10 routines for teaching online – #9 A language pause

by / Wednesday, 16 September 2020 / Published in Instruction, Routines

englishThere are times when you have to work with students and introduce new terminology and new concepts. Sometimes, there are many new items to learn all within the course of a class or two.

Your students can get very easily overwhelmed, not just with the new content, but with the language. Remember, they might not admit it, but, there’s a lot of vocabulary in English that will be challenging for them. First, they are learners, then English as a Second language learners. You need to address this as best you can.

The good news is: there’s a very simple routine you can do to address this.

Every other week, take 15 minutes of class time to pause and have your students reflect about and act on their language ability. Is there vocabulary that they don’t know? Are they having trouble explaining things in English? What strategies are they using to acquire the new vocabulary at an accelerated pace? Do they have an English study partner or do they need one? Are they taking language classes? Are they using apps or the internet to increase their linguistic power?

clock-15mins_1_largeYou could also use the 15 minutes to have students design mini-quizzes for vocabulary recall. Perhaps there is a flashcard database they can use as a group, and add words and their translations or the word defined and used in context.

Whatever you do, it’s worth devoting a small amount of time in your instruction to have students reflect on how they are doing working in English.

This is a new series of tips for teaching online. This series focuses on the small things, in this case, small routines that you can, and should, easily incorporate into your every day instruction online. These routines address student motivation, participation, and metacognitive training leading to higher order thinking skills that focus on the conceptual and metacognitive knowledge dimensions from Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001).

Previous posts in this series include:

#10 Reflection

Tagged under: