CPD Course 6: Teaching English Online

Another FutureLearn course in association with Cambridge University Press & Assessment.  This one was really useful. It’s worth taking courses on online teaching regularly as everything online changes so quickly. The courses need to be updated regularly too. This one seems to be quite up to date although they do mention Edmodo at one point which is now obsolete (and I miss it – Google classroom is not the same).

This course is very well put together. It covers the absolute basics like how to use Zoom but also gives a long list of useful sites and apps for online teaching, many of which I’d never heard of.
It does have a curious insistence that a lot of activities, particularly focused grammar practice, should be assigned for homework. In my experience of one to one classes, students rarely do any homework (it’s a problem even in adult exam classes). These days I tend to set optional homework, nothing I’d rely on for the next lesson. I also think most of my adult students, particularly in business classes, prefer working on grammar in the lesson to get immediate feedback. Obviously I’d prefer it if students did homework but I also think teachers are overly concerned with silence online, it feels very unnatural. I think it’s important to normalise short periods of silence while a student thinks or reflects or writes.
I really like the presentation of this course, there’s a lot of discussion from two experienced teachers and a lot of example videos of various points in real classes. This course has given me lots of tools to explore.
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