How to get the best out of your online English lessons
Updated: Apr 17, 2019
Are you learning English as a second language and want to improve at a rapid pace?
Regular online English conversation classes can help you speak English fluently in record time. You can converse with a native English speaker from the comfort of your own home using Skype or other online platforms. As an online ESL teacher myself, I have seen first-hand the benefits of online language classes.
However, some make use of the classes better than others. It is not everyone who benefits considerably from online teaching. This article will help you get the best out of your online English lessons.
1. Be prepared. It is important to prepare yourself mentally and with the appropriate materials. Whether the class is 25, 40 or 60 minutes, it is important to know what is expected during that period of time. Do you want to have a general conversation? Have some topics in mind to discuss. Do you want to read an article? Open the article before the class and be ready to share it with your teacher. Do you want to practice IELTS speaking part 1? Have an IELTS web page open ready before the class. Do you want your teacher to proofread your essay? Have the essay in a readable format to send to your tutor. I believe that preparation goes both ways, both the tutor and the student should be prepared to start on time and to jump right into the lesson.
2. Be enthusiastic. There is nothing more off-putting to a teacher than a bored or unenthusiastic student. Teachers are humans too and they also want to feel that their lessons are worthwhile. One lesson is just a small portion of your day and it might be the last thing you do before sleeping or the first thing when you wake up but it is both your time and money being spent so it is always better to start with as much momentum as you can muster.
3. Ask for correction and receive it well. Every student is different and although some may ask for correction, not everyone is willing to receive it. Let’s face it, everyone has a hard time admitting they are wrong. It is a known fact that children learn languages quicker than adults because of their humble and teachable attitudes. If you want to master the English language quicker, allow your mistakes to be noted and do your best to work on your weaknesses.
4. Review the class. After each class, I would hope that you would’ve learned a new phrase or two, a couple of new words and heard some intonations to memorise. The best way to store this information in your long-term memory is to go over what you have learnt and record it in a notebook set aside for the purpose of English learning. A couple of minutes before your next class, have another check over what you wrote from the previous lesson so you don’t repeat old mistakes.
5. Have a goal in mind. What is the purpose of you learning English? Is it to travel to English speaking countries? Do you want to study abroad? Do you want to speak English for work and business? Depending on your purpose, it is good to establish some goals as to where you would like to be in 3 or 6 months’ time. You can discuss these ambitions with your tutor and they may suggest some useful material to use. If you are too general with what you want to achieve, you may have hundreds of lessons but not see the advancement you want.
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