Online Language Teaching

A Head of Department writes:

The sort of thing that has worked for me in online teaching is :

  1. Using Microsoft Teams and creating a team for each class where I can chat with students in the target language
  2. Keeping and sharing with studets a lesson diary where I make a note of the key tasks and resources for each lesson
  3. Starting each lesson with a conference call to do a speaking activity – takes a little time, but well worth it for that personal contact and opportunity for the students to speak and hear the language
  4. Setting just two or three core tasks for each lesson using the assignments function, making instructions as explicit as possible, getting students to hand them in, and giving brief feedback without marking everything.
  5. Making the most of sites such as Yabla, Active Learn and ThisisLanguage to set independent listening tasks which are automatically marked (some are currently free).
  6. Signing up to all the incredible free CPD on offer via webinar.
  7. Being a member of ALL, Secondary MFL matters, ISMLA and following the MFL Twitterati on Twitter has given me access to a wealth of great resources which have saved a huge amount of time.

I have found these things less effective 

  1. Trying to keep up with all the great ideas suggested by fellow teachers – it’s much better for me if I focus on what I know how to do and gradually adopt new things as I gain in confidence
  2. Trying to take in and mark everything – I now try to mark just what I would normally mark and give short feedback on tasks we would have gone through together in class
  3. Speaking activities remain a challenge – I’m looking forward to trying out Sanako Connect as I think this will be really useful for pairwork and groupwork.

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