Using EnglishCentral: Best Practices For Teachers

Why EnglishCentral?

Video is a powerful contextualizing tool. It brings the real world into the classroom and makes lesson content something directly linked to real life and use.

EnglishCentral offers teachers the chance to use video in a purposeful, structured and integrated fashion. Whether EnglishCentral is used as a purely homework supplement, an extension of textbook and class curriculum or as a blended solution, integrated with a coursebook – it truly gets students practicing and making quick progress faster than other online tool can match.

Here are some best practices that should be followed by classroom teachers when possible. These represent our “gold standard” when using EnglishCentral as a teacher.

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Best Practices For Using EnglishCentral Video Lessons

Show it in class
– If you have a projector/screen or a computer lab, demonstrate how to use EnglishCentral “live”. Even use EnglishCentral video lessons as an instructional aide directly in class, pausing the video, asking questions, showing language in use.

Assign Goals
– Students need motivation. Weekly goals keep students on task and can easily be tracked by teachers. We recommend students

Appoint a student “webmaster”
– You’d be surprised how tech saavy your students are! When possible, appoint one very competent student to be the “go to” person for any problems students may have using EnglishCentral.

Blend EnglishCentral with existing curriculum
– Englishcentral can help bring alive your existing textbook curriculum. We have thousands of videos on all kinds of topics – you’ll always find something that will fit what you are teaching. Students can get active practice supporting what is learned in class. Even use one of our video courses that are aligned with existing coursebooks!

Give Students Choice
– The teacher doesn’t always know best! Set up your class page with recommended video lessons or courses by selecting “apply class goals to any course or video”. This way, students can study anything on EnglishCentral and get credit but still start with what the teacher recommends on the class page.

Train students to use the video player effectively
– Our video player has some powerful features and students need to be shown that they shouldn’t just blaze through but rather slow down and be responsible for their own learning. This means using our unique “compare speech” function, slowing the audio, repeating lines, turning off the transcript, using the “hidden challenge” and more ……

Use our handy video transcripts
– Each video has a handy transcript accessible to all teachers. It’s easy to copy and paste the transcript and print out to use in your lessons (click “View Transcript” on any video page). Here’s an example.

Assess students with a rubric
– Make a rubric (best if it is in the student’s L1) and communicate your expectations for using EnglishCentral with students. Even better, negotiate the categories and grades for the rubric so students know exactly what equals and A or B or C. Here is a handy template EnglishCentral provides.

Make EnglishCentral and official part of assessment
– If you don’t take EnglishCentral seriously, most of your students won’t either. Make EnglishCentral a percentage of the student’s course mark. You’ll see a remarkable difference in how they use it and how seriously they take it up.


3 Approaches To Using Video In The Classroom

1. Blending video into the existing curriculum and course.

This option allows a teacher to choose video content that compliments the objectives of their course. Videos are chosen for each unit and they are used in conjunction with the course book. Thus, the teacher is blending the learning – combining traditional print (textbooks) with the power of video. Videos are blended into and are part of the official course curriculum.

2. Using only video and online learning (the Flipped classroom)

In the flipped classroom, students study and learn independently (in groups or individually). The teacher sets up the learning content and environment and then consults with students as they learn the video content. For example, students could learn on EnglishCentral and the teacher could use class time to review their progress, check and evaluate. Also, consult with the students to make sure they are progressing and on task. Teachers set up the curriculum, show students how to access the video content and then become pure facilitators. Teachers might also use print materials made specifically for the videos (like the EnglishCentral workbooks).

3. Using video as a supplement for engagement or re-inforcement.

Here, videos are used only at the beginning of a lesson (to provide context and prompt student schema/background knowledge) or as supplemental material for the lesson (either inclass or as homework). The teacher adds video that will supplement the existing course curriculum and provides context and reinforces the learning objectives. However, the videos are not part of the official curriculum.

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Comments

  1. Excellent practical, insightful advice for teachers. Thank you.

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