These Steps Will Help You Prepare Your Child for Online Language Class 如何准备英语在线课堂?

by Keith A. Crawford B.Ed, M.Ed (c)
Ling Liu M.Ed
Online English Language learning for the K-12 demographic is taking education by storm, especially in China. The sudden popularity could be attributed to the convenience that online learning affords. In China, students have demanding after-school schedules which make it difficult for parents to cart their children back and forth to language institutes.  Aside from the obvious convenience of online learning, there are other intrinsic benefits to accelerate young learners' language skills.  Video conferencing can be an effective tool for pronunciation and reading practice. Students can connect with teachers and intercultural classmates around the world and model native speaking pronunciation while getting an introduction to western curriculum and learning methods. The combination of video conferencing tools and the vast collections of digital reading materials (Epic!, Reading A-Z) allow for guided reading practice that can be tailored to the students interests and language level. Electronic learning platforms when used with headphones (Zoom, ClassIn, Lifesize) minimize environmental noise and allow for focussed reading practice that may be difficult in group settings. Using these tools teachers are able to use screen sharing, recording tools and annotations to hone in on a particular student's needs for developing vocabulary, reading fluency and comprehension strategies. However, like any new technological trend, parents and children need some time to learn how to maximize the potential for learning. These next few steps can be taken by the parent-child learning team to ensure success with their online class.

统计数据表明,参与K-12(幼儿园至12年级的基础教育)在线英语学习的人数激增,尤其是在中国。这种学习模式能瞬间火爆的主要原因就是在线学习的便利性。在中国,学生们有各种课后的学习安排,所以亲自接送和陪伴孩子去语言培训中心成为家长的最大难题。除此以外,在校教育还有其他优势来加速学习者的语言技能。视频互动是提供发音和阅读训练的高效工具。学生们可以和老师以及世界各地的其他学生直接互动,不仅可以模仿纯正地道的英语发音,同时还能了解西方教育体制中的的课程设置和学习方法。引导性阅读项目综合了视频直播互动和大量优秀的数字阅读材料(如Epic!,a-z阅读)来配合不同学生的阅读兴趣和语言水平。 在线学习平台还可以进行大班教学里无法实施的针对性阅读训练。通过语音视频,老师们可以进行屏幕共享,现场录制,注释强调等多种工具来针对某个学生的特别提高训练,包括词汇,口语或阅读理解思维。当然,作为一种新科技,家长和孩子们都需要一些时间来了解如何最优化学习效果。下面的几点就是告诉家长和孩子们如何保证在线学习的成功

  1. Talk about their online learning (经常问问他们的在线学习体验)
    Successful English learners connect learning to many different contexts. Young learners need to see their online learning as relevant and a part of their offline world. Casually talk to your kids about their online learning in English or Chinese. Tell their teachers, friends and extended family what they are doing. Gently ask them about their favorite part of a book they are reading, a game that they like or a funny vocabulary word. Do not drill them or correct their mistakes. Keep it light and happy!


  1. Give them Space (给孩子足够的空间)
    Just like when your child does homework, they need a space where they can easily focus, listen and be heard. Try to avoid a place where there are other people, as this might make them shy and uncomfortable.  Avoid hovering over your child during online class time, but make yourself available and close-by.  They may need your help with technical issues and might call you--especially their first few classes. They will be more brave and confident if you give them space.

量避免在场,因为这样会让孩子们觉得害羞或不舒服。在孩子上课时,避免一直在旁 边督责,可以在旁边不远处陪同。当孩子们需要技术支持时候,他们可能需要你的帮助,特别是最初的几堂课。当孩子们拥有足够空间时,他们会更勇敢,更自信。

  1. Prepare tools ahead of time (提前准备好上课软件硬件
    Test your internet connection, VPN, headset and software before class. Have your child practice using VOIP software (Skype, WeChat) with a friend or family member to get them familiar with these tools. Model and demonstrate patience and allow some time to get used to this type of learning. Online teachers are trained professionals that realize it takes time for young students to get used to technology.

课前要检查网络连接,耳机,话筒和软件安装。先让你的孩子用网络应用软件(如 Skype或微信)和朋友或家人聊聊天来熟悉这些软件。你要有耐心,给孩子一些时间去适应在线学习的方式。我们的在线老师都是接受过专业培训的,他们完全理解年纪小的学生需要时间适应这种教学技术。

  1. Stay in the loop (与老师保持联系和交流)
    Communicate with your child’s teachers about homework expectations, as well as feel free to communicate any difficulties that your student may be having. Some teachers provide an online communication book, class blog or collaborative document that they ask parents to check regularly. One of the benefits of online learning is that that teachers can record and post the in-class session. Encourage your child to watch the recording of the class for review.


  1. Think about the long game (长远考虑)

    "Give a person a fish and they eat for a day. Teach them how to fish and they eat for a lifetime." (Chinese Proverb) 

    One of the goals for online learning is to give students the tools and strategies that can allow them to succeed individually. Building autonomy, or independent learning, takes time and a “growth mindset”. If students make mistakes in their additional language, this is a part of the learning process. In order for students to enjoy the lifelong journey of additional language learning--try to say positive things about your child’s effort or process--never say positive or negative things about them as learners or their language abilities.  This will allow them to continually return to class and become lifelong learners who love English!


    Special Thanks to Cory Jobb for proofreading this article.