Note from Jack: Today we have a special guest post from TurksLearnEnglish.com. When Kris left a comment on one of my posts pointing back to his new website, I was immediately impressed with the design and the message.
Kris and his co-founder James have done a great job of finding a solution to a specific problem. The niche that they chose is one that they have experience with.
Talking with Kris about their initial success, it is obvious that their content resonates with their audience, and that they are doing a great job helping English learners from Turkey.
I hope you enjoy this post and get inspired by TurksLearnEnglish.com!
TurksLearnEnglish.com is delighted to craft our first guest article for Teaching ESL Online!
When we chat with educators considering whether to take a leap and begin teaching online, we often hear reservations. Will my private students really get the same value in an online setting? Will they really want to pay my full private rate for online classes?
We (TurksLearnEnglish.com) launched a site dedicated to conversation classes for Turkish speakers in May 2013. So far, we’ve found that the online experience can actually be more powerful than the in-person traditional English lesson.
For any teachers humming and hawing whether to take their business online, we present to you five barriers that are removed when teaching online:
1: Kill the commute:
As urbanization grows across the world, the commutes in many of the world’s largest cities can be hellish. Many students learning English as a second language are also young professionals working long hours.
If a young professional leaves work at 6:00 pm they may not arrive to a centrally located language school until 7:30pm.
Three hours of class later and they are lucky to arrive home by midnight. This cycle is not sustainable. Offering online classes in large cities removes hours of unnecessary travel time. In rural or remote areas, you are offering a service that is simply not available in person.
2: Focus on conversation
Most adult students do not need another grammar lesson; they need communication confidence. As any online teacher knows, the virtual world is a great platform for developing language communication ability.
When a student pops on their headphones, they are able to focus with concentration that is rarely seen in a physical classroom. Better yet, the online classroom does not inhibit students in the way that a traditional classroom does.
Fewer students and the webcam somehow boost a student’s willingness to take risks and make the mistakes every learner needs to advance in a language.
3: Between classes
Video self-study lessons for outside of classroom reading and listening are extremely powerful. These video lessons can enrich your students’ experience and provide them with an additional way of connecting with you as a teacher.
At TurksLearnEnglish.com we’ve created a series of videos called İngilizce Dersleri where we read current event articles related to Turkey and introduce new vocabulary. So far they are a big hit with our students.
4: Location flexibility
Your students likely travel. If they are working in a competitive field, sometimes they’ll have to travel without much notice. Even if they don’t travel, they often have to stay late at work and do not have time to get away to an 8pm class.
We’ve all seen this in the past; a busy student misses two weeks of class in a row and suddenly drops off, partly due to embarrassment. Online lessons give your students they ability to stay up to speed with their lessons even if they need to skip town for a week or work late.
5: Additional tools
There are many things that can be done online that cannot be replicated in the real classroom. Running games and quizzes using pre-developed lesson plans and screen sharing is more natural online and can be great for motivation. Using the chat function to help a student while conversing is also a great tool.
Recording lessons can also be powerful. We’ve found that many of our students like to go back to lessons they found challenging and review them.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our story. We would love to hear your thoughts!
James and Kris are co-founders of TurksLearnEnglish, a site dedicated to getting Turkish speakers to build communication confidence. For any online educators out there, feel free to take a look at and use our online-self study videos in our İngilizce Dersleri library. You can get in touch with them through the contact form on our site or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to Have Something Similar to Kris and James?
Learn how to create your own site here, and sign up below to get free resources, blog updates, and information about my new guide.