Ideas for using EP Languages in a remote setting
Here are some ideas as to how you can use EP Languages in a remote learning environment. If you need any help with any of the suggestions, please don't hesitate to get in touch by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
First of all, here is a video which outlines how to navigate the Content Library.
We will now look at how each of the sections of our content can be used to help your students continue with their learning in a remote environment.
All of our units contain an introduction lesson which outlines the key language and concepts that the students will need to know for a particular lesson.
Ideas on how to use the introduction lessons in a remote learning setting:
- Assign the introduction lesson of the unit for the students to work through independently before they attend a group learning session over video conferencing. They can read and listen to the slides and complete the questions to reinforce their learning. This will enable you to use the group video conferencing sessions for any interactive activities or explaining more complex concepts.
- You could use the introduction slides with the whole class in a video conference to introduce the vocabulary and expressions instead of using a PowerPoint presentation. To do this, we recommend using full screen mode. The multi-choice questions can be done together as a class in a quiz situation initially within the video conference, to engage the students. Students can then repeat this again in their own time.
- You could also use the introduction slides to record an instructional video for the class - if you prefer this model to the video conferencing sessions.
- Assign the introduction for the students to work on independently before they complete the rest of the unit.
- Students can refer back to the information slides in the introduction section at any time during their learning.
All of our units contain an extensive listening comprehension section, which contains 8-10 listening comprehension texts accompanied by a variety of questions. These texts are all original texts written by our EP Languages team and they are all recorded by native speakers.
Ideas on how to use the listening comprehension activities in a remote learning environment:
- Teachers can assign the listening activities to students to complete at their own pace. The students can repeat the sound files as many times as necessary and they can choose to slow down the pace by clicking on the snail button.
- All of the listening activities are either self-marking or have model answers, so there is no need for the teacher to mark them. However, the teacher can easily track student progress and view and provide feedback on the extended response answers.
- Following completion of the listening activities, teachers could ask students to either write new questions to go with the texts or to write their own listening comprehension texts similar to the ones provided. These could be done on a google doc and shared with the teacher and the teacher can then create the new texts and questions in EP.
- Either before or after completing the listening activities, students could read out the dialogues with a partner in a video conferencing room or by themselves at home. Students could also make up their own conversations with a partner over video conferencing and share them in a class social media group.
- After completing the listening activities, students could have conversations with each other based on the text in a video conferencing space.
We offer extensive speaking practice. This includes simple single-word pronunciation right through to topic-based monologues and spontaneous speaking questions.
Ideas about how you can use these speaking activities in a remote learning environment
- All of our speaking activities can be assigned to the students and they can complete the activities at their own pace at home. The activities work best if the student has headphones with a microphone; however, this is not essential. Students record directly into EP so don't need to worry about file management.
- When students complete the speaking questions, they can play back their answer and listen to what they have recorded. They can re-record until they are satisfied with their responses. In the pronunciation questions, they can compare their answers to model answers of native speakers. Teachers can also listen to what students have recorded and provide both written and recorded feedback
- With our Peer Review function, teachers can opt for students to review each other's speaking and give their classmates suggestions on how their speaking can be improved. This is a very powerful tool and is most successful if you provide some guidelines on how to give effective feedback for speaking tasks.
- In addition to our Languages in Action tasks, we have a folder in the Content Library titled, “Skills Practice: Speaking”, which is a bank of spontaneous speaking questions designed to help students develop their conversational skills. Students are required to listen to a question and then record their answer. These can also be assigned to students as a task and students can work through them at their own pace. They can repeat as many times as they choose.
- Our platform can be easily used for speaking assessments, either by assigning our speaking tasks as an assessment or by creating your own speaking assessments within the system. This is easy to set up and a really effective way of keeping a record of students' speaking progress.
- Teachers are also able to develop their own focused activities where students are required to produce or recite language samples. Click here for a guide on how to do this.
Each of our levels also contains a Reading Comprehension Section, which contains 8-10 engaging Reading Comprehension texts covering a variety of text types with a range of questions.
Ideas on how to use the Reading comprehension activities in a remote learning environment:
- You can assign the reading comprehension tasks for students to work on individually at their own pace. You can then use class video conference sessions for students to ask questions about words, sentences or grammar that they don't understand or to get students to read the passages out loud.
- You could ask students to write their own questions based on the text for other students to complete They could do this in a google doc which is either shared with other members of the class or this could be built in EP for other students to complete.
- For higher level students, you might ask students to write their own version of the text or a text on a similar topic. They could write questions with it and share this with the class. They could present this in a google doc which is shared with other students - or this could be built in EP for other students to complete.
- For higher level students, you might ask them to write their own opinion of the text or personal response and share this in your class social media group.
- You could ask students to have a conversation based on the reading text in a video conferencing space. You might do a class brainstorm of questions first in a collaborative google doc.
Each unit contains writing practice where students are required to use the language they have learned in a particular unit to complete a writing task. Teachers can view and give feedback on their students' writing.
Ideas on how you can use the writing practice in a remote learning environment:
- The writing lessons can be assigned for students to complete at their own pace. Students can take the time to self assess and then submit when they are happy with their work. Teachers can review students' work and give feedback on this.
