What is it like taking an online ESOL course?

What is it like taking an online ESOL course?

We asked Sharon Perkins from Exeter, one of our current trainees on the new 70 hour ESOL course, about her course experience so far.

Here are a few of her answers so you can get a ‘trainee-eye view’ of the online learning experience and how she plans to use her training for mission outreach.

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Hi Sharon, do you think the materials and resources from this course are going to be useful with your ESOL learners? Which ones in particular?

I think the whole course will be useful for me for the future.  I think you have given an excellent amount of links for materials and resources.  The ones I particularly like are; English My WaySkills workshop, One Stop English and ESOL Nexus 

That’s great! There are some really useful resources out there available for teaching English to second language speakers. On the course itself, how are you finding communicating with your tutor? Are their comments and suggestions useful?  

Communication with my tutor has been excellent.  She has been marvellous at answering my questions, marking swiftly and giving very helpful feedback and encouragement. I can learn a lot from her experience.

OK, we love it that our tutors are so dedicated. Students often comment that this is their favourite part of training with us. Now, technically, are you able to use the platform successfully? Is it stable and do you find the videos at certain sections helpful for learning?

Technically the platform is successful.  It's a very good lay out and works with ease. I really enjoyed the video sections of Louisa teaching; very helpful seeing how it's done.  

Which has been the most interesting or helpful module so far? 

This is quite hard for me to pick just one, as I found the whole course helpful. Out of my favourites I will go for Module 7 because I really liked the different stages of the lesson plan.

That’s great. So it sounds like the earlier parts of the course on class management, materials and lesson planning have been useful. How are you finding the course generally? 

I have really enjoyed it. I have found it very motivating, with how the dashboard is set up, to just want to work hard and keep going. Louisa is an excellent teacher - I would love her confidence. The course variety has made it a "page turner" just like the Teaching English in Church book.  Once I got started I didn't want to stop. I am now looking forward to doing my full lesson plan for a listening activity.

Thanks so much for that Sharon. Where are you planning on using your training when it’s completed?

With this qualification I would like to use it in a voluntary position at St Leonard's church in Exeter. There are four of us altogether taking this course, and when we have finished we will decide on what to do next.

I'm not sure at present what groups we'll be teaching now or in the future, but I have met people and know people who have already expressed an interest in learning English. Someone from Greece, a friend from Italy and another from Ukraine.

I am very excited about the opportunity to serve God and others through teaching English. Also, the opportunities for sharing God's marvellous truth will come naturally through building relationships and studying God's word together.

That’s fantastic Sharon. We really hope that your training continues to go well and you are able to put it to good use.

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Sharon is a member of St. Leonards Church, Exeter. Rector Simon Austen writes: 

"At present Exeter University has over 6000 international students, coming from 130 different countries, with the largest groups coming from Hong King and China. At St Leonard’s we currently have a number of internationals, many attending Exeter University for postgraduate degrees, some of whom attend Student Focus. Others, with families, have attended the toddler group and WBS (Women's Bible Study) group. Some are already engaged in Bible Studies and one has recently been baptised.......
This course would enable further contact with the many Internationals who come to Exeter. In this way it is hoped that we might reach out to this community with the gospel. This is a wonderful and exciting opportunity."


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What is it like taking an online ESOL course?