The English as a Second Language (ESL) industry is booming, and it’s not about to slow down.
With over $63 billion being shelled out by non-native speakers worldwide just for English lessons, it’s undeniably one of the more lucrative online jobs for students.
As a student who may be new to the field, below are six success tips that you can emulate:
6 Success Tips to Thrive as an ESL Teacher
Give your students ample freedom
Control is essential in teaching ESL. As a teacher, you manage the learning objectives and overall direction of the session. But remember, control should not go overboard.
You should support your students to speak comfortably, socialize with their classmates, and ask meaningful questions.
NEVER reprimand them if they make a blunder or when you’re having a hard time getting their attention.
Remember that mistakes are all part of a constructive learning curve.
Study up on culture
ESL teaching is a decent online part-time job for students, but it requires you to be familiar with a different culture.
Culture affects the way your students learn. It’s best if you know the basic customs of the host country together with some classroom management concepts.
When you demonstrate respect for your student’s culture, it will turn into motivation because he/she feels appreciated.
As a result, your student is more likely to display increased interest in using the English language for conversing, socializing, and other opportunities.
It’s a win-win because, with more English talk time, your students will have a better grasp of the language.
You may feel jittery in your first few weeks of teaching, but don’t forget to show your genuine smile regularly.
Smiling is the universal sign of being approachable. Making it a habit allows you to connect to your students easier and gives your class a fun vibe.
Even when your students make mistakes, you can still give out a reassuring smile and say “It’s not wrong, just different.”
Delegate a huge chunk of the talk time to your students
Needless to say, online ESL classes are for students to talk.
There’s no point for instructors to waste 10-15 minutes in focusing at a particular grammar rule. While grammar and sentence structure are important facets of every language, speaking puts those rules into work.
For instance, if your class lasts for 30 minutes, then your students should own at least 60% of the talking time (i.e., 18 minutes).
On your part, focus on the discussion, correct students when needed, and think of creative ways to get your students to speak.
Be creative with the excess time
You conducted your lesson and your students did a great job absorbing it. However, the clock says you still have ten minutes of extra time.
Now you can use such time to squeeze out more learning through fun activities like:
- Pictionary – Have one of your students draw on a virtual board one of the words in your vocabulary list. The rest of the class should try their best to guess the word with minimal clues.
- Would you choose – “Would you choose to have Iron Man’s abilities or Captain America’s?” “Would you choose pizza over chocolate?” This activity encourages conversation that’s good for your students. It also allows you to get to know them more.
- Open floor – Students will ask you a broad range of questions from the topics covered, unfamiliar words they encountered, or almost anything interesting. This, again, has the potential to stir healthy exchanges from everybody.
Like the majority of online part-time jobs for students, commitment is vital for success. A committed ESL teacher gets adequate sleep, uses easily understandable language, and doesn’t back out from booked classes – things that help give the best learning experience for students.
Unpaid minutes devoted to summarizing the session and writing student feedback shouldn’t discourage you. Rather, you should see this as an opportunity to aid their progress.
Also, evaluate your load. If you have an upcoming school exam, decrease the number of your classes so you can focus and have your performance unaffected.
As much as possible, be present in all booked classes. Defaulting will not only hurt your pay (through penalties) but also your reputation and qualification for incentives.
At the end of the day, your job is to better people’s lives through English language teaching. A goal satisfying as that is worthy of your full commitment.