UPDATED 27 MAY 2020
The British Council is committed to supporting the use of technology for the continuation of education in a crisis. As many teachers find themselves in an unfamiliar situation of having to teach their classes online, with little or no experience, the British Council TeachingEnglish website is committed to providing as much support as possible to help you navigate your way through the world of online teaching.
Below is a list of initiatives that we are currently providing, or planning to provide in the coming weeks.
We have been running a series of webinars specifically for teachers and teacher educators working online, with further webinars planned. These are held in Zoom or Microsoft Teams with a capacity of 1,000. Please visit our webinar pages for more information.
The first, on Friday 20 March, looked at 'ways of using your coursebook with online classes' and 'ideas for using breakout rooms'. You can watch a recording of this webinar, and download the presentations and extra materials.
03 June 2020 | 12:00pm UK time: Own-language use in the language classroom: why, when, and how?
In this webinar, Graham Hall explores the ways in which use of the learners' own language(s) can support learning in the classroom - both face-to-face, and, of course, online.
Previous webinars in this series
- Teaching online - ways of using your coursebook with online classes' and ideas for using breakout rooms (recording)
- Teaching online - what to do if the technology fails and structuring lessons (recording)
- Teaching online - tech tools and the tutor's role (recording)
- Teaching online - supporting and mentoring teachers remotely (recording)
- Online teaching and Young Learners - Making the most of the situation (recording)
- Simple Teaching Ideas for Online Classes with Primary Children (recording)
- Creative activities for language learners at home (recording)
- The challenges of remote learning through online classrooms and resource hubs (recording)
- Teaching live English lessons online (recording)
We also recommend the following two webinars from our monthly series:
- Gabriela Kaplan & Graham Stanley - What makes a good remote teacher
- Joshua Underwood - Using Voice and AI assistants for language learning
Online support sessions (Facebook Live)
Join us on 2 June 2020 at 12:00pm UK time for a 30-minute Facebook Live with Kamini Taneja, Hala Ahmed and Kirsteen Donaghy discussing your questions about creating your own content for remote teaching.
Given the large number of educators attending webinars, we understand that not everyone will have all their questions answered. For that reason, we have scheduled a number of online support sessions to support teachers and teacher educators, who are working in an online teaching context with little or no experience.
These online sessions will take place on our TeachingEnglish Facebook page. They will give teachers and teacher educators an opportunity to discuss themed issues they may be having with online teaching or management, and get advice from online teaching experts, as well as from colleagues around the world. See a schedule of our support clinics below and visit our Facebook page regularly for more detailed updates:
- Focusing on skills work in remote teaching. Watch the recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 21 April 2020)
- Planning effective lessons for synchronous remote teaching. Watch the recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 28 April 2020)
- Assessment in remote teaching contexts. Watch the recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 5 May 2020)
- Managing interaction and motivation in remote teaching. Watch a recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 12 May 2020)
- Teacher wellbeing. Watch a recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 19 May 2020)
- Teaching remotely with limited connectivity. Watch a recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 26 May 2020)
Online support for teacher educators
We apologise, but unfortunately the Q&A session with Beth Caldwell and Neenaz Ichaporia planned for Friday 15 May as a follow up to their Webinar on Supporting and Mentoring Teachers Remotely has been cancelled for the moment. If you are involved in supporting and training other teachers, join the teacher educator online community for help during the pandemic and for professional development ideas and resources.
The majority of our lesson plans are for face-to-face classroom use. However, we are currently adapting a number of our lessons for use in online classrooms.
The teachers' notes include general guidance about teaching online, as well as step-by-step activities and a variety of options depending on the platform you are using. The online class materials are available as a PDF version of a PowerPoint presentation. Over the coming weeks and months, we will be adapting more lessons to an online teaching context for all ages and levels.
A list of these will be provided below as they are completed.
