How to Participate in an Online Class

Class participation is important if you want to learn faster. Participating in class will allow you to use your English like you would do in the real world. When you participate you are practicing and the more you practice using the language, the faster you will improve it.

Your classes will be more fun if you participate actively and communicate with your classmates and your teacher. Nobody wants to be in a classroom where nobody speaks. It is normal to feel nervous when you have to participate or ask a question. But after you participate you will feel more energetic and alert. That in turn will help you remember what you learn and feel more confident.

Here I’m going to share with you different ways of participating during your online classes:

1. Be proactive and thoughtful
  • Turn ON your camera and keep it on during the whole class.
  • Turn ON your microphone when you participate.
  • Turn OFF your microphone when other people participate.
  • Use the chat box to ask questions or communicate with your teacher and classmates during the class.
  • Join the breakout rooms and participate in the group activities.
  • Offer to share your screen
2. Ask questions

If you have a question or if you are confused you can ask for help to your teacher or your classmates. Here there are some sentence starters that you can use during your class.

Here you have a list of useful phrases that you can use during your English classes:

  • I have a question about _________________.
  • I’m confused about _____________________.
  • I need help with _______________________.
  • I have difficulties understanding __________________.
  • I would like to know more about ___________________.
  • Can you give me an example?
  • What’s the difference between ________ and __________?.
  • What is the answer to question/ exercise ______?
  • What does _______________ mean?
  • How do you pronounce this word?
  • How do you spell _________?
  • How did you get the answer?
  • Can you repeat the last part that you just said?
3. Offer your help

If you want to help your classmates or if you know the answer you can use the following sentence starters:

  • I might know the answer to that.
  • I think I can help you with ________.
  • I’m not sure, but I think the answer is _____________.
4. Volunteer

If you want to volunteer or start the activity

  • Can I go first?
  • I’ll go first.
  • I can do it
  • Who’s next?
5. Share your gratitude
  • Thanks for helping me understand __________.
  • I appreciate your help.
  • I really liked that activity.
  • It was a really fun/ interesting activity.
  • I liked that!

Practice Time

It’s your time to participate!

How important is class participation for you? How do you feel when your classmates refuse to participate in class?


Essential Vocabulary for Online Meetings

Asking for help

Useful English Phrases for Better Communication (Asking for Clarification)