Teaching online with Future: tips and resources


Future, the most comprehensive adult English language program, incorporates digital tools and technologies that make online, blended, and distance learning easy.

With MyEnglishLab, digital books, and the ActiveTeach, you can easily build an online curriculum, for both synchronous and asynchronous delivery.

It all begins with the Pearson English Portal – a powerful platform that delivers Future digital resources to instructors and students, such as MyEnglishLab, new digital flip books, and the ActiveTeach. With these digital resources, you can transition your Future, course online and ensure your students have the resources they need to continue learning.

We have put together a roadmap that offers detailed suggestions on how to teach each lesson in Future in the online environment. 

You will find a few general suggestions below. To access and download the complete roadmap, click here.

General Tips for Teaching Online with Future

Online Class (Synchronous Learning)

1. Download the ActiveTeach into your computer or USB drive. Use the screensharing option using a conferencing platform such as Zoom or Google Meet to display the student book pages for all your students. The ActiveTeach offers tools to make the book pages come to life, such as zoom-in, highlight, post-it notes, as well as audio and video.

2. Students can use their printed books or the digital flip books to follow along.

3. For extra practice, they can also use their printed workbooks. You can display pages from the workbooks during your synchronous class (workbook pages are available in the Teacher Resources in the Pearson English Portal).

4. For group discussions, use the breakout room option in Zoom to put students in groups. You can also create classes in Google Classroom where students collaborate on projects and engage in discussions.

5. For more engaging and collaborative practice, you can use additional resources available in Teacher’s Resources in the Pearson English Portal, such as Team Projects and Multilevel Communicative Activities. You can display the PDFs of these activities during your synchronous class in Zoom or Google Meet, or you can upload them into MyEnglishLab for students to access.

Independent Study (Asynchronous Learning)

1. Use MyEnglishLab to assign practice activities before and after your synchronous class. MyEnglishLab for Future includes activities for nearly every lesson in the student book, including writing and speaking.

1. Use MyEnglishLab to assign practice activities before and after your synchronous class. MyEnglishLab for Future includes activities for nearly every lesson in the student book, including writing and speaking.

2. Hide any course content in MyEnglishLab that you prefer students not access initially. The assessments are already hidden by default.

3. If you would like to remind students of pending assignments a day prior to your next class meeting, consider using the notes feature on the calendar.

4.  You can also upload your own materials in MyEnglishLab, such as notes and presentations.

5.  You can use MyEnglishLab to send messages to students, as well as check task completion, overall and individual scores, and time on task, and grade student-generated content such as audio or writing.

6. Go to the gradebook and review the results to assess what skills individual students may need more instruction on. Use this information to target teaching areas.

7. Students can use their print workbooks to practice on their own. They can use their Pearson Practice English App to access the audio and video resources.

8. Consider having “office hours” on Google Classroom or WhatsApp chat. Make the times of the “office hours” clear so students know when they can come to you with questions and challenges 9. Assessing students: There is a number of assessments you can assign to students in MyEnglishLab. Note that they are not visible to students until assigned.

1. Use MyEnglishLab to assign practice activities before and after your synchronous class. MyEnglishLab for Future includes activities for nearly every lesson in the student book, including writing and speaking.

2.  You can also upload your own materials in MyEnglishLab, such as notes and presentations.

3.  You can use MyEnglishLab to send messages to students, as well as check task completion, overall and individual scores, and time on task, and grade student generated content such as audio or writing.

4. Students can use their print workbooks to practice on their own. They can use their Pearson Practice English App to access the audio and video resources.

5. Consider having “office hours” on Google Classroom or WhatsApp chat. Make the times of the “office hours” clear so students know when they can come to you with questions and challenges

6. Assessing students: There is a number of assessments you can assign to students in MyEnglishLab. Note that they are not visible to students until assigned.

For lesson-specific tips on teaching online with Future, click here.

Additional resources

Teaching online with Pearson digital tools

by Christina Cavage and Gosia Jaros-White

Need a PDF of this blog post? Download it here.

Need to move your face-to-face instruction online? Feeling overwhelmed? You are not alone. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started. Think about LEARN: Language Teaching in an Engaging, Active, Resourceful eNvironment. This is what we aim to do in our face-to-face classes, so how can we replicate that in the digital world? In her webinar, Christina Cavage explores these tips and tricks to help you transition to the online environment. You can watch it here and download the webinar handout here.

Pearson English Portal: MyEnglishLab, eText, ActiveTeach

The Pearson English Portal is a powerful platform that delivers digital resources to instructors and students, such as MyEnglishLab, Pearson eTexts / digital flip books, and the ActiveTeach. With the Pearson digital resources, you can transition your course online and ensure your students have the resources they need to continue learning.

The following roadmap will help you utilize MyEnglishLab in conjunction with eTexts and ActiveTeach in your online course delivery, both synchronously and asynchronously. It illustrates:

  1. How to front load your class lessons with MyEnglish lab;
  2. How to use data from MyEnglishLab to drive synchronous instruction;
  3. How to reinforce and instruct using the eText / digital flip books and ActiveTeach;
  4. How to formally assess and support learning gaps with additional MyEnglishLab content.

