If you’re an ESL (English as a Second Language) or ELL (English Language Learner) educator, this article is for you. With summer around the corner, families in East Asia are ramping up for online interactive camps made by you!
Not sure what kind of online summer camps to create or how to increase enrollments? Read on to get some amazing insights from our East Asia team.
Summer camp overview
If you read Aaron Potsick’s story about how to develop high-interest online summer camps then you already know that putting together an engaging and entertaining camp is a bit different from what you typically offer during other times of the year. But what about Outschool’s learners on the other side of the globe? What are they searching for this summer?
Our East Asian team spoke with families and compiled numerous ways to help you increase your enrollments and have more classes ready for the market this year.
Tip: The article mentioned above is also great for anyone interested in creating online summer camps no matter what you teach or who you’re teaching to.
Increased meeting frequency
According to the team, summer vacation is typically when East Asian learners can take multiple ESL/ELL classes intensively. It is not uncommon for learners to take 2-3 classes each day. Often, parents prefer to keep the same schedule during weekdays. Thus intensive classes that last 1-3 weeks or even 2-day or 3-day camps are popular.
Now, let’s look at when to schedule these classes each day.
The best times to list classes
When listing classes for learners in East Asia, you want to ensure you’re scheduling classes that work well for both parties. Unlike teaching classes in or near your time zone, teaching during your typical hours may not be the best time for ESL learners. Based on the local timezone GMT +8 (Hong Kong and Taiwan) and GMT+9 (Japan and Korea), the high-demand hours are:
- 9 am to 12 pm
- 2-5 pm
- 6-9 pm
Unsure when these times are where you live? Use a time zone converter to figure out what times work best for you.
Families in East Asia are looking for the same type of camps as the rest of the globe. The good news is that you can take current camp offerings and offer classes when learners in East Asia are more likely to join. If you’re unsure what type of camps to offer, you can always access these Outschool’s insights to inspire your listings:
Mini-lessons to encourage summer camp enrollments
This summer, families are looking for mini-lessons to get to know you, your teaching style, and your material before signing up for a longer course. To do this, Outschool’s East Asian team has some suggestions to help you get started.
Design your classes with East Asia in mind
As an online instructor, families don’t get to “meet” you before learners begin classes or camp, so it’s important to offer creative ways to get their attention. Use this opportunity to update your profile video to market your classes and make individual video mini-lessons for your summer camp listings. You can also use keywords in your camp listings if they are specific to ESL/ELL Outschool learners.
Outschool families in East Asia looking for the following summer camp offerings:
- Schedule one-time group trial classes before they register for longer camps. Set up the one-time class as an introduction to the topic so learners can get to know you and get a feel for your teaching style. Funnel your one-time listings into multi-day or ongoing courses.
- Consider offering a certificate or report on the learner’s progress at the end of the camp session. Whether you teach academics, art, or aeronautics, families want to see how their learner is doing and what they’ve accomplished in your camp.
Once you have your profile video or mini-lesson ready to go, consider adding translated closed captions.
Use closed captioning
You don’t have to have fancy editing software to include closed captioning options on your videos or mini-lessons. However, including translations of your mini-lesson in East Asian languages may help you connect with families from that part of the world. If you use Zoom to record your mini-lessons and videos, you can add captions using these instructions. For all other video types, you can use a third-party tool to add them after your video is recorded.
As of March 2023, Outschool’s platform is an all-English website in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japanese markets. With that in mind, translating your videos may help East Asian parents better understand your class and increase enrollments.
After your mini-lessons are posted and your classes listed, it’s time to start spreading the word!
Market on social media
Since you have already taken the time to create the mini-lessons, why not share them on social media? Video tutorials make great social media content! Just remember that you are targeting a different audience.
Since Outschool is a global community, be mindful of cultural online etiquette, social norms, and expectations when posting online. For example, according to the article Understanding Social Media Culture in South Korea, using honorifics and a subtle communication style is preferred over a loud, “in-your-face” post.
Want to know more about offering classes in the East Asian market? Be sure to check out these articles in the Educator Library: