Online English language acquisition in adults is a sensitive issue. Generally speaking, adults exhibit many barriers related to language acquisition both in face-to-face and virtual English classes. Though having to learn the use of a new software plus some old prejudice and/or personal trouble with English language learning can hinder the progress of adult learners in English literacy, or may have a huge influence on them until such an extent that they may even dismiss the idea of engaging in an online English course.
Tutors attitudes towards adult students should be considerate. Of course, it is not easy to teach an online English course where you have adults with unresolved emotional issues toward English language learning, but there is a new concept called "digital kindness", which may help figure out the puzzle of pushing adult students to a more satisfying virtual English language education experience.
According to Boggs (2021), digital kindness has to do with the empathic gestures any person may perform online and offline to trigger a warm, confident and relaxed framework that can be linked to a digital environment. It is likely to translate this concept from the work into the language sphere, but you may wonder how.
Some useful tips may be as follows, whenever you start and finish every class, greet your students with a positive attitude and a smile, be a good listener, give kind feedback, guide them through difficult learning situations, share happy and sad times with them, always use humor to make them relax, employ appropriate and respectful language in all your oral and written communications with your learners, create a warm and trustworthy atmosphere where they can commit errors and capitalize on them, and above all celebrate, and/or reward any progress they may make. Are you up to this challenge?