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Tips for online teaching

Danilo photoGiving a lesson online can be quite different then in a face-to-face (offline) environment. It’s easy to get used to teaching online. Here are a few tips that teachers should follow to give a good online lesson:

1. Be on time!

I know this isn’t related to the online setting, but it’s always the first rule a teacher should follow. If sometimes you forget appointments scheduled, please set reminders on your cell phone, daily planner, PDA or whichever tool you use to keep yourself organized. We’ll also help sending emails to you and the student, so remember to check your email daily.

2. Pick a quiet room without disturbing background noise.

Students will have to listen to your voice and if there is too much background noise (dogs barking, people talking, phones ringing, etc.) it can get pretty distracting. Pick a room that is quiet for you and your student to concentrate well.

3. Have a clear and crisp voice on the microphone.

A computer microphone can be pretty sensitive and pick up breathing sounds easily. Make sure you are speaking close to the microphone but not too close to have disrupting breathing sounds. Practice making some Skype calls with your friends to know what is the best microphone position for you.

4. Speak clearly.

Make sure your students can understand every word and phonetic sound clearly. To do this, you don’t have to s-p-e-a-k t-o-o s-l-o-w, your student may be offended or bored. Just speak using a normal speed of speech, as if you’re giving a speech or reading a recipe. This is a perfect speaking speed for listeners to understand your words.

Also, when speaking make sure you are articulating the sounds well. You are the student’s most important guide for pronouncing words correctly.

5. Acknowledge student’s questions and requests

Always pay attention to what students are saying since you won’t be able to see if they raise their hand or have a facial expression of doubt. Listen attentively.

If your student asks a question, always answer it. If you feel it can be disrupting to answer the question in the middle of the lesson explain to the student that their question will be addressed at the end.

6. Engage your student’s participation.

Students need to practice to learn well. Plus, its always more fun when everyone participates. Students can get bored easily and think they are just starring at a computer monitor with headphones on. Be sure to make them participate and immerse themselves in the lesson better!

7. Motivate your students!

Learning a new language can be quite difficult and scary for some people, specially online education which is something new for many. So, keep motivating your student throughout your lesson. Everyone learns better in a friendly and relaxed environment.

8. Be prepared and know your teaching material well.

Always review your class material (lesson slides) before each lesson. Be familiar with the lesson sequence and each slide to avoid being lost in the middle of the lesson not knowing what you are supposed to teach.

9. Know how to use the virtual classroom and whiteboard.

Our whiteboard was designed to be pretty simple and user friendly. Practice using it before you start giving lessons so you’ll be able to use all of its features.

10. Personalize the lesson.

Start by knowing and using the student’s name. Since you can’t directly look or touch the student, call out their name when you want them to participate. Also, look at the student’s profile to find even more information (interests, location, etc.). Use your student’s information inside the lesson so the students know you care about them.

Watch all of these tips placed in practice by our Mandarin teacher Jue:

embedded by WP Embedded Video

Have fun teaching!

Explore posts in the same categories: Language Learning, Teaching a language

11 Comments on “Tips for online teaching”

  1. MButler Says:

    Small thing, but I’d like to hear this lesson without the upbeat background music and cute graphic transitions which are not exactly things I can do as a teacher. Unless of course you recommend we play this kind of music while we are teaching :)

  2. egbert Says:

    Hello MButler,

    You decide how you create your lesson material, so in your case I am sure it will be without music (by the is this was just standard Youtube backgound music accompanying the video) but it is your choice, and perhaps you might even ask your students how they like their lesson material.

    If you do not create your own lesson material, you can use material from other teachers or language schools who decided to make their slides publicly available.

    Take note that you can not use educational material from teachers who have chosen not to make their slides publicly available.


  3. MButler Says:

    Dear Egbert I guess my dilemma is whether this is an example for the teacher or for the casual onlooker。 If it is an example of best practices for the teacher then I believe that it should be as close to what appears in a real lesson as possible, sans music。

    However if music is to become a part of best practices then I would guess that Danilo needs to include this in his introduction。 Hmm, this has made me think a bit about background noises in a language classroom。

    At one point 30 plus years ago it was suggested by some that soothing classical music become a regular part of the language classroom environment。 I am talking about Suggestopedia for those of you that are old enough to remember。

  4. danilo Says:

    Yup, suggestopedia is pretty interesting and unique. I wonder what it would be like to listen to some barroque music while learning languages.

    Regarding the recorded lesson, Jue (the teacher) is following well the guidelines. I was the one who edited the video and added the background music to make it more fun for you teachers. :)

    So, teachers, please observe how Jue follows the guidelines mentioned. The music, opening screen and transition effects were all video editing work. Apologies for the misunderstanding.

  5. Dragon&Phoenix Says:

    Hi Danilo how can I edit my profile after I sign up on the homepage?

  6. danilo Says:

    Hello! Right after you log in to the restricted beta site with your username, please click on “My profile” on the top right part of your screen.

    You will then see a message “Welcome, …. This is your profile page.” click on “Edit” which is beside it.

    Thanks and have fun myngling!

  7. Sam Says:

    Hi, I wish to know all about teaching on line, can you please guide me to know all.
    Firstly, how does one prepare for the start ups, i.e., do I need to get my own materials and/or ‘Myngle’ allots them to the teachers. Also, could you please explain a bit about the ‘whiteboard”. Please Let me know all and much more to start on a sound footing. Thank you for your time and effort.

  8. danilo Says:

    Hello Sam,

    First, you might try watching some of our tutorial videos, they show pretty much everything of Myngle (including a demo of the whiteboard):

    If you do not have a teaching material, you can use one from our Shared Courses area.

    If you have more questions, head over to our main website and come chat with us in the Community Forum.

    We hope to see you on board soon!

  9. Sygnore Nantes Says:

    I know this segment is not for this question, I just don’t know where to post this and where to find help. A student booked a lesson, I wasn’t able to attend the class because my PC had a technical problem, t’was too late before I know that they cancelled the lesson. How will I know who booked the lesson and how can I tell that student why I didn’t make it. Please help.

  10. danilo Says:

    Hello Sygnore! You can reach us through our “contact” links, there is one on the blog on the right side menu or at the Myngle website http://www.myngle.com at the bottom of the page.

    If you get the email with the booking notification you’ll get the student’s username so you can search for him/her on the website, or try searching through “Past lessons” in your “MyMyngle” area.

    You can reach the student directly on their profile page by clicking their “contact” link.

  11. Maria Balangue Says:


    Tips for teachers are great! They are of great help to any teacher.


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