Ten Top Tips for Online CELTA TP #5

Ten Top Tips for Online CELTA Teaching Practice
#5 - Using the Chatbox
This is the fifth 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 the humble CHATBOX.

If you're doing an online CELTA, and you want some top tips for your teaching practice, this video is for you.

I'm Jo Gakonga from ELT training.com. I've been a CELTA tutor for 20 years and in this series of videos, I asked a whole raft of my other CELTA tutor friends for their ideas. I've got 10 videos with 10 Top Tips, this is number five and it's all about something which is often overlooked, but which is actually super helpful if used well. The chatbox. So listen up, take some notes and I hope it's helpful. Don't forget to give the video a like and check out my site for other videos if you like this.

The chatbox on Zoom or in Teams is a fantastic resource and one that you should really think about using. It enables all of the learners in your group to be involved at the same time, something that actually would be much more difficult in a face to face environment. One way to use it effectively is for warmups. So you could ask them a general question at the start. Get them all to type their answer, then you've got a multitude of ideas, to then ask people orally for follow up questions. So you could start with ‘what did you do last night?’ Everybody writes down their answer. ‘Oh, Muhammad, you went to the cinema? What did you see?’ And do that orally.

You can also use the chatbox to make sure that they're all following you. So if you ask concept check questions, - a big part of the CELTA course (questions to check that they've understood what you're talking about), then you can get them all to write their answer in the chatbox. Now, you can really get an idea of who has and who hasn't understood. Again, in a face to face environment, you're probably only going to be able to nominate one or two, so you wouldn't know what everybody was thinking.

Another top tip for this kind of thing when you want them all to answer is to ask them to type their answer, but not to post it until you tell them. Give them a minute or so and then say ‘Right, post!’ and they'll all come up at the same time. This prevents the very fastest typists and maybe the faster thinkers from always being the people who get their ideas up there first.

Another way of using the chatbox is to use it to get answers to control practice tasks. If you give them a gap fill task or something of that nature, you can ask them to put their answers up in the chat. Again, this way, everybody gets to be involved and you can really see how many people have understood. This is also a great way to do correction, you've got their problems there in the chat box, you can address them.

Another way of using the chatbox is if they're doing exercises on their own, for example, a reading task. Ask them when they're done -when they’ve finished reading -to write ‘done’ in the chatbox. You'll then see how many people are ready to start with feedback.

Just as an alternative to the chatbox something, a little bit more physical, you could get them to write things on a piece of paper and hold it up to the screen. That way you'll still see all of their answers. It might be a little bit more difficult to see but it's nice as an occasional change I think.

I hope this has been helpful. Do look at my site for other useful tips for your teaching practice. Good luck with it, and I'll see you soon. Bye bye
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