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End-of-course video and further reading

End-of-course video and links to further reading.
Hello, everyone. It’s our end of week 4 video. Welcome. Hello, Marie Therese. Hello, Lindsay. Hello, everyone. Hasn’t that four weeks gone quick? I think I say this every week, actually and truly. Truly and truly, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, and that’s actually a good point, I think, because we’ve had a few questions this week about whether people have access to the course beyond this week, and of course you do. If you signed up for free, then you have six weeks after the start of the course, I think. No, the start– when you joined. So when you signed up, you have six weeks from the day you joined because some people are only starting the course now.
So actually, you have six weeks from the day you join, not from the day the course starts. OK but if you upgrade, then you have permanent access to the course. Forever. Absolutely. Forever. And of course then you have access to the links and the materials, the lessons and tasks and so on. So this week then we started off by talking about language development and helping students with their language and we were talking about setting context and tools for setting context and practicing language. And then we came on to talking about the flipped classroom. And some of you produced some wonderful, wonderful videos. Thank you very much.
And those that didn’t were commenting on how much they enjoyed watching them, so thank you. Absolutely, and I think the two things are connected. Sometimes people talk about the things to do with context for language teaching and then they talk about flipped classrooms like they’re two separate things. But of course they’re not because whenever you’re teaching language, whether you’re doing it in the flipped classroom way or you’re doing it in a live lesson, context is king because context shows the meaning of the language. It shows what situations you need to use the language in and what it means. And without context, it’s kind of just example sentences. I agree.
And we had some really good examples in the videos of people creating context. So we had Ammar comparative adjectives using teacups or mugs. We had Marilo adjectives using pictures. We had Sabrina using this that these there with things around her. We had Adrianna who was adding voiceover over cartoons, which was really nice as well. So yeah, there was some really nice context setting there. [INTERPOSING VOICES] But we also had– our presence there on the course has been graced by actually people with vast experience of teaching. And one of the CELTA trainers that’s been following the course raised that raised a couple of kind of issues or comments, really, about flipped classroom. David Neal, that is.
I don’t know, Lindsay, do you want to follow up? Yeah, sure. I mean he made some really interesting points and very, very valid points. So we just thought we’d discuss them and how we might address these things. So the first thing he said was that there are a couple of problems. Firstly, the flipped classroom assumes that students are going to do the work at home and watch the video and coming to the class having watched it and be familiar with the language. Yeah. Secondly, that students will learn better from a video rather than a live teacher. And then he made another comment that obviously we often say don’t lecture to students about language.
But then we’re saying, lecture to students of language in a video. Yeah, and I think those are really three really crucial things actually, issues about the flipped classroom. And the first being that thing where you set something for homework, and then the students don’t do it. Or some students have done it and some students haven’t. And I think it’s really a really, really valid point and really important that as a teacher you have set strategies for what to do because it will happen every single time. I mean, when you and I were talking about this, Lindsay, you said, well, we’ve got to try and motivate the students to do it.
Which is fine, but but you will always have one or two who appear in the class and haven’t done the preparation. So you need to have the strategy. So my examples of strategy are that you decide at the beginning of the class something will have to happen. So either the people that haven’t done it go away, so you say, go and do something. Go now, watch the video now, and then come back to the class. That’s one possibility. Another possibility, Lindsay? You can get students into breakout rooms. Or if you’ve got a small class, they could do as a whole group, I guess.
But you could put students who have done it into breakout rooms with those who haven’t and then they can teach them. Yeah. But I think it comes down to routine a lot of it. So it’s a change in approach and learners are not necessarily used to it, but if they realise that actually if they keep coming to class having not watched the video, then they often sort of realise it. They start falling in line, providing you continue with it. It’s not doing it a bit and then forgetting about it. It’s doing it consistently and creating this routine of you watch the video at home, you come to class having watched it. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
And the second point is this thing about lecturing and making your video a lecture. And we don’t encourage lecturing because it creates teacher talk and it doesn’t involve the learners. But actually, when we’re talking about making a video for a flipped classroom, we’re not talking about lecturing, are we? We’re talking about engaging the learners, asking them questions in your video. And Lindsay, you had an idea of a tool that will help that to be make that more interactive and more appropriate. Yeah. I mean, it’s really important, I think, to create a task that goes alongside the video so students might complete it afterwards. So they complete a little quiz and then you can check to see how they’ve done.
