Ten Top Tips for Online CELTA TP #4

Ten Top Tips for Online CELTA Teaching Practice
#4 - Using breakout rooms brilliantly
This is the fourth of ten videos with a collection of the best advice for online CELTA from a range of highly experienced CELTA trainers. This tip is about using Breakout Rooms.

If you're doing an online CELTA course and you want some great ideas to make your online teaching practice go well, keep watching. I'm Jo Gakonga from ELT training.com. I've got 20 years experience myself as a CELTA tutor, but I also asked a whole raft of other experienced CELTA tutors for their best ideas and this one in a series of 10 is number four. It's a really useful one. So listen up, take some notes, and see if you can put this into practice in your teaching practice.

This video is going to talk about using Breakout Rooms. Breakout Rooms are really central to teaching practice. So many tutors said to me, ‘this is what they need to remember, they've got to use the breakout rooms, learners have got to be communicating with each other in the same way that you do pair work or group work in a face to face environment’. So using Breakout Rooms as often as possible is a good thing. Definitely put this into your planning.

BUT remember that getting people into a breakout room and getting them back out of a breakout room takes time. So don't use it for really short activities. If you've just got a short feedback activity on a task, feedback on just reading or listening, it's probably not worth putting them into a breakout room, it just takes too much time. It's too disruptive. What you want is to aim for activities that take at least five minutes in a breakout room. So plan for lots of breakout room activity, but longer periods of time, not for short activities.

The second tip is to check your breakout room settings. Before you start, make sure that the number of learners in the breakout rooms is right. You also want to make sure in your settings that they come back in a shorter period of time. Probably not 60 seconds, it's too long. 10 is more than enough. Again, you can set this up before you start teaching.

When you've set up breakout rooms, you'll then need to monitor around. Note that you can check how they're all doing before you start monitoring. You can check their settings, you can check if their microphones are on or even if they're talking. This will help you to know how the different groups are getting on.

It's also a good idea to train your learners to use the breakout rooms to share their screens and annotate things on the screen in their breakout room. This will really help you when you're monitoring to see how much they've done and how they've got on. Another way of monitoring all of your groups together is to get them to do shared writing or make notes on a shared Google Doc. If they then share this, you'll be able to see what they're all doing at the same time and even to offer some correction from the Google Doc.

There are lots of other ways in which you can do this, but think about your breakout rooms, plan them, think about how they're going to go and it will make your lesson run so much more smoothly.

I hope you have fun with this. I hope it's useful. And I'll see you in the next video. Thanks very much for watching. Bye.
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