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young student learning English - how to make learning english interesting.

Learning another language online is no walk in the park.

Imagine how daunting it can be for students in the classroom, let alone online. Chances are they might be nervous, frustrated or intimidated without the same real-world interaction.

That’s why being engaging and infusing a little creativity into your online lesson is essential in helping them learn better.

Having fun should be a priority so that your students stay stimulated and can soak it all up.

Plus, if you know how to make your English lessons fun and engaging, you will have a fully booked teaching schedule. Simple as that!

So, the question is, how do you make teaching English interesting and fun at the same time?

Let’s explore some of these ideas together in more detail below.

woman teaching online at home - how to make teaching english interesting.

Get to know your student.

The first tip to making English fun is to get to know your students. Getting to know your student on a human-level is likely the most essential tip.

It’s key to ask yourself:

  • Why is this student learning English?
  • What are the students’ interests or hobbies?

Answer these questions for each student and you’ll be on the right track. This sets the foundation for every lesson.

Personalizing the lesson for them is a surefire way to get them more excited to learn.

But let’s unpack this a little more of this with a few bonus tips for getting to know your students better.

Set a target or a goal.

Find out what motivates your students to learn English.

Does the student want to study in the USA one day? Do they need to learn English as a second language for school? Once you understand why your student is learning English, it will be much easier to guide them.

In each lesson, ask yourself: What is the aim of the lesson?

Be sure that you have a measurable goal so you and your student can celebrate once you achieve it. For example, learning to talk about one’s family in the present tense is a good example of a common goal.

Often with children and sometimes adults, the student won’t have a clear goal. That’s okay.

Learning another language is bound to open up opportunities for them.

Relate your lesson to your student.

If someone doesn’t like to read in their native language, they won’t enjoy reading in English. At times, it may be necessary to read a text, but don’t focus on this area.

Instead, if your student enjoys traveling, teach them vocabulary about travel. You could role-play checking into a hotel or ordering at a restaurant.

By the way, we have a great blog post that lists free resources for lesson planning if you’re ever in need!

If you are still unsure about lesson planning, the great news is that many online teaching companies do the lesson planning for you.

There some amazing companies out there like VIPKID or QKIDS who actually provide all lesson plans. All you have to do is follow them!

Even if you are not lesson planning, it’s still as important to know your students and their motivation.

young student learning English online -how to make teaching english interesting.

Make the lesson interactive by using props and telling stories.

If you’re want to know how to make learning English fun for kids, the simple answer is props and storylines.

Props can make a lesson much more enjoyable. And, to top it off a fun narrative to go along with your props can really spice up your lesson.

There are props all around you. Your coffee mug, notebook, a map, and even your pet could all be props for your lesson.

Many times, your student is not going to understand the vocabulary you use. Especially when you introduce new vocabulary. This is when props come in handy.

Your student will understand the word “notebook,” if you hold up a notebook in the camera.

If you are teaching young learners (and adults!), be ready for the student to show off their “props” as well. It’s fun for them to show what they have and give it a new name in English.

With props, you can also incorporate role-play in your lesson. Role-play is especially helpful for adults that need to prepare for everyday situations.

Examples of role-playing and props you could use:

  • Ordering at a restaurant.
    • Props: Food, menu and silverware.
  • Scheduling a doctor’s appointment.
    • Props: paper, pen and phone.
  • Talking about family and friends.
    • Props: pictures.

These are just a few ideas on how to increase engagement in your online classroom. Don’t be afraid to get creative and crafty on your own!

online English teacher - how to make teaching english interesting.

Be mindful of body language and play with the tone of your voice.

Remember that teacher who spoke in a monotone voice and read straight from the textbook? Bet you couldn’t wait for that class to be over.

Now, imagine if that teacher spoke a foreign language you didn’t understand. How much would you absorb?

Nonverbal communication is fundamental when communicating.

Keep lessons exciting by using different inflections in your voice. Show enthusiasm or confusion through facial expressions.

Are you teaching emotions? Act out those emotions and encourage students to do the same. This will make your lesson much more memorable.

If you’re teaching an adult, that may sound childish. You don’t need to go so extreme, but showing enthusiasm will go a long way.

Gestures are also important for students to learn. They have different meanings depending on the country and culture. Be mindful of cultural differences, so you don’t offend.

As you can see, showing nonverbal communication will spice up the lesson. It’s true, “it’s not about what you say, but how you say it.”

woman teaching English online - how to make teaching english interesting.

Reward the student and play games.

As humans, we love to see our progress. It’s motivating and fun.

Think about ways you can reward students for doing well in class. Consider the age-level and interests of the student when choosing a reward.

  • For younger students, it could be as simple as giving them high fives and gold stars.
  • For older students or adults, be sure to praise them often too.

Games are also a rewarding way to learn English. There are many classroom ESL games that you can translate into online learning.

“Simon says” is always among one of the favorites for younger students. While older students may prefer games focused on grammar or pronunciation.

Don’t take it so seriously. Have fun!

Who said learning the English language can’t be fun? If you are having fun teaching, odds are your student will too.

Students having fun will have more energy and will talk more in class, which will make it easier for them to learn and help them pick up the language faster.

When you first meet your student, be friendly and encouraging.

Meeting a stranger in a different language can be intimidating. Communicate that it’s okay to make mistakes and be sure to ask questions.

If you’re teaching adults, this is especially important. Adults are often more ashamed to make mistakes. Remind them if they don’t make mistakes, they won’t learn.

woman teaching English on laptop outside: how to make teaching english interesting.

Are you ready to have fun and engaging English lessons?

To recap, here’s how you can make learning English enjoyable for your learners:

  1. Get to know your student.

Following these tips will not only increase student engagement but make your classes interesting.

Whether you’re teaching English to kids or adults, these strategies can help make your ESL classroom a great place to learn.

And for more help, we have a self-paced course that will support you further. It’s designed to prepare you for the fantastic world of online teaching!

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