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How English Teachers can use MyEC

Why are thousands of teachers joining’s social network? First and foremost, My English Club (MyEC) is a virtual sandbox for teachers. They practise their teaching skills, test out online tools, share resources, and volunteer in various ways. Unlike the staffroom feel of some of the other wonderful ELT social networks and communities, MyEC is a place for English learners and teachers to interact together.

I’m an English Teacher. What can I do on MyEC?

Practise your teaching skills

If you’re a new teacher or someone who is interested in getting into the TEFL industry, MyEC is a great place to dip your toes. Find out what kinds of grammar questions your future students will ask. Look for common errors that learners are making. Join the Audio Speaking Group and practise coaching English learners through discussions on intonation, word stress, linking, and phonemes. Many teachers neglect to teach certain skills, such as pronunciation. You can increase your confidence in difficult areas by practising teaching on MyEC.

Increase your blog readership

Blogging in a community such as MyEC gives you an instant readership. This is excellent for your students, but can also be nice for you if you are a new ELT blogger. If you already have a blog, you can add a box on your MyEC page that links to your posts. You can also link to your posts (and those of other bloggers) in your status updates. These status updates can go directly to your Facebook or Twitter account.

Test out a method, tool, or idea

Have you learned about a new web tool that you want to test out? You can embed many tools in your MyEC blog. You can also upload videos or photos in the media gallery. Keep your content private or public. Blog about the tools and sites that you find most useful. Encourage your learners to do the same. If you have an idea for a topic or project that you aren’t sure will fly with the students in your class, why not see what the MyEC learners do with it?

Store your videos, photos, and MP3 recordings for easy access

Help us fill the MyEC media galleries with content that is useful for teaching and learning English. The best contest is the stuff you create yourself, but you are also welcome to share videos that you find online, or photos that you have permission to use. No longer will you have to search the web for the content you want to use in class. Simply visit your own page and click on My Videos or My Photos or My Blog. Though we’d love if you kept your content public for everyone to enjoy, you can also set it to private or “Just my Friends”. (Your “friends” can be just your students if you invite them to MyEC.)

Create a special interest group

On MyEC, you can create and lead a group with its own webpage. Your group can be invite only (just your students or friends) or can be open to anyone. You create your own url and icon and decide how the group will be administered. Check out the that already exist and invite your students to join any that might be of interest to them. If you have a special skill, such as teaching IELTS, why not create your own group?

MyEC Music Player

Record your own Listening Materials

Every MyEC member gets a music player. This is where you can upload your own recordings to use in class! Next time you can’t find the listening materials you need, make your own and post them on your MyEC page. You can embed your music player into a blog post or comment. If you’ve always wanted to start a podcast, why not do it now? Upload your shows to your MyEC music player (watch for file size limits).

Showcase your talent

MyEC is the perfect place to combine your teaching skills with your passion. If you love photography, teach English through images. If you like making videos, follow Daniel’s lead. Your stories, art, and songs will be treasured by English learners worldwide.

Ask questions to other teachers or learners

MyEC offers forums where students and teachers can pose and answer questions. These can be general questions as well as questions related to learning English. If you have a question and you need a quick answer, visit the chat room!

Publish your personalized lesson plans and teaching ideas

If you write your own lesson plans, don’t let them waste away in your filing cabinet. Take the time to type them out and post them on your blog. The rest of the world can enjoy your hard work and you’ll always know where to find your lessons and activities.

Interact with your own students

Invite your teen or adult students to join MyEC with you. If you are joining as a group and one of your students is declined membership, please let admin know. Your students must upload an avatar, and must correctly fill out all of the fields and choose “I agree” to all three questions in the application form.

Host a weekly chat

If you are interested in using chat rooms to teach or practise teaching, you can set up a weekly chat on MyEC. Choose a topic of interest or poll the members to see what they want to talk about. Publicize your chat via posters in the photo gallery or a webcam announcement in the video gallery. Write a blog post about your weekly chat or start a group related to it.Advanced member search

Collaborate with teachers or students worldwide

The Advanced Member search is a useful tool on MyEC that some members don’t know about. Here you can search for members by country, level, gender, and more…

Create online language challenges

Every month our admin and moderators create special challenges for learners, including the writing challenge, the video challenge, and the photo challenge. Teachers and students are encouraged to create their own challenges! You can use various methods to publicize your challenge, such as creating a poster or video announcement, or leaving a link to your content in your status update that is connected to your twitter and Facebook account. If you’ve created a challenge or group for English learners on MyEC and you need some help publicizing it, let Tara know! Here are a few examples:
Writing Challenge
Photo Challenge
Video Challenge

MyEC Status Update

Keep in touch with past students

It is hard not to get attached to our students. Saying goodbye to ESL/EFL students can be difficult because we know we’ll probably never see these students again. Often times we are adults teaching adults and we develop close bonds and friendships. Many teachers are reluctant to friend their students on Facebook, but MyEC is a place where you can maintain an informal online teaching presence. Next time you have a teary eyed graduation ceremony, consider inviting your students to join MyEC.

Get inspired

Check out what other teachers and learners are doing on MyEC. You will be inspired to start using technology in and out of the classroom.

Watch the MyEC Tour for Teachers Video
Blogging as Teaching (video): Summary of IATEFL 2011 Presentation

Written by Tara Benwell for May 2011
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials for the ELT industry.

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