To be successful as an online English teacher or school owner you need to maximize attendance and student retention.
This is what ESL education looks like today for many students and teachers
(or ELT, EFL, TEFL, TESL, English education…) Many students all over the world
are feeling down and depressed. They’ve lost motivation to learn English and
it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to keep them motivated and inspired.
This is having a negative effect on how often students come to class and how
long they continue coming.
Your English school can do better.
For many English teachers and schools, things were humming along
nicely and then BAM! Covid-19 sent us all packing for our home office.
Overnight online education became the norm.
Sending old-school teachers into a panic, their classes into disarray, and
learners into a frustrating, lonely world.
Students were left thinking and asking. “What am I supposed to do next? How
am I doing? What’s the goal and purpose of this/that activity?”
Not to mention the social component was completely lost.
How did it come to this?
Technology should maximize student learning potential by integrating the
most effective methods, tools and science available. Yet the education sector
has been the slowest to adopt and embrace technology.
As a result, instead of being ready for COVID, many were left scrambling to use
technology in some or any form. Many of the tools and activities served no real
educational purpose. They really didn’t help students move forward or give
them a real sense of accomplishment.
Instead students were left without clear goals or purpose. Student anxiety and
depression are up and motivation to learn English is down.
Why are we so behind?
How could the education industry have been caught so off guard? More
specifically, how could English schools have been caught so off guard?
Why have so many English schools been so reluctant to offer hybrid
solutions? Organized institutions have hurdles and hoops with politics and
bureaucracy, and so it’s easier to see how and why. I didn’t say understand, but
just see how and why. English teacherpreneurs and schools though … they
have no excuse.
– Doesn’t it just make more sense to have a learning management system that
is stacked with proven methods and techniques to optimize student learning
– Doesn’t it just make sense to offer students the choice to take English classes
in person or remotely?
– Doesn’t it just make sense to appeal to 21st century learner preferences and
What do 21st-century English language learners expect?
21st century learners expect a lot!
For one, we are accustomed to instantly finding things out (think Google). If we
want a new recipe, we Google it. If we have a disagreement with a friend, we
Google the answer. Within seconds we “learn” things.
This is called micro-learning and it’s completely changed how many people
approach learning. And for a number of good reasons.
1. You can learn something quickly.
2. You can learn things that you’re interested in.
3. For almost anything you Google, there are images which help you visualize
and remember things.
4. For almost anything you Google, you have the choice between reading
about it or watching a video. And guess what? Most people choose video. The
interesting thing to keep in mind here is that visual aids actually help us
remember things. This holds especially true for facts and … vocabulary.
What about that “Magic English Pill”?
Twenty-first century learners also expect results. They expect the “magic pill”
effect. Why? Because technology has made everything so much easier to do.
Though there’s still no “magic pill” for learning English, there are things that
help make your students feel they are making progress. Progress lines that
are a part of most learning management systems are a great example of this.
They let us know immediately how far we’ve progressed and how far we have
to go to complete something. There’s no guesswork.
Micro-interactions are another example. Micro-interaction is just a fancy term
for those things that pop up on the screen and tell you that you’ve completed
something. For example, a thumbs up, or a badge. Micro-interactions provide 3
1. They communicate status and provide feedback
2. They help people to see the results of their actions
3. They enhance our sense of control that we have over actions
I for one, love micro-interactions and many argue that they’re the reason so
many people love learning apps like Duolingo (enter the little waving owl!)
Last, but definitely not least …
And of course there’s gamification. Everything is gamified these days. We earn
points for this, awards for that. Badges for this and stamps for that. We’ll go
into detail for all of these, but start putting some thought into these.
These are just a few of the things that can make a significant impact on
whether your students come to tomorrow’s lesson or they give up. It can
influence whether they quit today or continue learning English.
Incorporating these things in your lessons, courses and system will make a
significant difference in how often students come to classes and how long
they continue to study for. Find ways to keep them engaged outside of the
classroom and feeling like they are moving forward.
We would love to talk with you about your English teaching goals and how
Pocket Passport can make your educational goals a reality.
Almost forgot! We have tons of FREE high frequency vocabulary materials
that are sure to boost student scores on the TOEIC, IELTS and other exams.
Check out how Pocket Passport can help make your teaching goals-and your
students dreams a reality. And also very importantly how your class
occupancy and student retention can be higher.