Teaching English Online: Tara Benwell and MyEC

I was just going through some of the great sessions from the Virtual Round Table last week to catch up on what I'd missed and while on over there, saw a posting about one of the sessions I did attend at the time and which, if you're interested in teaching online but aren't sure where to start, would really like to point you towards. 

The session was with Tara Benwell of MyEC who works with English language learners from all over the world: almost 25,000 of them!  

She sets up monthly blog challenges for them to write, administrates their discussions and also helps them develop computer skills and develop learner autonomy.

One of the best things about MyEC - if you're a teacher as well as a learner is that you're welcome to go onto their site and set up your own group - there are many, many other groups to join in as well.    Many of their members frequently write their own blogs so you can quickly offer your services in terms of general feedback or correction (when/if they ask for this).

So basically if you've been hedging on whether or not you'd like to start teaching online, doing an Masters in Edtech/TESOL and you'd really like to have a free space, a kind of 'sandbox' to test out on strangers who are really keen to learn... or you want to work out whether teaching online is for you before diving in with  creating your own site (or even, like me the reverse, you'd like to see how tasks you set with real students work with total strangers)  then you should definitely watch this video and join their site.  

If you have any questions, Tara is super approachable, she tweets at @TEFL and her page on the MyEC page is here, the creator of their site was Josef Essberger.

Good luck!

p.s. Let me just share with you a blog post from one of their members (displayed here with permission):

2 Responses to “Teaching English Online: Tara Benwell and MyEC”

  • Tara Benwell says:
    October 18, 2010

    Thank you so much Karenne! I love how you call MyEC a "sandbox". This is exactly how I want teachers to see it. We need builders to come and play! Could my Monday start any better? I'm glad you chose Karenina's post to share. She started that blog series and many writers have shared. I hope the "blog series" topics catch on. It really adds to the community feel.

  • English Raven says:
    October 19, 2010

    Tara does super work on the MyEC platform/sandbox (whatever else you'd like to call it!). I can't believe how much time and friendly compassion she puts into it.

    An unsung hero in our ranks for sure.

    Onya Tara!

    - Jason


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