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Tips and Tricks for Successful Online Teaching and Learning: Facilitating Authentic Use of English





Tips & Tricks for Successful Online Teaching and Learning:

Facilitating Authentic Use of English



TESOL Teacher Education IS, Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL), NNEST, and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) ISs




Brief description

In this six-week workshop, participants will discuss and implement some of the approaches and techniques that can promote an effective online learning environment. The workshop will comprise real-time discussion and practice sessions, as well as online-course-design projects to be completed by the participants.


Examples of synchronous and asynchronous methods will be demonstrated, discussed and tried out by attendees, with a focus on what works and what doesn't work in terms of the overall design, the use ofvarious internet communication technologies, and the use of particular techniques for engaging students. The different modalities between purely online and 'blended' online/offline classes will be discussed, with an emphasis on the increasingly ubiquitous nature of computer/internet use for learning.



Target audience

ESL/EFL teachers who are beginning to teach synchronously online or teachers who are currently using a two-prong (synchronous and asynchronous) approach and want to discuss best practices and what works and doesn't work in the virtual classroom. Moderate computer/Internet skills are needed.



Week-by-week outline

WEEK 1 - Getting to know one another. Introduction.

Participants will meet moderators and each other, complete an exploratory survey, and discuss needs and expectations, and their own teaching online-teaching ideas.


WEEK 2 - Using 3D Spaces for Conversation. A comparison of online and offline classroom techniques.

David Winet and other StudyCom teachers will explain how English learners can practice their conversational skills using 3-D spaces online. Participants will learn how to bring their students into 3-D spaces both for classes and contact assignments, and practice doing so.

Ali Boumoussa will demonstrate the techniques useful in online classes and contrast them to the ones used offline. Attendees will be given an opportunity to try out some of these online techniques themselves, in online spaces provided for that purpose.


WEEK 3 - Adding Sugar and Spice: How to make realtime online ESL classes

Thanks to the use of realia (i.e., anything and everything found on the Web), actuality and with additional help from a textbook or two any teacher can find topics that are useful, fun and interesting, not only for her students but for herself as well. The ability of the online teacher to broach slightly “taboo” topics to enliven the class and generate discussion while all the time keeping it within the bounds of propriety will be discussed and demonstrated. Deena will discuss this topic, providing tips and suggestions, recommendations based on her personal teaching experiences online.

Attendees will brainstorm and demonstrate their own 'Sugar and Spice' ideas for online classes, or try out Deena’s.


WEEK 4 - How online classes can help your students improve their spoken English

It's often thought that speaking and listening can't be taught online. In this session, Mal James will discuss how easy and natural it is to teach spoken English online. He will show participants how to teach their online students to:

1. prepare and give online presentations

2. conduct online job interviews

3. obtain information and services using internet telephony

4. develop and broaden their speaking and listening skills using online tools such as Springdoo and Odeo

Participants will have a chance to practice the techniques outlined.


WEEK 5 - Teaching online using E-books

Eric Monroe will demonstrate the use of rich-media e-books, two of which Eric has authored himself, in real-time and asynchronous online classes. Participants will be asked to comment on the use of e-books and produce one chapter of their own "e-book" for ESL.


WEEK 6 -Wrap-up discussion and a look at participant projects. Final conclusions about best practices, tricks and tips in the process of planning and creating effective ESL/EFL teaching and learning online environment. Where to go from here.




David Winet, coordinator

StudyCom English for Internet


Guest Speakers:

Eric Monroe < eric@eric-tesol.com>

Deena L. Ferguson < teacher_deenalynn@yahoo.com >

Malcolm James < maljames2003@yahoo.com >

Ali Boumoussa


Communication tools to be used

TESOL2007 Yahoo!Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TipsTricks2007

Digibridge: http://www.digibridge.net/teacherdave

Learning Times http://www.learningtimes.net

WorldbridgesLiveWire http://www.worldbridges.com

Yahoo Messenger http://messenger.yahoo.com/

OnSynch: http://www.digitalsamba.com

and other online tools such as Blogger.com, Odeo, Podomatic, Sprindoo, Office.com, Collabits, Flixn.com, Abazab, Festoon and Vyew.


Moderators' and Guest Speakers' biodata


David Winet got started teaching English when he was 15 in Switzerland and a neighbor hired him to teach her kid. He has since taught ESL in France and California . He got interested in email back in the early 90s and began teaching "English by Email" in 1993, possibly the first internet-based ESL class. When graphical browsers came into being, Dave created StudyCom English for Internet, where real teachers could connect with real students to study English.


Deena Lynn Furgerson began teaching EFL about fifteen years ago in Italy . She has been teaching in high schools and at a local university since then. She got interested in computers as a teaching aide while writing her thesis. She contacted StudyCom English for Internet in 2002 and has been teaching English there since. She also tutors high school (English) teachers, organizes English courses for adults, and does translation work. She is currently working toward her Ph.D.


Malcolm James was born in Birmingham 57 years ago, went to a local Secondary Modern School, and had various jobs in industry, retail, and training as an automotive technician and worked in that industry until 2000. An accident prevented him from doing manual work, and he volunteered to help in a language centre helping refugees with English, whereafter he underwent the first stage of a teaching certificate. He was offered a post teaching adults with learning difficulties and thoroughly enjoyed it. He became interested in teaching English, eventually taking the CELTA course. and has been a popular teacher on StudyCom for several years.


Ali Boumoussa teaches ESL in Morocco and online at StudyCom. He has been involved with English language teaching and training in Morocco since 1978. His main training has been in Applied Linguistics for ELT. Now that much of his conventional training seems obsolete to him, he is trying hard to cope with the challenges of using ICT in low-tech contexts.


Eric Paul Monroe has taught extensively in China, at StudyCom, and at his own online school at http://www.eric-tesol.com. He is an ardent advocate and skilled practioner of online ESL and Spanish, as well as an accomplished Web and online course designer


Join this session


To join this group:


  1. Go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TipsTricks2007
  2. Click on the blue button:
  3. Follow the instructions

Note: When you register for the group, you will have to be approved by the moderator. In order to reduce the possibility of "unwanted" members (such as spammers), please be sure to explain who you are and why you want to enroll in the session

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