By Kelli Drummer-Avendano
Due to the rapid transition to remote teaching that many institutions were forced to make, most instructors had little to no preparation beforehand. If you found yourself in that situation, you probably felt as if you were suddenly a first-year teacher again, just trying to keep your head above water and your students engaged. By watching the webinar, Let Your L2 Students Reach Out to You: Taking Advantage of Remote Teaching and Fostering Authentic Exchange, you’ll learn how remote teaching can be an ally in achieving the ultimate goal of oral proficiency.
One of the keys to leveraging remote learning is recognizing the unique opportunity it provides, especially when it comes to honing speaking skills. Students get the chance to share on a more personal level about their home, family, and interests in a way that isn’t possible in a traditional face-to-face setting. Additionally, when students are all in different environments, authentic topics of conversation present themselves more naturally. However, if you feel that some students are uncomfortable sharing private information about their lives, be sure the option of creating a persona or imaginary experience is also an option.
Another positive aspect of the remote environment is that students tend to feel more relaxed in their home settings. This sense of ease could mean they’re more likely to participate orally, which is easily the most nerve-wracking activity for language learners. In a traditional classroom, it’s possible for some students to blend in and not take risks, but that’s much harder to do with remote learning because it places more individual responsibility on each student.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the newness of teaching language online, but by focusing on the ultimate goal of proficiency, you avoid the stress of trying to implement too many tech tools at once. Furthermore, by concentrating on the benefits you can employ the uniqueness of each student’s situation to practice vocabulary and grammar skills in a more authentic way.