One of the main concerns of many training centers and language schools is how to enhance interaction in virtual classrooms with their online students. An efficient use of virtual classrooms can solve this problem and provide an added level of confidence to those students who still have reservations about a 100% online course.
We are lucky enough to be living in an increasingly globalised world. This means that more and more employers are expecting their employees to be able to speak a second or even third language. Having an additional language is becoming an even more valuable feature to be able to offer in the job market.
The growth of the eLearning industry means that many people are turning to the internet to learn new language skills. Online language learning can be extremely effective. Not only do virtual language courses offer individuals the chance to engage in personal development, it can also be a real boost for their future employment prospects.
In the past, some potential students may have been put off virtual language courses due to the perceived lack of person to person teaching. Luckily, this is changing, and hundreds of thousands of students have come around to just how beneficial online language learning can be.
This thanks, in no small part, to the many successful language schools who have chosen to use a digital learning platform to take their language courses to the internet. This can massively increase their potential market, and allow them to significantly increase their income possibilities.
One of the reasons that virtual language courses have been seen as a less attractive option in the past is due to the less personal service they once offered. Luckily, this is no longer the case.
Many virtual language courses now offer all the same benefits of a traditional classroom-based course, but with the added benefit that it can be done in your own home. The students who are enrolled on these courses are invited to interact with their teachers and their peers through virtual classrooms, which can be every bit as engaging as a physical one.
Why are student interventions important in language teaching?
It’s important for language teachers to offer student interventions for students who are finding it difficult to engage with the learning material.
Timely interventions can prevent undesirable outcomes such as:
- Students falling behind
- Students dropping out of courses
- Students achieving poor assessment or examination results
- Students failing to engage with the course material or their fellow students.
Is it possible for teachers to offer valuable interventions in a virtual classrooms?
In order for teachers to offer valuable teaching experienced via a digital learning platform and virtual classroom, they need to be prepared to learn new skills and methods.
However, once they have a strong grasp on how their new digital educational tools work, there is absolutely no reason why they wouldn’t be able to offer interventions that are just as engaging and effective as in a more traditional classroom environment.
In order to manage these effective online language learning student interventions within virtual classrooms, teachers may wish to:
Offer regular opportunities for communication
Setting regular ‘office hour’ time slots where students know they can log in to the virtual classroom and discuss any issues and problems in real time can be extremely valuable. Though it is certainly a major benefit of virtual language courses for students to be able to engage with the online language learning material at a time that suits them, ensuring there are lots of opportunities for one-to-one conversations is also vital.
Keep a close eye on the data dashboard offered by your digital learning platform
A good quality digital learning platform will offer a data dashboard which will enable teachers to closely and accurately monitor student progress. This is excellent in terms of student interventions as it will quickly flag up any students that are having a problem.
Experiment with working with different sized groups
Virtual classrooms are extremely versatile. Teachers can use them to work with the entire cohort of virtual language courses at once, or they can use them as spaces to work with individuals or small groups.
Exploring and experimenting with the benefits of different sized groups can be a great way to manage student interventions. Intervening with students one-and-one can often be very beneficial, but so can working with a group of students who are all struggling in the same or similar areas.
Use the virtual classrooms to set up a mentoring scheme
Many online language learning teachers have found success in using their virtual classrooms as spaces to pair up students in a mentoring arrangement. This can work both ways, as you can pair up students to work together who have opposite strengths and weaknesses.
Doing this can be an excellent way to foster a strong community in virtual language courses.
If you’re seeking to improve your teaching practice in online language learning within the virtual classroom, contact us for a free consultation.
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