How pandemic lifted the scopes for online TESOL education?

The Pandemic abruptly put a stop to the daily hustle and bustle everywhere. During the first few days nobody could get over the idea of “lockdown” and all of us desperately searched for coping strategies. But soon we adapted to the “new normal” and like many other things, education became accessible via online mode.

But it was not as easy as it sounds- of course who doesn’t know that? But one of the fields hit worse by this was the online education of English as Second Language or TESOL Education.

What challenges did online TEFL/TESOL course face?

With a number of employment opportunities shut down, the number of students decreased in various courses. The learners were around 14 months behind the schedule and syllabus. The teacher training institutes offering the courses had to club a number of classes of various levels to accommodate maximum number of learners at a time.

This called for higher proficiency from both the teachers and the students. Human interaction was even lesser in such situation. This caused online modality to seem ineffective in the first few months.

The students who were self-motivated, found this to be helpful for their learning and growth but this was not everyone. To make education sustain, the online courses had no other choice but to increase the class hours.

What happened to the teacher training process?

Online teacher training had to follow the flow though this was not quite as new as the rest of the regular education process. This time the training process had special assistance from NAELPA or National Association of English Learner Program Administrators.

However, problems were there with comparatively younger TESOL learners. They were not familiar with technology, they did not always have parents around for assisting them etc. issue bugged them quite a lot.

Zoom, Canvas, Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom etc. made online learning far easier. What was more was that the teachers associated with this started to look for development processes on their own. The need and chances for teacher training opened up more avenues.

Pandemic made it essential that teachers get their own support system and be more adherent to the updated teaching methods. Thus, though teachers were in a stressful situation at first, they began to overcome all the confusion and embraced the “new normal”.

What is the scenario now?

Despite the primary hiccups, the situation for teacher training courses is now fairly stable. Teachers and students alike are now more acquainted with the technological tools. Language learning is not any more an “impossible” thing to learn online.

Many experts opine that instead of turning to completely online mode a mix of regular and online classes will be more effective. However, with the possibilities of further waves of the pandemic glaring at many countries across the globe, that idea might not be a feasible one too soon.

To conclude, we must agree to the fact that putting a temporary stop to the offline classes has taken its toll on the students undoubtedly. But on the brighter side, the teachers and students both ae coming up with systems and procedures to overcome the challenges. With the dire hope for this pandemic to get eliminated completely, teaching and learning has explored a new way of achieving goals- no doubt about that.

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