look at your contract to make sure that you're not breaking any agreements there 12. Final Tips: I hope you now feel prepared knowing how to approach your first interview for an online SL teaching job. Check the class documents for this course to make sure that you haven't for gotten anything . When you're preparing for your interview, remember to be adaptable because you never know what your student will dio. Try not to follow a strict script and try to be flexible because every student has a different personality. One student might be shy, and the next student might be screaming the answers at you. Don't be nervous for your interview. Your mentor is there to coach you and just support you to do better. Pay very close attention to the suggestions that your mentor offers you. Take notes and bring those to the next practice class and make sure to have fun cos they're looking for teachers that will have the students coming back to learn more. Please upload your project to the course. We want to see your props, your classroom and any notes you might have and feel free to ask me any questions in the discussion under the community tab. I really hope this course helped you prepare for your interview. If it helped you Please leave me review and tell other students what you liked about the course. You can also follow me as a teacher on skill share. Thank you so much for taking this course with me. And I wish you the best of luck.