National Geographic - Learning

English Learning


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This is part three in a three part series called Breaking Through the Screen: A Dozen Tips for Engaging Students in Online English Language Learning

Learning online can leave your students feeling isolated and unmotivated. While you and your students can’t be in the same room, you can still help to foster a sense of community with and between students. You can improve student motivation by setting clear deadlines and posting regular announcements that encourage students to complete learning activities on time. When you recognize that a student needs extra support you can send personalized feedback and messages of encouragement that can give the student the direction and support they need to push forward. You can also communicate feedback and support to students in one-on-one phone calls or video calls. Office hours can also be a great way for you to make yourself more available to students. Additionally you can create a sense of community between students through discussion and collaboration activities. Lastly, parents are often unsure how to best support their students and specific requests from you for their involvement can be critical to student success. During the webinar the presenters will share specific examples that will help to illustrate what these strategies look like when teaching English to learners across grade levels.


Dr. Joan Kang Shin is an Associate Professor of Education at George Mason University and the Academic Program Coordinator of the Teaching Culturally & Linguistically Diverse & Exceptional Learners (TCLDEL) program. Dr. Shin specializes in teaching ESL/EFL to young learners and teenagers and has provided professional development programs and workshops to EFL teachers in over 100 countries around the world. She is a Series Editor of National Geographic Learning’s young learner programs Welcome to Our WorldOur World, and Explore Our World, as well as the teen program Impact, and an author of the professional development title Teaching Young Learners English.

Connect with Dr. Shin: Google Site

Dr. Jered Borup is an Associate Professor in the Division of Learning Technologies at George Mason University. In his current position, he is the professor-in-charge of the Blended and Online Learning in Schools Master’s and Certificate programs that are devoted to improving teacher practices in online and blended learning environments. Previous to earning his Ph.D. at Brigham Young University, Jered taught history at a junior high school for six years. He has also taught online and blended courses since 2008. He currently researches student support systems in online and blended environments and has published 35 journal articles and 12 book chapters. His book “K-12 Blended Teaching: A Guide to Personalized Learning and Online Integration” can be read or downloaded for free at

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