- If appropriate for your particular class, you might choose the option of “Peer Review” as part of the task setting, which means that once students have completed the writing tasks, they then review the work that others have done and can give their classmates feedback. This would be most effective after having discussed as a class what the characteristics of a good piece of writing are, or the aspects that you are focussing on in a particular unit.
- The writing lessons can be assigned either as a task or an assessment.
- If our pre-made writing questions aren’t exactly what you want your students to do, you are able to create your own writing tasks. As with all EP Writing tasks, teachers can give ratings and feedback to students based on their work. This lends itself to the establishment of a student writing portfolio that is stored, graded and monitored online. Here is a guide on how to create your own writing questions.
Each of our units has grammar lessons alongside it with a detailed explanation and scaffolded activities to practise the grammar point.
Ideas on how you can use the grammar lessons in a remote learning environment:
- The grammar lessons can be assigned to students to work through independently either before a video conferencing session to prepare for it - or you can assign them to be completed after a video conferencing session or after watching an instructional video that you have recorded to help students master what the teacher covered in a live session.
- The grammar explanations are available to students and teachers alike, meaning that the slides can be used in full screen mode when the teacher is explaining a grammar point in a video conferencing session or in an instructional video.
- For differentiation, teachers can choose to assign different parts of the grammar lessons to different students. For example, for students who are having difficulty, you could just assign the Introduction and recognition sections but for students who need extending, you could assign the full grammar lesson including the free production section. Here is a help guide on how to assign different tasks to different students. Here is another guide on how to assign different sections of a smart lesson. At beginner level, you may decide not to assign any grammar to some students and save it for extension for higher level students.
- For more follow up activities following the completion of the grammar units, you may ask students to complete speaking and writing tasks using a particular grammar point. Some ideas may include: writing a paragraph relating to the topic where they have to include the grammar point, making absurd sentences using the grammar point, making posters which explain the grammar point to upload to a class social media group, making posters with sentences using the grammar point to upload to a class social media group, making videos or songs which explain the grammar point and uploading these to the class group.
Ideas on how you can use the vocabulary lists in a remote learning environment:
- Any vocabulary list within our system can be assigned as a task and teachers can choose which mode/s they want the students to complete. The tasks can be completed independently at the student's own pace. Ideally, if completed prior to a video conferencing session, students come to class prepared and already familiar with the necessary vocabulary.
- All vocabulary lists can also be assigned as an assessment, which is an easy way for you to manage regular vocabulary tests in a remote setting, Here is a help guide on how to set an assessment.
- Vocabulary lists can also be refined, amended and added to in a variety of ways. Teachers can also create their own vocabulary lists from scratch. Here is a help guide on how to create a vocabulary list.
Like a textbook, we offer original assessment material for our Elementary and Beginner Languages in Action units. These are based on each of the units and contain vocabulary, listening, reading, writing and speaking questions.
Ideas on how you can use the assessments:
- Students can be assigned one of our pre-built assessments as a pre-test or a post test. Extensive data analysis is available, including comparing results between assessments.
- Assessments can be completed under monitored conditions in a remote environment which provides added security. Here is a guide on how to use our monitoring tools.
- Once the students have completed an assessment, the system offers the option for targeted remediation, to provide each student with an individual pathway of learning to meet their needs based on the results of their assessment.
- Assessments can be easily edited and adapted to ensure that they meet the needs of your students. If our pre-made assessments do not fit what you are looking for, it is also very easy to create your own from scratch or create a quick test based on our existing lessons.
We have the option of an Immersion Edition of our Languages in Action programme for intermediate and advanced level. This has all of the instructions and questions in the target language. The students are also required to answer questions in the target language.
Ideas on how you can use the Immersion edition in a remote learning environment:
- If you follow an immersion programme you could assign the immersion edition to all of your students.
- You could use the immersion programme as a way to differentiate by assigning it to students who require extension.
- We would recommend using the immersion programme if you follow the IB or Cambridge programme.
- If students are from a non-English speaking background, they may find language acquisition simpler in an immersion format, without needing to add in English translation and thinking.
Current Events Units
We offer Current Events Units which are mini units aimed at advanced level. A new unit is released each term and is based on something relevant or topical in the target country at the time of writing. These units contain relevant keywords and useful background information on the topic, followed by listening and reading comprehension passages and questions.
Ideas on how you can use the current events lessons in a remote learning environment:
- Students could complete the units outside of class time and then during class, you could hold a class discussion or debate about the topic during your video conferencing session.
- Students could complete the units independently and then share the opinions and personal responses in a class social media group.
- You could assign the Listening and Reading comprehension tasks as an assessment or exam. If you need to have original assessment material then please hide the folder from the content library so students can't find it.
- Students could complete the mini unit then write their own text about the particular current event or issue. They could either share this in EP on a google doc or in a class social media group.
- Availability: These are available in French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese and are usually released once a term.
- Another great way to engage students in a remote learning environment is to set competitions. You can set them for any time period you choose and you can choose the content that you want the competitions to focus on. Here is a help guide on how to set a competition.
- We also have dash attached to each of our lessons. This is an inbuilt game, which allows students to compete against each other while completing the content from the lesson. It is a great way to motivate and engage students. Here is a help guide which explains dash.
Click here for an extensive guide about how to use EP Languages in conjunction with video conferencing.