If you have not accessed the Pearson English Portal or used MyEnglishLab before, you will find links to information and resources at the end of this post (Tips for Success).

Roadmap for using Pearson resources in live and asynchronous classes
Figure 1: MyEnglishLab Gradebook
eText + screensharing
Figure 2a: Teaching using the eText with screensharing
ActiveTeach + screensharing
Figure 2b: Teaching using the ActiveTeach and screensharing
Collaborative task for breakout rooms
Figure 3: Collaborative task in the eText for breakout rooms
Manage resources: add resources in MyEnglishLab
Figure 4: Manage resources — add resources in MyEnglishLab

Tips for Success

  1. Be sure you and your students are registered for the Pearson English Portal at english.com/activate.
  2. Once registered, students should use their product access code to add to their dashboards. They can find the codes in their student books. You can also obtain these codes from your Pearson ELT sales specialist.
  3. Orient students to MyEnglishLab. Consider sharing this helpful setup video with your students: Registering your access code.
  4. Set up your course. Make sure you obtain your instructor access code from your Pearson ELT sales specialist. This video will walk you through the process of creating a new course.
  5. Share your Course ID with your students. Have them join your course. This video will show students how to join your course. Share the link with them.
  6. Reach out to students who are not completing assignments via messaging in MyEnglishLab or other electronic systems. Ensure they are able to access the course.
  7. Attend webinars and other trainings to explore all functionality. You can sign up for live webinars here.
  8. Explore available resources and videos here.
live webinars
Sign up for live training webinars

Sample Lesson Planner for course that traditionally meets 4-6 hours a week face-to-face:

  1. Assign MyLab work, including instructional videos (2-3 hours of work for students).

2. Meet synchronously 1-3 hours a week, review content delivered online, asynchronously. Review key concepts in e-book, utilize collaborative tasks, and engaging activities for students to connect and practice.

3. Reinforce with MyLab assignments and assessments, 1-3 hours of student work.

Additional resources to help you move online

We have lots of helpful resources to get you going:

A series of seven videos by Dr. Ken Beatty on making online teaching and learning work. Access them here.

A presentation by Christina Cavage exploring solutions and tips for successful online teaching. Access it here.

A presentation on how the Versant Placement Test can be used to assess students securely from home. Watch it here.

A demo on how to use MyEnglishLab for anytime, anywhere learning. Watch it here.

An update from Pearson ELT USA regarding the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak

In response to the recent Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, we would like to reassure the ELT community that we are monitoring the situation extremely closely. We understand the impact this is having, and our thoughts are with everyone affected.

Our priority is the safety of our employees, customers, and learners. The Pearson ELT USA Team is doing everything possible to ensure that teaching and learning can continue during this period of uncertainty, following guidance from the CDC and local authorities.

The Pearson ELT Team is dedicated to be your support center during this challenging time. We offer an array of modern digital solutions for online teaching, learning, and assessment. We are here to:

  • Help you obtain instant access to digital resources for your learners.
  • Find the best digital subscription solutions for your program. 
  • Offer support and training to make digital implementation quick and easy. 
  • Furnish you with digital versions of Pearson ELT textbooks.

The Marketing Team and your dedicated Pearson ELT Specialist are here for you. Contact us at any time! Locate your rep here. Email the marketing team at esl_marketing@pearson.com.

For a limited time, students can purchase instant access codes for MyEnglishLab and eTexts at a discount of 25% using code SPRING20 at buymylab.com.

We hope you can join our Digital Implementation Webinar Series with Pearson authors and experts who will talk about available resources and how to best transition to online learning and teaching. With the Pearson digital solutions, you can choose how you want to integrate online tools into your classroom to assess your students, manage your classroom, motivate your learners, and facilitate online practice.

Register for our online webinars

Distance Teaching and Learning: Useful Tips for Making it Work. Presented by Ken Beatty

Online teaching and remote learning are increasing globally, so how do you make it work for both educator and learner? In this webinar Dr. Ken Beatty, an expert on online teaching and learning, will focus on the needs of teachers and learners of all ages and at all levels.

He’ll explore how to get organized, plan effectively, stay motivated and keep learners engaged and answer key questions about online distance learning

Tuesday, March 17 at 8:00 am EDT . Register

Wednesday, March 18 at 6:00 am EDT . Register

Wednesday, March 18 at 1:00 pm EDT . Register

Digital Solutions for Online Learning. Presented by Christina Cavage

Wednesday, March 18 at 2:00 pm EDT

Learn how you can leverage digital tools to deliver course content in an online environment. This session covers the how to’s of using MyEnglishLab and other tools to keep your course moving and your students motivated.

