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Online church-based English classes in London

Online church-based English classes in London

by | Feb 12, 2021 | Blog

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It’s been a joy leading live English teacher training sessions with a group of six dedicated Christians from Inspire St James Church Clerkenwell, London.  With their Zoom courses now complete, we caught up with their Ministry worker Mary to see how they’ve been using this training in local outreach and how their online English classes are progressing.

Hi Mary. You all completed five zoom training sessions with Christian TEFL on our Spotlight courses about a month ago.  So, how have you gone about organising the new teaching term since then?
We decided all the details on our pre-term teachers meeting. We also used an excel google file with all term dates and roles. Then we took five minutes to map out the responsibilities & availability of everyone for the term. With everyone now familiar with Zoom & more confident to run any role, it was really nice to have teachers assuming a variety of tasks each week.

Great. How did you advertise upcoming Zoom English lessons to your current student base?
Through our online platform “meetup” (https://www.meetup.com/). We can reach all our members via text/email.

How were your first lessons of the term?
Great! Our first two sessions, led by Artem and then me were remarkably better than our classes before. We had 40% more sign ups. And the classes were very warm, with a good flow and we felt connected to the students by the end.

We started with warmers and introductions, then I took us through an adapted version of the Christian TEFL online ready-made lessons. We were very coherent in doing our roles, whether this was using breakout rooms, sharing screen or letting people in. The skills we learned with you were so great, but it was really easy to implement because we were all there together as we trained. It really helped our communication as teachers. I definitely see the difference!

Why do think you had an uptake in numbers? (That’s great, what a blessing!)
As a result of more time spent getting to know each other and training together, the team of teachers had built a real sense of belonging. One of the teachers found the courage to suggest changing the meeting time to morning instead of the afternoon, which is what has been for 5 years. Everyone was happy so we moved the time and it turned out to be a huge success. We have 50 sign ups instead of 30 consistently now. We allow only 30 RSVP’s and the rest are on a waitlist for the time being until we have more teachers on board. Please pray for us in that front.

Yes, we will certainly be praying for more teachers to help out. Can you tell us about student levels and how you managed these groups?
Most were Intermediate. We had break out rooms but we didn’t separate them by English level. That’ll be something we’ll consider in an in-person class, Lord willing.

What is the student demographic?
Our students are mostly immigrants in London. We have students from China, Turkey, Korea, Italy, France & Mexico. The class is for anyone over 21 but our students are usually older (30-50 year old). We have both men who want to advance in their careers and women who want to do better in their class or communicate well in their work/life in London.

What are the plans for the future for English outreach?
We pray and plan to build a strong and dedicated team of English teachers who seek to build relationships with immigrants in London. To help them learn English in order to improve the quality of their life here, as well as be able to share with them the good news of Jesus Christ.

That’s great, Mary. Anything else you would like to add?
I was personally very blessed by the training and the team also tangibly benefited from our time with you. May the Lord continue to use you to raise up many more godly English teachers who would serve in excellence and in love share the gospel to those they are entrusted to teach.

Thank you, Mary, for your prayers for us and for sharing your story.
We pray your team would continue in His strength and for the Lord’s blessing on your outreach.

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