Would you like to start, as many other students, with studying Czech or to continue from September? You may not be sure whether schools will be open or your course won´t finish earlier due to the possibility of the second coronavirus wave. You don´t want to have online classes because… Why not? Bad experience? You don´t believe in its efficiency? I understand and want to show you don´t need to be scared. Here are a few tips how to choose a good online teacher or course.
3 tips on high-quality online studying
You want to have lessons with teacher because you need his/her help or you don´t know where to start in your studying. It´s ok. A teacher can really help you a lot and there is no reason why he/she shoudn´t do it remotely. You can ask your friends or colleagues for their recommendation or choose on Expats.cz, Na volné noze.cz or iTalki etc. Before you manage your regular lessons with the teacher aks him/her
- how long he/she has been teaching online
- what kind of program he/she uses (Skype, Zoom…) and if it is possible to download it for free.
Be interested in
- materials the teacher uses (study books, other materials, online websites, apps…)
- how long you will work with the study book and with other materials in each lesson
- how the conversation – speaking will be going on during the lessons.
- the way the teacher makes correction
- what your homework will be like.
Look for other student recommendations or ask the teacher to show you.
If you are still not sure you can try to organize just 2‒4 lessons and then to make your decision whether to go on.
I know a lot of my colleagues who teach online very well. They know how to prepare attractive lessons, how to make students be interested in, how to use number of apps and functions of programs. Online learning is specific as face-to-face lessons are. Both kinds of lessons can be effective the same way. Be ready for a different „style“ of online lessons and be open. Trust your teacher, don´t be afraid of trying new methods… Do your best and you´ll see yout progress comes soon. And you will enjoy it 😊
PS: When discussing the price don´t be surprised by the fact that the online lessons aren´t cheaper than face-to-face ones. A good teacher knows that it´s often more demanding to prepare a high-quality online lesson, that he/she must put money into programs and apps to be ready to offer students the best from them and that he/she needs to be studying all the time to keep up with everything what online learning offers to him/her.
Are you scared of not being able to work with your computer well and not managing the online learning? If you know how to turn on your computer and open the Internet then this is useless fear. The teacher will tell you what program you will work with and how to use it. Ask him/her how it works – that´s ok. He/she had to learn how ti use it as well and now he/she can give you advice. When the teacher offers you a new app ask him/her for help how to install it and register. Most of the programs work easily and speak several languages, all of my students work with them without troubles – I´m sure you will succeed, too. (Do you know the Quizlet, for example? Look at this video how it works.)
- My tip 1: You need a good Internet connection to have good online lessons. Check you have a good Internet provider or think whether it´s time to change it. It´s profitable investment. Try during one lesson whether everything works and then you can change what you need.
- My tip 2: Open online lessons in your computer, laptop or tablet. Don´t use a smartphone. Teacher often uses presentations, pictures, shared documents etc. and you would see them badly in your phone. And your teacher can offer you such a kind of work you´ll need to use your PC and phone together. Using just the phone wouldn´t be to your profit.
- My tip 3: Use a webcamera. Your teacher probably ask you to do it to be able to see you. And it´s your benefit – when a teacher can see how you pronounce or react he/she can halp you immediately. And you can share your monitor with him/her and show what you need to explain etc. When a student doesn´t want to use a webcamera he/she makes the lesson less effective.
- My tip 4: I recommend to use headphones. You will hear better what your teacher says and the teacher won´t disturb your family members. However, it´s good to have a good place (room) for the lesson where you can concentrate and nobody will disturb you and you won´t disturb others.
Are you thinking about an online group course? Why not? Ask the teacher
- about his/her experience with teaching such courses
- whether he/she can show you recommendations of the ex-students
- How many people is in a group?
- What does the learning look like?
- How does the teacher moderate the lesson?
- How can each student get involved?
- How does the conversation part of the lesson run?
- What program do you need to install?
- How long does each lesson take (you can be more tired at the beginning but it´s ok, you need to get used to online studying).
- And all you have read in part 1.
A group online course can be very effective. When you trust your teacher´s experience and you have motivation to start you don´t need to worry. E.g. when you need to take an A1 Czech exam for getting permanent residency then have a look at how my preparatory online course starting in September looks like.
- Online lessons can be really funny. Look at the best what happened to me and my students during online courses (video).
Online studying doesn´t have limits. You can meet a teacher and co-students from the whole world (I have or had students from Japan, Australia, USA, Russia, Brasil, Europe…, it´s refreshing and very interesting). Online studying saves your time you don´t need to commute anywhere (part of my students who learned face-to-face and due to the coronavirus had to change their lessons to online don´t want to go back to the classroom 😊). You study in a comfort of your house, flat or office. You will discover an online world you haven´t known (apps, programs, videos, listening, games…).
- Would you like to start right now? Try some of my online materials or have a look at various programs and apps you can use
Don´t believe people saying the online studying is not effective – you find a lot of students who confirm the opposite experience. Don´t be scared to study online and trust yourself. I trust you´ll be successful. Good luck!
This article in Czech version
18th August 2020