Teaching English language to overseas students is a skill that is constantly evolving. Technology is improving all the time, and the latest innovations are transforming the way teachers impart their knowledge to their students. TEFL is becoming more and more advanced thanks to cutting-edge technology, and not only that, but it’s becoming increasingly widespread. TEFL professionals can now choose; Teach English in China, South Korea, Japan and other Asian countries, or even closer to home in Europe without ever having to leave their own front rooms!
There are over 5 billion internet users around the globe. That raises a lot of possibilities for TEFL professionals who want their learners to enjoy the best possible educational experience no matter where they live on the planet. It’s now common practice for teachers to harness the power of the latest developments to make learning English as fun, interactive, and engaging as possible.
Using Digital Platforms
Digital platforms aren’t just a fun and exciting way for people to entertain themselves at home. They’re also a valuable educational tool. The latest platforms can create safe online environments in which students and teachers can connect. Google Docs and other similar cloud-based tools are now indispensable, facilitating collaborative projects with ease.
Using Online Corpora
At one time, only lexicographers could use corpora – large collections of texts used to study linguistic frequencies and structures. Now, though, they’re available online, often for free, giving TEFL teachers the opportunity to access information about how language is used. Corpora give teachers a valuable resource to refer to when answering students’ complex linguistic questions, ensuring that their learning is accurate and correct.
Discovering Global Staffrooms
Gone are the days when TEFL professionals often worked in isolation. Today, they can enter a global staffroom and forge relationships with online likeminded communities. ELT blogging, Twitter, and other internet forums have created networks of professionals who are able to offer ideas, support, and advice to each other.
Harnessing The Power Of Mobile Devices
Both teachers and students alike can benefit from the rise of the smartphone. Mobile devices have opened up English language education to countless more learners who can now study at a time and place to suit their needs from the palm of their hands. Meanwhile, teachers can simply pick up their mobile and listen to industry podcasts, attend webinars, or watch videos about English language teacher to inform their practice wherever they may be.
Being able to communicate with others online through tools like Skype has revolutionised the way in which English language teaching is being delivered. Not only do these tools allow students and teachers to engage in real-time with each other from different physical locations, but they also include a host of useful functions such as screen-sharing that facilitate engagement and interactive learning.
The first interactive whiteboards first appeared in physical classrooms around twenty years ago, but today they’re in common usage. In fact, not only are these incredible resources available for those who attend in-person lessons, but they’ve also moved into the online arena. Now, teachers can access online interactive whiteboards that enable students and teachers to work together on a project in real-time, making learning English a truly engaging experience that learners can physically participate in.
Video Software Tools
An interesting technological development that is proving useful for those who are teaching and learning English as a foreign language is the use of video software. Video clips can provide helpful and detailed guidelines to direct students in how to correctly move their jaws and tongues to produce specific sounds. Thanks to the ability to play, pause, and repeat speed recordings, learners can progress at a pace to suit their needs, while some technologies in use today even give feedback to learners to analyse their speech after making recordings.
Utilising Grammar Technology
Grammar isn’t the most exciting element of language learning, but it’s certainly a crucial one. TEFL professionals are finding that the use of apps like FluentU are invaluable in enhancing their students’ learning experience through the provision of fun and meaningful grammar-focused activities. Equipped with spell-checkers to check everything automatically that the student has typed, this technology allows errors to be spotted and fixed quickly, thus enabling learners to see immediately where they have made mistakes while reinforcing the correct answers.
When thinking of technologies that can be harnessed to facilitate the effective learning of English language, online games probably don’t come to mind immediately. Yet, online gaming can go far beyond simple entertainment. Learners of all ages respond well to the gamification of their education, since the interactive and engaging approach encourages and rewards learners for solving problems, answering questions and completing missions while developing new skills, gaining new knowledge and consolidating their learning at the same time. The Grammar of Doom is just one popular adventure-style game that allows learners to enhance their English grammar skills while solving puzzles that use their knowledge to progress to the next level.
Technology – The Future Of TEFL
If there’s one thing that everyone can be confident of, it’s that technology will have a key part to play in everyone’s future, regardless of their global location and line of work. When it comes to education, though, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that teachers must learn to adapt to and adopt the latest advances in order to offer the best possible learning experiences for their students.
In no area of education does that hold more true than in TEFL. With many TEFL professionals now working remotely, often living thousands of miles away from their students, technology has never been more vital, and teachers must be willing and able to capitalise on the potential that it offers to improve their lessons and enable their students to achieve their learning goals. As we move forward, technology will play a larger and larger part in all our lives, and the best TEFL teachers will be fully harnessing its power and delivering outstanding lessons to learners around the globe.