Teaching online has become the best option, since the 2020 Coronavirus event. Some have embraced it, but others are still struggling with teaching and being instructed remotely. Nevertheless, there are countless advantages to teaching online- being one of them the guarantee of not having to interrupt instruction due to severe restrictions halfway through the course. And even when things go back to normality, teaching online will remain a Valuable option: no need to waste time in commuting as lessons are imparted in the comfort of one’s home.
Nonetheless, the way language lessons were conveyed must be upgraded, and the application of coaching principles to teaching becomes commendable.
Teachers can no longer be at the centre of the teaching/learning process. Instruction must stop being a one-way communication where the teacher-the bearer of the knowledge acquired through study and experience- imparts this knowledge little by little, to one or more students.
Previously, the teacher used to introduce new topics to learners of which they did not have previous knowledge. The goal was to present new concepts in an easy manner that will allow them to digest it easily.
Generally, they followed a curriculum which must be completed in a certain amount of time. The students were tested regularly to assure that the concepts were understood. The person responsible for the change in the students was mainly the teacher.
With online instruction, teachers must share the learning responsibility with the student and be a facilitator. Teachers should favour learners’ autonomy and encourage them to share their preferences. The teachers should cultivate more their listening abilities to understand the requirements of the students and be the instrument for their realisation.
Language teachers should incorporate the coaching approach to their teaching.
When using different coaching techniques, it gives an extra layer of support and increases the efficacy of the language learning process in this context.
The teachers’ aim should be to empower the learners
The teachers’ aim should be to empower the learners and increase their abilities so that they succeed on their learning path. Hence the need for teachers to adapt easily to the students’ requirements so that the session is personalised. What is discussed in the sessions must have immediate application in the real world.
An effective way of promoting autonomy is by highlighting what students must do outside the regular sessions to advance in their language journey, as well as helping them build their language skills. Students should be made aware of the study techniques and be in the know that language learning takes time and effort and most importantly consistency.
The teacher should point out that creating a routine and incorporating the language into day-to-day life is important.
Planning language daily activities will guaranty success, because by creating a routine, avoidance will be less likely. Teacher will recommend good quality learning materials that match students’ level and are adapted to their needs and interests.
Learners should be encouraged to be open to novel experiences that will ease their language journey. This will help obtain the success they crave learning this new language.
It’s commendable to include a different activity each day and especially recreational ones - things that they enjoy doing in their free time- like watching a film, listening to music, chatting to friends. All these in the language that they are studying.
The ideal time for language learning activities is the morning.
If you able to do so, morning language activities are ideal because it is when the brain is at its full capacity to learn new things.
Teachers should also help students keep motivated by assessing their mindset and discovering whatever it is that is hindering their progress. This can be done through careful compassionate questioning and active listening.
Students mindset is assessed through careful compassionate questioning and active listening.
The coaching approach helps students change their perception of themselves as well as the strategies they use to acquire knowledge. They learn to take responsibility for their learning and progress, and they develop the conviction that they can achieve their goals. Changes will then happen as they progress which will strengthen their commitment to plans made during the sessions.
The teacher’s role is to help students discover the new language by creating meaningful activities that will encourage students’ autonomy and resourcefulness while guiding them through their mistakes to the accomplishment of their goals.
Online language teaching is here to stay, and this is its future.