Teaching English in Zoom: harnessing the power of online platforms

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Teaching is a dynamic process that demands educators to be abreast of the latest trends and innovations. In light of recent events, the notion that distance learning is not suitable for everyone has faded into insignificance. Online education, once considered inconvenient and niche, has now taken the lead and expanded human capabilities. Hence, the necessity for convenience in online processes arises. Apart from ensuring students feel maximally comfortable during classes through quality video and audio connections, teachers need to meticulously plan lessons down to the smallest details, including material links, technical issues, and knowledge assessment. Only a few programs meet such extensive requirements for conducting video conferences, and Zoom stands out as a relatively new and modernized assistant. It offers a wider range of features appealing to any teacher.

Features of Zoom

First and foremost, Zoom boasts quality connectivity and user-friendly interface. Anyone proficient with modern gadgets can easily master the platform’s functions. While preparing for the first English lesson might take slightly more time than usual, once accustomed to the new possibilities, one realizes it’s worth the effort. An undeniable advantage is Zoom’s affordability. For instance, if you conduct individual sessions and are not yet ready to invest financially, you can organize conferences for your students anytime, with the only limitation being 40 minutes. Resourceful teachers have long adapted to this condition, thus informing their students in advance that they will need to reconnect in a minute. Conducting group sessions falls under the paid plan, including unlimited conference duration with up to 100 participants, costing around $15 per month. For details, it’s recommended to visit Zoom’s official website. These conditions are utilized by modern online English schools.

Teacher as Conference Organizer

A teacher, as the conference organizer, holds several powers aiding in maintaining discipline during lessons. One of them is the ability to mute and unmute participants’ microphones. Additionally, emojis such as raised hand, joy, sadness, etc., allow every student to express themselves. Thus, the teacher can track the overall class mood and not leave any student unnoticed.

Integrated Online Chat

The built-in online chat also facilitates the teacher’s smooth functioning. There, you can send students material links or write individual messages to specific students. Thanks to the interactive whiteboard, there’s no need for a physical whiteboard behind; the teacher can write in real-time.

Interactive Learning

Learning a foreign language should be interesting, and screen sharing makes it interactive. Teachers can show necessary tabs or other materials to students and even pass mouse control if needed. This function resembles video games for students, adding enjoyment to the learning process. Another way to add interest to lessons is by allowing students to choose virtual backgrounds, enabling them to study against a sunny beach or with spaceships in the background.


If you’ve used Skype or other analogs for online meetings, you’ll appreciate Zoom’s vast array of free features, unparalleled and suitable for teaching English to students of any age.

  • Extensions for different browsers, allowing one-click access to the system.
  • Separate application for use on tablets or phones.
  • Comfortable individual and group learning at convenient times and any location.
  • No material or time costs for commuting or renting an office.
  • Opportunity to make lessons unique and memorable.


However, an unbiased approach includes mentioning some downsides to this system.

  • Lack of any gadget and stable internet, complicating learning in rural areas.
  • Absence of a free plan for group sessions.
  • Inability to record lessons for free on any device other than a laptop, which may inconvenience teachers who prefer to travel light.
  • Difficulties in adapting to the platform.

Conducting an English Lesson in Zoom

To organize an online English class using the Zoom service, the English teacher needs to register in the system. For convenience, it’s better to download the application and place it on the desktop. Students’ comfort during the class is a priority and a guarantee that everything planned will go smoothly. To ensure this, we recommend writing a brief entry guide for your students. As mentioned earlier, for computer access, they won’t need to register; it’s sufficient to follow the link provided by the teacher and enter the login and password. However, for those who prefer using phones and tablets, installing the application will be necessary. If you don’t want students to get confused with multiple links, use a single link to enter the conference with you. To do this, simply copy the invitation link in the open application tab with your Personal Meeting ID (PMI).

Since the host of the video call has certain privileges, as mentioned earlier, controlling group participants and their presence in the lesson can be done using the waiting room. To enable this option, click “Edit” next to the ID in the “Meetings” tab. Therefore, if a student wants to join the lesson earlier while you’re still finishing with the previous group, you can calmly complete the necessary tasks and then allow the student to enter the virtual class.

Upon entry, ensure that your microphone and camera are turned on using the respective buttons on the left side of the bottom toolbar. The next tab, “Participants,” will help you control the microphones of conversation participants. “Reactions” and “Chat” will facilitate encouraging and coordinating students’ actions. We recommend practicing introductory lessons in Zoom. This way, you can immediately show potential students what to expect in the lessons, offer your support, and demonstrate unconventional and engaging teaching. Such a lesson will be necessary primarily to establish a clear teaching program and determine the students’ language proficiency level.


Teaching English through Zoom offers a myriad of benefits, revolutionizing the way language education is conducted. The platform’s user-friendly interface, extensive features, and affordability make it an indispensable tool for educators worldwide. Despite some challenges such as technological requirements and adaptation, Zoom provides an unparalleled opportunity for interactive and engaging learning experiences.

By harnessing the power of Zoom, teachers can create dynamic and effective English lessons that transcend geographical boundaries. From interactive whiteboards to virtual backgrounds, the platform offers endless possibilities for innovative teaching methods. Moreover, the ability to record lessons allows for easy progress tracking and review, enhancing the overall learning experience.


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