English as Additional Language Learners

Tips for Digital Learning for Students New to the Digital Classroom in Canada

1. Make sure you connect regularly with your instructor. Check your NIC email account regularly (at least once a day, Monday to Friday). Reply to all emails that indicate you need to provide an answer. Attend office hours and all online sessions scheduled.

2. Tell your instructor what Internet / Technology resources you have available to you. This will help your instructor plan the course so you can access all materials and sessions.

3. Let your instructor know if you are facing problems. Your instructors want to help you. For example, if you have a poor Internet connection where you live, tell your instructor. If you have to share a laptop / computer with other people, tell your instructor when you can and can’t have access to using a laptop. This will help your instructor find the best ways of supporting you in your studies.

4. Read your course outline and make a study plan. Include dates when you have to hand work in or attend online sessions. Include in your study plan, times when you can relax and any times you are working. Do your best to stick to this schedule. This will help you stay on track with your studies.

5. Ask questions. Instructors are used to students asking questions. They do not always know what a student is struggling with. You can email your instructor or if your instructor has online office hours, use those office hours to connect with your instructor to get help.

6. Many online platforms have closed captioning functions. These provide subtitles in English and other languages. Activate these functions to help you better understand online materials.

7. If your instructor provides video recordings, ask if there is a transcript available.

8. Work with a friend doing the same course, to create a list of keywords / terms for each class, based on the materials you are asked to look at. Make sure you understand those keywords before any online sessions.

9. Do all the readings / activities / tasks that your instructor asks you to do and do them when your instructor asks you to do them. It’s important not to fall behind. If English is your second / additional language, know that it is normal for reading in a second language to take 2-3 times longer than reading something in your first language. Plan extra time to do readings / tasks /activities if you are not used to studying in English.

There is writing and study support available through the Library and Learning Commons. Use these resources regularly to help you, along with all the resources on this site.