Specialist Language Courses

Teaching online with Zoom

With schools going online as fast as possible to mitigate the effects of Covid-19, it’s no surprise that many are turning to Zoom as their teaching platform of choice. At SLC, we’ve been teaching groups and individuals on Zoom for over 4 years now and our teachers have taught thousands of hours between them. 

We started when we were commissioned to teach groups of nurses located in different parts of the Philippines. Their aim was to achieve the scores in the IELTS English language test required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council for overseas nurses to work in the UK. Online classrooms were clearly the only way that these nurses could be taught together. 

To start, we tested a number of different platforms, including Google Hangouts, Skype, Webex and GoToMeeting. All of them had their plusses. However, in terms of overall effectiveness and ease of use, Zoom emerged as the clear winner. It is no wonder that so many schools and universities around the world have made the same decision.

Zoom is clean, simple and works well on relatively low bandwidths. Our students – from nurses in the Philippines and India, to doctors across Europe, to Syrian refugees around Northern Ireland – have all taken to it easily. In lessons, they share content, discuss ideas, collaborate on writing and editing documents, and participate in small group work in the breakout rooms.

The SLC Academic Department, headed up by Bethan Edwards, has designed a teacher training programme designed to get our teachers using the different features of Zoom quickly and effectively. This goes through both the features integrated into Zoom and how to use those features when giving lessons. The programme has evolved over the years as we have delivered more classes in a wide variety of settings.

zoom video conferencing

Training teachers to use Zoom

The induction programme has now been turned into a teacher training programme that Bethan and her team work on with other schools. Recently we have taught English language schools in different parts of Europe and one of the top private preparatory schools in the UK. Sessions are hands-on, practical and designed to give teachers the tools to quickly turn theory into practice.

Do you work at a school or university looking to use Zoom at this time? If you want SLC’s help make sure teachers get the most out of the platform and its features, then get in touch!

Email: chris@specialistlanguagecourses.com or call the office on +44 (0)1273 900213.