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Six golden rules for successfully surviving an online lesson

If you have found yourself abruptly transported to an online educational context, I would like to give you some free tips from my own ten-year experience as an online University teacher:

1. Breathe deeply and relax

It is not as difficult as it seems.

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Global Issues

Our curriculum does not always include texts and exercises connected to global issues, simply because Life itself brings in unexpected topics faster than any new textbook may be compiled. Sure, such themes as climate change or a healthy way of life or dysfunctional families, to name but a few, have been discussion staples for quite a long time. Students of any age would ask all sorts of questions within and without our lesson plan or erupt into hot disputes on anything.

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Change the pace of your lessons in 5 minutes

In addition to these key elements, a well-staged lesson plan needs to include warmers to bring students into the topic and fillers in case you find yourself a few minute short at the end of the lesson. So, this post is for the teachers who need 5-minute activities to integrate into their lesson plans.

1. Imaginary Map

This speaking game works brilliantly as an ice-breaker and engages students on their first day at school. It can also be used at any point in the lesson to energize students. It is suitable for all levels and no preparation is needed.

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Three great no-prep 'filler' ideas

One of the things that novice teachers struggle with is timing. I’m often asked ‘How do you make your lessons finish exactly on time?’. The key, of course, is not in knowing exactly how long everything will take when you are planning – no one can know this – but in keeping an eye on the time as you go along and having a couple of activities up your sleeve to usefully fill up a few spare minutes at the end of class…and I DON’T mean playing Hangman!

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Post Covid-19: Teaching Adaptations

Meeting the academic grade-level is quite difficult as the entire year has witnessed the loss of learning, as well as the "zeal and zest" of motivation. Problems are numerous: ranging from lack of internet and human connection, unavailability of resources and personalized teaching, to lack of guidance and collaboration. 

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My fantastic five minute activities

These  activities can be done at the beginning or the end of the class. They can be used to pep up sagging interest. Any topic can be introduced and revised, any concept revisited and strengthened. They can be done as individual, pair or group work.  They are sure short energisers as I have experienced with my students.

I have posts on these 5 Minute Activities in my blog Akila's English Class, which I started during last year’s pandemic.

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Planning an Online Lesson

I have been writing e-lessons for English-to-Go and many other virtual and paper publications since the 1990’s. The past year has shown me as a teacher trainer/instructor/author that today’s online teaching and learning are vastly different from everything I knew previously. I summarized the questions and requests from my colleagues to the best of my abilities, added my own recent experiences with webinars and conferences both as participant and coordinator. Here they come.

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