Register

Using Versant Placement Test as a Home-Based Assessment. Presented by Nick Laul, Pearson Assessment

Thursday, March 19 at 2:00 pm EDT

Is your program in need of a home-based testing solution that will allow you to assess your students’ English language skills if your primary test is not available? The Versant English Placement Test is a 4-skills test that can be taken by computer for admissions and program placement. With score mappings to common scales like GSE, CEFR and TOEFL, it is easier than ever to integrate results into your existing enrollment process. In this session you will learn about Versant Placement Test and how you can implement it with your program.

Register

MyEnglishLab: Your Solution for Anytime, Anywhere Learning. Presented by Janay Phillips, Pearson ELT

Friday, March 20 at 2:00 pm EDT

MyEnglishLab, Pearson’s Language Management System, provides solutions for distance learning, anytime, anywhere. This session will walk you through the steps of registering your product, creating a course, and utilizing the wide array of tools available within MyEnglishLab.

Register

Teaching practical vocabulary in your grammar lessons

By Stacy Hagen

Recent shifts in adult education have placed a priority on workforce and academic readiness. English language programs need to not only help learners develop English language competencies but also develop the skills they will need as they further their goals of education and better employment.

In this new educational landscape, preparing our students for college and career readiness is critical.  One thing we can do is to focus on practical vocabulary and content in our exercises.  Let me show you several examples.

Beginning students need to learn the basics of filling out forms.  In this exercise from the new edition of the Fundamentals of English Grammar, the grammar point is simple present and present progressive, but the context is completing forms.  While students are practicing the verb forms, they are also learning the language necessary for filling out forms.

Email is the number one form of communication in the workplace, but many of our students don’t use it at all.  When they get to college or start a job, it’s likely they may not know how to compose a proper message.  Here’s an exercise to introduce students to email appropriateness while practicing the verb will.  Through reading, discussion, and writing, students learn that casual language, emojis, reduced speech, to name a few, are not appropriate for academic or workplace emails.

Beginning and intermediate students need practical life-skills vocabulary; this can be easily included in sentence-level practice.  In this exercise with another/the other, the context is appliances and tools. Students practice a new grammar point while also acquiring practical vocabulary.

A traditional way to teach students how to ask for the meaning of something is by giving them an unfamiliar word.   For example, if they are at an intermediate level, we might give them the word spectacular and have them ask, “What does spectacular mean?”  Now, at some point, students will probably encounter a word like spectacular, but we could also give them content that would help them navigate their more immediate world: texting.

Helping our students become college and career ready also involves teaching them useful learning skills and strategies. Tips for how to be a better learner can be embedded into grammar lessons as illustrated by this example:

The topic of this reading is based on an interesting insight from cognitive science that shows we remember information at the beginning and the end better than information in the middle. Students tend to study in long blocks, maybe an hour, or two.  But if they study for a shorter amount of time, 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break, they create a new ending and beginning.  This will help them remember information better.  

The Fundamentals of English Grammar and Understanding and Using English Grammar now have a series of blog that include study tips to help student become more successful in the academic world. Whether students are preparing for college or seeking employment, we can help them by providing practical and relevant content from the start. As these examples illustrate, this practical and relevant content can be easily embedded into any grammar lesson.


Stacy Hagen has been involved in ESL for 40 years as a teacher, administrator, teacher-trainer, and materials writer.  She has taught intensive, immigrant, refugee, high school, and MATESL students. She is the co-author of the Azar-Hagen Grammar Series, including the most recent Fifth Edition of Fundamentals of English Grammar.

Learn more about the Azar-Hagen Grammar Series here.

True Stories + Future = Perfect Partners!

True Stories is a six-level reading series that has been an enduring favorite of teachers and students for 25 years. These popular texts consist of human-interest news stories that are geared towards adults.

The series can be used as a stand-alone reading course or as a complement to Future, a six-level adult English course that equips learners with transferable academic, workplace, and English communication skills.

The color-coordinated book covers make it easy to match the levels in True Stories with the levels in Future.

Why are True Stories and Future perfect partners?

Pair units in Future with thematically related units in True Stories to:

  • accelerate your students’ progress in reading
  • recycle and reinforce the vocabulary of the topics
  • prompt students to share their own “true stories” related to the topic
  • enliven your lessons with believe-it-or-not reading selections

Sandra Heyer, the True Stories author explains the rationale between this association between Future and True Stories:

“I teach reading in the four-level Adult ESL program in my community. I go from level to level with True Stories and teach a 20-30-minute reading lesson in each class.

When I walked into a classroom with the books, often the teacher asked if I had a story about the topic they’re working on–health, work, housing, etc. I usually did. The teachers and I noticed that a lot of the vocabulary in the life-skills unit reappeared in a theme-related story, and that often the story got students talking about their own experiences related to the theme. Another plus was that the story seemed to change the energy in the room—that the story about the woman with the bad knee being chased by a bear, for example, offset the seriousness of a lesson on illnesses and injuries. So, the teachers and I began to coordinate our lessons.”

We want to share this partnership with you. Therefore, we have created handy correlation documents to help you quickly match units in Future with complementary units in True Stories.

Download them here.