For older secondary and adult students
- The benefits of being bilingual (CEF level B2+)
- Foreign words used in English (CEF level B2)
- Multicultural UK (CEF level B1+)
For secondary students
- Creativity and Innovation (CEF level B2+)
- Out of time (CEF level A2/B1)
- English is GREAT (CEF level B1+)
- Chocolate (CEF level A2/B1)
- Snack culture (CEF level B1+)
For primary students
- What's the weather like? (pre-intermediate level)
- The English at home treasure hunt (beginner level)
- My sea creature (beginner level)
- Clothes (beginner level)
- Food I like/don't like (beginner level)
Professional development and guidance
Our professional development sections for both teachers and teacher educators provide hundreds of resources, including articles, video tips, webinar recordings and publications to support your career development. We are also running all three of our Teaching for Success MOOCs via the FutureLearn platform, as well a number of other online training courses. Visit our training pages to see what is currently available and also the British Council page on FutureLearn
Remote teaching tip series
The Remote Teaching Tips series provides practical ideas and guidance for teachers supporting their learners using a variety of platforms and approaches, across different contexts. We currently have guidance to help you in the following areas:
- Maintaining student motivation while teaching remotely
- Managing teacher well-being while teaching remotely
- Teaching English via TV or YouTube
- Virtual field trips to support English teaching online
- Getting started with online teaching
- Using your coursebook to teach remotely
- Top tips for using Zoom to teach English online
- Inclusion in remote teaching contexts
- Teaching remotely with limited technology: Getting started
- Teaching English via SMS
- Teaching English via telephone calls
- Using mobile messenger apps to teach English remotely
- Using Facebook to teach English remotely
- Online lessons: a menu of ideas
- Assessing learners online: assessment criteria
- Assessing learners online: noticing, self-checking and online quizzes
- Keeping your learners safe online
- Helping parents and caregivers to support remote learning at home
- Supporting your child to learn remotely at home
- Six tips for running online courses - Kirsteen Donaghy (available on the British Council Voices magazine)
- How to prepare teachers to teach online - Paul Braddock (available on the British Council Voices magazine)
- Five tips for teachers who have taken their classes online - Tim Phillips (available on the British Council Voices magazine)
- Gavin Dudeney & Nicky Hockly - Teaching online
- Delina Moobin - Online video in ELT
- Kieran Donaghy - Short and sweet: Using short films to promote creativity and communication
- Sam Shepherd - Designing a WWW reading task
Our Facebook page and teacher community are an excellent way to find resources from a wide range of sources, and attend Facebook Live sessions to help you with your professional development. Join our community and share ideas for online teaching and ways of managing your work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
See our blog topics for April-June, which focus on teaching and teacher education for online delivery. These will all be available in the Magazine within our Integrating ICT section of the website over the next three months and add to a large and varied collection of blog posts, written by teachers and teacher educators all over the world. You can read all of our blog posts by visiting the Magazine in the different professional development sections (professional practices) for teachers.
Some of the posts below are not written exclusively for teaching online, but will give you some ideas about activities and techniques you can adapt for an online teaching context
Read our latest post by Larry Ferlazzo: Four questions - and answers - about teaching English online
'There are so many challenges facing us as we move to teaching our students online. And, since this situation is likely to be with us for quite a while, what are some ways to overcome them?'
- Sandy Millin - Using podcasts to develop listening skills
- Fabiana Casella - Online safety
- Nelson Arditto - Online learning communities
- Larry Ferlazzo: Ideas for strengthening English skills over the summer (can be applied to asynchronous learning at any time)
- Amin Neghavati - Digital tools for giving feedback
- ljwood99 - Technology to reach more students more often
- Larry Ferlazzo - Four questions to ask before using an Ed Tech tool
- Leite Monteiro - Motivation and e-learning - personal reflections
- Lizzie Pinard - Innovation in education: looking for learning
- ljwood99 - Empower students with flipped, cooperative learning
Please check this page regularly to see updates about the resources and initiatives we are developing to support you in these difficult times.
We hope these suggestions help at this challenging time, and you may find these become new English learning habits even after the world goes back to normal.
Take care and best wishes,
The TeachingEnglish team