Earlier this year in February I launched my On Line Spanish classes for children aged 7-11 years. These six-week courses have been running successfully at maximum capacity (with a waiting list) for two terms now. For those (parents aswell as children) who have never tried On Line learning the whole prospect can be somewhat daunting, seem un-natural and well down-right scary. I’ve written this blog post to answer some of the most common questions I get asked by parents & students as well as to try to address some of the issues surrounding On Line Language Learning for children and how to make the most out of Online language lessons.
Some of the most common questions I get asked, by students, parents and other tutors:
Are the classes suitable for total beginners?
Yes. The chidrens classes I am currently running are suitable for total beginners as well as those who already have a little Spanish.
Are parents present during the lessons?
In some households the computer that is being used for the lesson is in a communal family space (like the living room for example) so parents are usually “around” but not specifically sitting next to the students however of course all parents are welcome to sit with their children during the lesson. Lessons are directed to the child.
How to you keep the student´s attention?
I introduce a new resource or teaching concept each term and alternate them, that way the children don’t get bored by the monotony of each lesson. I don’t use the interactive white board in every lesson – using it occasionally creates excitement and enthusiasm to learn. By having a dynamic teaching approach and lots of awesome resources the children are rarely bored in the lessons. I encourage interaction with each other also, so they will ask each other questions in Spanish and help each other if they are struggling with a specific sub-topic or question.
How long are the lessons?
50 minutes, with five minutes introduction and five minutes wind-up so 60 minutes in total.
How do you manage a lesson with ten children?
With ten students in each class this can sometimes get interesting! I use the “silence” option when I am presenting the topic and when we are working on a specific activity. Once the initial excitement has died down the children are extremely respectful and supportive with each other.
Can the children all see each other?
Yes. That’s the beauty of the software I use, the children can all see and interact with each other throughout the whole lesson. Whether that be speaking, movement or chat.
How much are the lessons?
Each six-week term costs £24 per child.
My On Line children’s Spanish lessons follow a structure I am confident with and incorporate a variety of different On Line resources.
Before I begin each lesson I check each student’s equipment (sound, video & chat). We then move on to introducing ourselves in Spanish. Next I introduce the grammar or vocabulary we will be using in that lesson, either with Flashcards or documents I have pre-prepared in Google drive. Students get speaking practice by repeating after me. Then we watch a video together that I share with the children using a secure link that I control (the children can only watch it, I control pause, play etc). We watch the video three times, the first to see what they understand, the second time I ask them to look out for specific vocabulary or grammar. We then talk (in Spanish) about what they understood and finally watch it one last time. We conclude the lesson with an interactive activity or game to reinforce what they have learnt in the lesson. We say “adios” and sing our “goodbye song”.
I use the conferencing software Zoom and pay for an upgraded premium service. The video quality is extremely high, and it has many other features that allow trouble-free lessons. The software is easy to use. Students entre meeting rooms with an ID.
I use an online classroom called Edmodo which is where I share all the resources I use (video links, worksheets etc.). I also make flashcards for vocabulary using Quizlet.
Student equipment checklist:
- Decent internet connection.
- PC, Laptop, Tablet or SmartPhone.
Group V’s private lessons
Obviously the main difference between these two types of lessons is the price. My six-week group lessons are £24 per term per child, whereas my fee for private lessons is £25 per hour.
Private lessons are tailored individually and I tend to mainly tutor students preparing for GCSE’s, AS & A-Level exams. The group lessons are more fun with a strong focus on activities related to certain term’s topics. For example: parts of the body, family etc. there are no tests or exams. The group lessons do provide a base from which children can then advance with confidence to prepare for exams if that is what they chose to do.
I currently run one session on a Thursday 4-5pm. But am launching an additional session straight after that 5-6pm for which I am now taking bookings. If you would like to book your child on one of my courses then please do so via email to me at Kelly@adventuresinspanish.co.uk
Approximately 60% of my students learn with me On Line, either private 1:1 tutoring or as part of my online courses and I am currently transitioning all of my face-to-face students over to online lessons and as of September 2017 will not be taking any new home tutees.
Full details of the courses I run and other Spanish Services I provide are available on my website www.adventuresinspanish.co.uk.