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In the 21st century, teaching ESL is no longer limited to in-person sessions. Whether you are teaching in an office-based setting, classroom, or virtual online environment, it is now possible to have a class anywhere worldwide. And thanks to Genesis Foundry, our partnerships allow us to help you make that happen. If you haven’t already applied, STOP reading this article, and Click Here to Apply today!

If you are reading this, you might already know that we help place teachers into online jobs. But we are also teachers ourselves, with many different experiences. We’d also like to share some of the feedback we have from our partners and students.

So here are some of the top tips for teaching English online:

1. Give Useful and Constructive Feedback to Your Students


At the end of each lesson, you will definitely need to provide some feedback for how your student performed during the lesson.

Don’t forget to use the student’s name when leaving feedback. This provides a personalized touch to show that you genuinely care about the student’s progress.

Remember to leave positive reinforcement, but don’t forget to point out areas of struggle. Educational research shows that a ratio of 80% positive reinforcement to 20% negative reinforcement is the optimal balance. Your student and their parents will genuinely appreciate hearing positive praise coming from a foreign instructor.

In the next class, check for progress and see if the student has improved any. Remember that the parents are paying for their child to actually improve, so documenting your observations and providing feedback is crucial to doing so!

2. Use Total Physical Response (TPR) Methodologies to Help Your Student Be Involved in the Lesson

The above video is an official TPR overview from VIPKid, one of our partner companies with Genesis Foundry. (Click Here to Apply!)

The whole idea of TPR is to use body language to help the student understand what you are trying to communicate. It will also encourage the student to respond and speak with you more effectively.

Don’t speak using just words; use your entire body! The student will appreciate it more and your lessons will become more effective.

3. Use Props to Keep Your Students Engaged During the Lesson

The above video is an example of a veteran teacher and author of an ESL for kids textbook series. She uses a group of simple props to help make the lesson fun and engaging for the students.

You don’t need to spend a fortune buying sets of cards and puppets — in fact you may already have some materials in your house to make what you need.

Have fun with what you’re doing. Give your puppets a name, and make sure your students know them. Bring them back to illustrate new concept in later lessons. Get silly with it sometimes. And when your students lose focus or concentration, bring the puppet right back to keep their attention.

4. Always Be Assessing English Levels


You always need to be assessing and evaluating your student’s ability levels throughout your lessons, but especially so in the beginning, so that you can make adjustments in your lesson plans as needed.

Delivering a lesson that is too far from a student’s grasp is doomed to fail! Always begin by asking the simplest questions, such as “What is your name? What’s your age? What’s your favorite color?” Watch for the student’s reaction, and if they are able to answer, then ask more complicated questions, or follow-up questions such as “Why is your favorite color blue?” to further gauge ability.

Remember that younger students really need repetition in order to be successful. As adult native speakers, it is sometimes difficult for us to remember that young ESL learners need a lot of support to pick up the language. So remember to repeat vocabulary words, and have the students repeat them several times throughout the lesson. Then, in the next lesson, assess whether or not they remembered the word!

5. SMILE!!


Do you know how important attitude is? The appearance on your face can make your student filled happiness once you meet them. Try to create a constructive classroom environment for your student starting with your own mental attitude towards the classroom.

Keep in mind that your student may never have met a foreign face before you, let alone ever spoke to one. Think about how important your class is for this student before you start the lesson each day!

Teaching is challenging but rewarding profession. Our students look up to us for both instruction and guidance, and we should always remember to keep a little smile on our face to help do our part.

Genesis Foundry is a recruitment agency for teaching English to kids online from the comfort of your own home. We encourage interested teachers to complete our 5-minute application today. Click here to apply!