The world is crazy at the moment and everyone, including English language schools, have had to adapt to the online world, and serve their clients the only we can, from a distance. With the uncertainty of the situation many companies have made changes to the way they work and here are some of the ways we are continuing to serve our students and clients and try to give them the ultimate online experience away from the classroom, from the use of technology to the courses we are offering, we want to make sure that everyone is getting the benefits of online.
UKCE students know that Ayotree is our platform and we love using it. Ayotree is really good because it not only tells students when the lessons are, but our students can use it to communicate with the teacher and other students outside of the classroom as well. The biggest benefit is that it comes in multiple languages and time zones, and they can use it to send emails, upload their homework or download the work they used in class, as well as private messages. It helps students become organised because when it is study time, lesson time or homework time. They are now able to go to the same place and can do everything they need to in one.
Technology & apps in the classroom
Technology in the classroom is fast growing and there is a constant stream of new apps we can use to give our students the best experience. Kahoot is one of them – this is a fun quiz but done on the internet and it can be used for teaching, revision and other learning tools. Students use their mobile phones as a gamepad, and this has transformed mobile phone from something that distracts student to something that they need in order to learn. The colours, the music and tension all make it a really effective learning tool for students and lets our teachers be really creative. Learningapps.org is another great one.
This app allows you to create different learning activities in many different ways, such as a crossword to revise crime vocabulary or a group assignment for past simple verb sounds, and then the student can use complete their activities on their phones or you can share you screen and complete it as a class.
The Zoom application is on everybody’s lips at the moment as it’s users have skyrocketed during lockdown and for language schools it’s no different. Students from all around the world are all able to learn with the same teacher at the same time. There is no need to travel very far, unless you live in a mansion, for these classes you won’t need to get two trains and the tube to class. Everyone is on the teachers screen at the same time but in the comfort and familiarity of their own home. The teacher can upload work on zoom, share their screen and students can annotate the work on here too, plus you have the breakout rooms to do paired or group work. All in one place – much like the real-life classroom.
With the lockdown situation transition courses are ideal for anyone looking to improve their language skills. These courses allow you to buy as many weeks as you want without the fear of them running out when the school reopens, because when it does you can then choose to continue online or join us in the classroom back in London. They start you off at home with your laptop or mobile phones and then they prepare us for the in-class experience that will happen after lockdown. As students are already familiar with each other they have maintained or gained a certain level of English and then can continue that in person if they wish.
This is a great way for them to gain confidence when speaking to other English speakers online, as they will have had a lot of practice by the time they finally enter the classroom and then can continue to practice learning English in the old fashioned face-to-face way.