Have they understood? So you’re basically asking concept checking questions in that tool. And then you can check them and see have they understood? And what do I have to deal with in the classroom when we’re together? But you can use a tool like a Edpuzzle. And now Nearpod– in fact, to some degree I think Nearpod might work better because I’m pretty sure it’s free, certainly for this tool to use in class. I’m not sure if there’s a minimum number. I can’t remember. But if you use a puzzle, you can now create the same slide on Nearpod. So basically you create a slide, you add a video, and then you can add questions in the middle of the video.
So students watch the video at home, and then the video will pause. And they have to answer a question, and it will continue. Then it will pause, and they have to answer a question. And then again, you can go on and look at the answers to those questions. But I mean, what do you think about the other point that he made that we’re assuming that students are going to learn better from a video than a live teacher? I don’t think we’re assuming that because the live teacher bit still happens after. The bit that’s really important and where we really need the teacher is the practice bit. And that’s what happens in the live lesson.
But actually I think also you and I were talking that having a video and something that they do at home provides the opportunity for them to play it again and again and again. If you were standing in class and you’re doing a grammar explanation, they only get one shot of that. Granted you have your questions that you ask and you are there to maybe to follow up and maybe you can see in their eyes if they haven’t understood it, but actually if they’re good at masking that, they may well not have understood or they might have understood something else. Whereas if they’ve got a video that they’ve watched at home, they can watch that many times, can’t they?
They can, yeah. So I totally see what David is saying. I understand because the flipped classroom came about from science teaching and maths teaching and those subjects in schools that have maybe traditionally been a bit more lecturing, let’s say. And it was helping teachers to become more student centred in their classroom. Whereas for a lot of English language teachers, we already involve students in that sort of process of clarification of language. So I think, yes, I see what he means. But I can also see the benefits of students being able to watch the video again. Absolutely. Absolutely.
And then and then after we talked about grammar and flipped classroom and all of that, we talked about things that people have been asking about for the whole course, which is how to make a living out of this thing that we do. And meagre though it is, the living, it is possible and people do do it. So did we have any suggestions or anything to do with the business part of the week? I think it’s another David who made a very interesting comment. I pinned it, actually, to the top of one of the steps.
So he was talking about his experience of starting his business just before the pandemic, unfortunately, but talking about how you have to realise how much time you spend on marketing. And somebody else made the same comment as well from her husband’s experience of starting a business that you do have to spend quite a lot of time promoting yourself online. There are other people who are saying actually they’ve been lucky, that they have done it through word of mouth. I think someone called Lisa was saying that she’s quite lucky that she was recommended and then they recommended her and they recommended her and so on. So you could be lucky in that way, but it is quite a competitive market.
So you probably will need to embrace social media. Yeah, absolutely. And I think the word of mouth thing is really important as well. But lots of people on the step have made suggestions as well about things like have a demo lesson that you produce for yourself. Get yourself sorted out with a website. It’s really easy to do. It sounds posh and complicated, but actually there are tools like Weebly, for example. You can think of another one Lindsay straight off the top of your head, maybe. Thank you. [INTERPOSING VOICES] Say again? Squarespace. OK, fine. And you can find video tutorials of how to use Weebly, for example, and how to make a website. You can find tutorials on YouTube.
And then is it Squarespace? That’s what I just said. Squarespace, that’s it, yeah. Did you just say that? Yeah, I think it’s right, isn’t it? Yeah. Yeah. And so you can find tutorials of how to do it. And really, it doesn’t take very long. I mean, I am not a fantastically techie person and I made a website. So do that. Get a website, then you can put stuff there that people can visit and see and that will give you a toe in the market. Yeah, great. And then lastly, we talked about professional development. And of course you are all wonderful at professional development because you’ve made it to the end of this course for which are really grateful.
And we have shared some links with you - just some groups on social media that you might want to join to extend the discussion so you can ask people questions and join in chats about online teaching beyond this course. But I think this is the time for us to say thank you so much. You’ve been brilliant. You’ve been really great in the comments. So many of you have been saying how much you’ve learned from each other. And I think that is really fantastic. Absolutely. See you in another space, another time, everyone. Good luck. Bye. Bye.

