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In this discussion, we will talk about five techniques that can be used when teaching English online. We will also answer why each of these techniques are important and what are some practical ways we can implement them. 1. Total Physical Response (TPR) a. What is it? It is a method of teaching language or vocabulary concepts by using physical movement to react to verbal input. b. Why is it important? The process mimics the way that infants learn their first language, and it reduces student inhibitions and lowers stress. It also creates a brain link between speech and action to boost language and vocabulary learning. c. How to do it? Have the students mimic the same gestures, facial expressions, or body movement modeled by the teacher. Then ask them to say the word as they are making the movement. A simple game of “Simon says,” is a good starting point to use TPR when teaching. 2. Not using a “one-size-fits-all” approach a. What is it? The thinking that all students learn at the same pace by using the same technique and that the outcome should be that all students are at the same level. b. Why is it Important? Unfortunately, many educational programs implement this technique with their students (ex. using textbooks as their only and main source of teaching) Even if one’s students are of the same age and of the same background this does not automatically mean that they will understand the lesson. Each individual student is different in his/her way of processing new information. c. How to do it? Adjust to the understanding of each individual student. Do research into your learner’s unique background and ultimate goals. For example, take a survey prior to the start of the course to get a better idea of their background and then, based on that information, go from there. 3. Take advantage of the different tools technology offers you. a. What is it? Using the vast resources that are at your disposal to help enhance your student’s learning. b. Why is it important? By having multiple tools to use when teaching, it not only helps your students to get a more well-rounded scope of the English language, but also combats boredom and keeps things interesting and lively. c. How to do it? Watch a video or participate in online discussion forums. Read an article and discuss the context or create projects by using programs that are available to you. 4. Think before you write a. What is it? Being conscientious, not only of what you write, but also how you write it. b. Why is it important? It’s well known that written text can be left open to interpretation or misinterpretation at any time. It’s crucial to craft well thought out responses and posts to others. c. How to do it? When crafting responses to assignments and other evaluations, the best tone to use is a simple, clear, and polite one. As these responses are all your students have to go off of in regards to feedback, you need to leave nothing open for interpretation. 5. Ask for feedback a. What is it? Asking your students for honest and constructive comments on how you, as a teacher, can improve. b. Why is it important? It is said; “the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.” This certainly applies to us as teachers, especially if we are not seeing progress with our students. There may be a need for us to change our approach in our teaching method. c. How to do it? Sometime around the 2nd or 3rd week, you should ask your students for direct and honest feedback on how things are going. This feedback should cover everything from content to teaching methods, and request any areas requiring improvement. The best way to achieve this is in a somewhat formal tone.