Like in every other facet of life, the education system has changed significantly over the years; especially when it comes to teaching abroad.
Some of the changes in teaching techniques have been attributed to the adoption of technology in classrooms. In other cases, the rise of online learning means many teachers do not have direct contact with their students or their contact is limited to a few minutes. If you are teaching abroad you may also be expected to be teaching a second language to either children or adults. Each of these cases requires a unique approach. Where you have to use technology, your approach must be skewed to accommodate this technology.
Inverting The Class
Traditionally, teachers introduced the subject or topic and the students took it from there. This new technique involves the teacher encouraging the students to prepare for the upcoming lesson before the class begins. This simplifies the work of the teacher since you will only be required to explain what your students have already learnt.
The work of the students will be to prepare for the lesson beforehand and prepare questions on areas where they experience difficulty.
The inverted class leaves a teacher with the task and responsibility of answering questions that arose as the student read beforehand. This approach makes the students more curious and eager to explore what lies beyond what their teacher is offering in class.
Students can read more than the teacher will ever offer in class. Since each student has a different approach and will access different materials, there are a lot of questions to be answered. This creates diverse views that make learning easier and more interesting. The challenge to expect from this method especially if you are teaching abroad is a slower learning pace if more time is spent answering questions. You will easily digress if you are not keen.
Not all students have the capacity to read and understand without the assistance of the teacher. They will be disadvantaged if this system is used extensively; particularly as some of the students might not have access to all of the available resources.
The principle used in this technique is to identify everyday challenges and endeavour to solve them. The technique utilises such methods as brainstorming, group analysis, creative ideas and innovation, among others.
This approach requires a lot of caution because it can turn out to be messy. In fact, it is difficult to predict the outcome. It means that a standardised solution will be difficult to come by.
That notwithstanding, this has been termed as the most appropriate method for preparing students for the challenges they will face in real life. It also helps them to be more creative, analytical and curious about the situations around them.
This method has been adopted as part of MBA classes worldwide. It is especially effective for teachers teaching abroad who are introducing the basics of the English language when teaching abroad. When introducing technology in operations, design thinking has proven to be extremely effective since students can identify the interfaces that can be replaced by technology.
There are online tools as well that enable students to replace the existing component and eventually understand the concept in question.
This is an approach built on the premise that students should be granted the liberty to determine their educational goals rather than be forced to cram content that is instantly forgotten or grudgingly remembered. Such a student comes to class with expectations which you have to meet as a teacher. Students explore their areas of interest and spin in their desired direction.
You might need to introduce the subject based on the course outline or curriculum guide. You then provide resources like the internet and books for students to explore individual territories about the subject.
The effectiveness of this method has been proven time and again. One of the common approaches in this method is the creation of the mind map by the teacher. This is where a central node or idea is created and students are allowed to expand it at their individual pleasure.
It is during development that students learn. Each student applies the concept to individual situations. Eventually, the students will collaborate and share ideas in a way that brings them back to the main point. They can improve the ideas shared individually which raises the profile of work produced by the entire class.
Use Games (Gamification)
The premise of this approach is that learning does not have to be boring. It can be fun and still achieve the desired goals. Are you teaching abroad about new words in English? How about turning them into a game or song? This approach is participatory and thus memorable. The beauty of this technique is that it can be applied to all ages.
The challenge for the teacher is to design a program or game that is appropriate for the age and social class. If the group cannot identify with your idea of play, it will be difficult to follow your game. The games could include challenges where peers engage with each other.
There are games online that can help you track your progress in learning a language or new skills. You will enjoy the challenge, be competitive and have fun while you still learn. This approach can be combined with social media interactions where the learners share their scores and experience. The number of social media platforms with learning tools is incredible.
Other Teaching Abroad Resources
There are incredible free learning tools and teacher resources available around the web such that make teaching abroad easy and effective. They can easily be enabled for you to track the progress of your students from any location.
They can also be integrated to make reporting easy and open up new learning opportunities. Don’t forget to also visit our teacher forum called the Staff Room and speak to other like-minded International teachers about what techniques and resources work for them. Remember however that each environment is unique and thus requires a customised approach.