We’ve reached the end of the course and, in this video, Lindsay and Marie Therese look back at some of the things we talked about this week and in previous weeks. The video will appear here on Friday 27th November 2020.

Useful lesson materials

Below are links to good quality lesson materials.

Peachey Publications (Nik Peachey)

Film English (Kieran Donaghy)

Lessonstream (Jamie Keddie)

Cambridge Assessment English kahoots

Further viewing

Here are some videos of webinars you might find useful:

Getting started with teaching English online

Using Cambridge English kahoots in online teaching and learning

Assessment for online learning

Teaching English online to young learners.

We also have webinars for teachers, covering everything from tips on preparing for Cambridge English Qualifications to career development. Cambridge English webinars and Facebook Live sessions are a great way for teachers to stay up to date with the latest developments and to interact with our experts.

Further reading

Below are books and articles that you may want to read in order to find out more about teaching English online.

Teaching Online by Nicky Hockly and Lindsay Clandfield

100 Ways to Teach Language Online by Shane Dixon, Justin Shewell and Jenny Crandell

How to Teach English Online and One-on-One Like a Pro

World of Better Learning blog by Cambridge University Press

How to get started as an online teacher of English by Emma Segev

Tips from experienced online teachers on planning and resources

Teaching with Zoom: A Guide for Complete Beginners by Keith Folse

Keep in touch through Social Media

Our Facebook page for teachers of English connects you to a community of over 320,000 teachers and educators, as well as offering a whole range of tips, videos, and tools to help you with your classroom teaching and your professional development.

Reach and Teach is another Facebook page which was created by Miguel, a participant who took part in the first run of this Teaching English Online Course.

Here’s a link to all of our social channels (as well as apps and games).

Information about doing a CELTA course

Fully online CELTA courses are now available. Click here to go to the Cambridge CELTA website

We have teaching qualifications for every kind of English language teacher, and courses and materials to help you manage your own professional development and improve your everyday teaching. Have a look at our professional development resources for teachers.

Preparing learners for their English language assessments

Visit Cambridge English Resources for Teachers for more online lesson plans to help you prepare learners for their exams: A1 Movers, A2 Flyers, A2 Key for Schools, B1 Preliminary for Schools, B2 First for Schools and C1 Advanced. Here’s a webinar on Digital resources to teach at home.

You can adapt exam preparation materials in the same way you would adapt other resources for online teaching. You can use your exam syllabus or coursebook to guide your lesson activities and supplement with online resources or learner-generated resources like images and vocabulary quizzes. Some exam preparation is better suited to independent study, for example doing a practice test, reading, or doing extended individual writing. You and your learners can use your online lessons to discuss difficult questions, share useful strategies and, for example, do collaborative work, speaking practice or group writing.

This week, here are two example lesson plans to help you prepare learners for their Cambridge exams in an online classroom:

Help us improve the course

We’re carrying out research to help improve the Teaching English Online course and to better understand the needs of teachers delivering or intending to deliver lessons online. We’d like to invite all learners on the course to take part in this optional survey. By taking part in this survey, you’ll help shape what future developments are made on the course and how Cambridge Assessment English will support teachers in delivering lessons online. We’ll use the findings to ensure our developmental efforts align with your needs.

The survey should take around 10 minutes and you can access it here.

Add your comments and questions below.

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