Overcoming the Difficulties of Learning a new Language || Coursera: Teaching English Now
Learning a new language is, without a doubt, very challenging. Have you ever tried to learn another language? Surely you have, and can therefore relate to your students and their feelings.
Learning a new language can be just as awkward and frustrating as learning to drive a stick shift (or manual transmission) if you have only ever driven an automatic transmission. You feel confident driving an automatic transmission just like you do when speaking your first language, but when you try driving a stick shift, the car will not do what you want it to do and you confidence may fade. Likewise, when you try to speak a new language, you may feel less confident expressing your ideas. You often know what you would like to express to others and just cannot find the words you need to express yourself.
In addition, online learning can pose new feelings of frustration and create a lack of confidence for some students. Students who may be new to this mode of learning or who may not be familiar or comfortable with virtual learning platforms may be hesitant to engage fully. It can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing without proper and effective support. They may feel isolated from their classmates and you, their teacher. Preparing students for online tasks is an important part of effective online teaching. Make sure students know how do such tasks as send a message via the platform messing system, post on a discussion board, type in the chat feature, enable their microphone, etc. Provide how-to videos and guides when appropriate. Set clear expectations at the beginning of each online course and live class session so that students know exactly what is expected of them. Communicate often with individual students via messaging, feedback, discussion platforms and virtual class meetings and/or individual conferences. In this way, you can help students can overcome some of the difficulties of online language learning.
Patience and understanding of the SLA process and the challenges of online learning are the keys to effective online language teaching and learning.