It can be confusing when you’re in an online environment. Sometimes, you feel lost and alone. Don’t worry! Everyone feels this way when it’s their first time. The good news is that you’re really not alone and the more you attend classes, the more comfortable you’ll become!
Here are 5 tips to help you find your way:
Have the right tools
Use a laptop or desktop computer. Devices like tablets and mobile phones work too. However, some apps may not work as well on mobile, especially when you’re on the move or your internet connection is not stable.
To attend an online class at EO, you will need these tools:
- Internet connection
- Laptop, desktop or tablet
- Browser (you can use Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari, etc. but preferably, Chrome)
- Skype to join the EO Community Group
- You can also have a headset to help minimize noise but this is optional.
Go one step further and test your tools before class. Open your computer and check your internet connection. Open Skype and see if you’ve been added to the EO Community Group. Go through some of the messages on chat so you’ll be familiar with how Skype chat works.
Know when and where to go
Once you’re a member of the EO Community Group on Skype, you will see that classes for the day are posted at 9:00 am. But if you want to know the schedule of classes and topics in advance, go to the Events Calendar on the Live & Learn website.
Online classes are held on Skype or Big Blue Button. To join a class, wait for the instructor’s link. They post this 30 minutes before the start of each class. Simply click on the link to join the class!
Live&Learn.ca is where you find a list of all of English Online’s services. It also holds learning materials that go hand-in-hand with living and learning in Manitoba. Go to LIVE to read articles and get information about how to settle in Manitoba successfully. It has 12 themes all related your needs as a newcomer in Canada. Go to LEARN to see all your learning options and learning resources.
Know which class is for you
EO has online classes throughout the week. They run for an hour and are usually scheduled at 10-11 am, 12-1 pm, 2-3 pm and 7-8 pm. Most classes accept all CLB levels. However, the Advanced Reading Club is preferably for CLB 6+ while the Advanced Writing Workshop is for CLB 5+ (there is also a Reading Club and Writing Workshop for levels 5 and below). Some Coffee Chats are specifically for CLB 3-4. You will see these labelled on the Events Calendar.
All online classes help language learners improve English language skills and know more about Manitoba.
Here’s a list:
- Coffee Chats (for CLB levels 1-8, with sessions for CLB 3-4) – Informal group gatherings where you can learn about a particular topic of the day and share your views with others. Join this if you want to practise your conversation skills in English, learn more about Manitoba, and meet other new Manitobans.
- Lunch & Learn (Dine & Learn) (for CLB levels 1-8) – This is an hour of grammar, vocabulary and punctuation tips. Join this session to polish your English skills in a relaxed environment. If you can’t attend the lunch time session, you can catch Dine & Learn held at 7-8 pm.
- Language Circles (for CLB levels 1-8) – These are fun language lessons based on CBC Learning-English and Canadian Idioms sets. Join this to grow your vocabulary and learn more Canadian idioms. This will help you speak and understand Canadian English better.
- Reading Club (for CLB levels 1-8, with Advanced for CLB 6+ )– This is a session where you read a short story and discuss it in class. Meanwhile, the Advanced Reading Club (CLB 6+) reads a novel for 3-4 weeks and discuss it each session by chapters. Join these classes if you want to increase your vocabulary and comprehension, develop the habit of reading, and discuss your ideas in a friendly environment.
- Writing Workshops (for CLB levels 1-8, with Advanced for CLB 5+)– This discusses the basics of good writing. Learners practise writing techniques and get direct guidance from the instructor. Join this is if you want to learn how to write amazing sentences and paragraphs. There is an Advanced class for CLB 5+.
- Multi-Week Workshops (for CLB levels 1-8) – Sessions discuss essential topics like Digital Citizenship, Workplace Communication, and Diversity in Manitoba. Each topic runs for 4-5 weeks. Join this if you want to gain essential knowledge for working and living in Canada and learn how to be a self-directed learner.
- Citizenship Class (for CLB levels 1-8)– Learn interesting social, historical, cultural and political facts about Canada. Join to review for the Canadian Citizenship exam or just learn more about your new home.
- Drop-in Workshops (for CLB levels 1-8) – Classes discuss seasonal topics like “Looking forward to spring”, “Tips to surviving winter” or Employment and career topics. Sessions can be linked to language-learning elements.
If you don’t find a class that fits your schedule, you can consider other learning options. You can choose to learn one-on-one with a TESL-accredited instructor online via LINC Home Study or with an e-Volunteer through the e-Volunteer program. You can also choose to have a one-on-one settlement coach. Please note that these programs are on a first-come-first served basis. Slots usually fill out quickly. If you are wait-listed for these programs, you can ask our instructors about other options or for other language learning resources.
Don’t be shy – Ask questions
It’s always okay to ask questions when you don’t know something. We would be happy to answer your questions!
How do you ask questions online? Great question! You can do it several ways:
- Post it on EO Community Group on Skype. Do this for urgent concerns.
- Send a message to your instructor on Skype. You can write on the EO Community Group and add “@ (Name of instructor)” or click on your instructor’s profile picture then click “send message”. You can write a quick note or record a quick message.
- For non-urgent questions, call us at 204-946-5140. You can also look for Rahwa (ext. 202) if you have questions about your computer and other technical queries. If you don’t like phone calls, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consider following us on social media to know what’s new with English Online. You’ll get the latest news, announcements, services, links to new programs in Manitoba, job ads, quizzes, contests, motivation tips and more! Go to the following links and click on “like” or “follow”:
Attend classes regularly
As mentioned early on, the more you attend online classes, the more you’ll become comfortable. When you’ve experienced what happens in an online class, you’ll understand what you need to prepare for and what to do. You’ll also become familiar with different applications for online learning. All of these will soon be second nature to you. You’ll reach a point where attending an online class is as comfortable as attending any class.
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