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Blogi: Minkälaista englannin kielen etäkouluttaminen on?

Kun siirsimme ryminällä kaikki lähikoulutuksemme verkkoon koronatilanteen vuoksi, myös kouluttajat joutuivat uuden eteen. Vaikka useimmat joka tapauksessa olivat jo kouluttaneet etänä, nyt kaikki koulutustapahtumat oli pidettävä virtuaalisesti. Kysyimme yhdeltä kokeneelta englannin kielen asiantuntijakouluttajalta, miten hän kouluttaa kieltä verkossa ja miten se hänestä toimii. Alla Stephen Anthony Burton, BA Hons (CELTA) kertoo omasta kokemuksestaan online-kouluttamisesta.

Online training is certainly a good alternative to the classroom. From a pedagogical perspective, online training is overall very conducive to good open discourse. In some instances, especially with one to one training, I would go as far to say, it is even better than the classroom.

People seem more open to speaking and in particular more forthcoming in initiating conversation during an online lesson. This skill not only gives them the chance to actively use many other functions of the language they are learning, it also gives them the chance to steer a lesson, leading to a more student-centered session. Having the confidence to initiate conversation is essential but unfortunately it is sometimes missing in the classroom, especially in groups.

Although online training can require the trainer to take a different approach to preparing the lessons it certainly can be extremely rewarding. I think it is important that the trainer pre-preps online lessons especially carefully. The more planning we put in beforehand, the smoother the online lesson goes. An example of an exercise type that works really well is the pre-lesson task. A pre-lesson task could be a text with questions to be addressed or just issues to think about a few days in advance. The students can then present their findings during the lesson.

Online training provides the perfect platform for speaking and apart from looking at the odd profession related document, no time should be used on unnecessary reading. All reading material can be looked at and analysed pre-lesson. Speaking not only activates the language, it also propels the newly learned lexis to the forefront of your memory bank and it will never be forgotten. It will always be easily reactivated when discussing the particular semantic field it belongs to.

I think the platform sort of provides more anonymity in a way, which seems to help participants generate more language independently. This, in turn, further enhances overall confidence and increases their willingness to initiate and conduct discourse even more. It is a nice cycle to be in.

While a participant is speaking during a lesson, they should never be corrected in mid-sentence because this can affect confidence and overall fluency negatively. An advantage of the online lesson is that the online medium allows the trainer to quietly send corrections as private messages, during discussions.  

In the feedback I receive, many participants mention most of the above. They often tell me that they feel more confident than ever before in using both general and professional English in their everyday lives.

As a trainer, it is simply my job to help facilitate this process and help instil the confidence needed. Online training appears to be an excellent platform to do this.

Sopisiko etäkoulutus muotona myös sinun yrityksesi työntekijöille? Ota yhteyttä, ja niin suunnittelemme yrityksesi työntekijöiden tarpeisiin sopivat kielikoulutukset!

Hannele Ritari, kielikurssit(at)marckwort.fi