8 good tips for having one-to-one lessons
I know the feeling when at the beginning of the new school year teachers have a lot of different things to do. For teachers who work in many language schools October in mainly the starting month. Because of the fact that I’m a language trainer and I have been working for some years in that field I would like to share with you some of my ideas how to have interesting one-to-one lessons and what is important to consider before conducting the classes. I note down only some of the most important aspects. However, I hope that after reading those points you’ll have your own to add to the list. Let’s start!
1. Prioritise your tasks
Every time before the beginning of a new school year plan in advance whatever you think could be necessary. If you can, consider the following: target clients, kind of skills that you would like to teach the most, resources that you need to have for the course, any extra help you need for the preparation, hours in which you are available for the classes, workshops that you would to take part in, any new materials that you have to buy. Then make the list with everything and after dealing with the issue just cross it out. You’ll be sure to follow the list with only needed aspects and you’ll have the good feeling of proceeding for job.
2. Think big
However hard it seems to be – think big. Try to imagine what are the aims that your possible student would like to achieve after finishing lessons with you. Would he like to speak better and feel comfortable when reading some interesting facts about his hobby? Would he like to understand some new films more? Maybe it’s something totally different? Concentrate exactly at the points that are connected with productive not receptive skills. It could be beneficial for you to imagine yourself in the client’s shoes. Then you will know a little more about the main concerns and worries and will help to solve the needed issues.
3. Plan the lessons
It’s now a new discovery but when having one-to-one lessons you really can’t relay on being totally spontaneous. Every time some good outline is needed. It’s good for you, when you plan the lesson taking into consideration the aims to fulfil. It’s good for your client – he will feel comfortable with it and know that the job that’s being done is real and meaningful. It’s to get to the exact point in the future!
4.Prepare a new selection of activities
Thinking that only children and teenagers need some extra playing activities is really misleading. Everyone needs to have good connection with English. Games and warming up activities are the best to fulfil the need. Of course, you have to adjust it to the target group but if you prepare in advance the nice list with extra activities you will save some time later when preparing the lessons during the school year.
5. Be ready for checking your clients needs
If you have the opportunity to work with the same client after summer break don’t hesitate to ask again about the aims for the meetings. Clarifying those aims is really necessary because maybe after the break your client will need something different? If you ask first you’ll be on a better position. It’s also a good time to ask about any possible changes in the days or time of the meetings for the lessons. It’s the best to write it down in one place – the more clients you have, the more difficult it may be to remember everything in a good way.
6. Let the student speak
Talkativeness in a very good virtue. It’s really essential when being a teacher. However, the client needs to speak more that you. There are some good reasons for that. First of all, he pays for the classes and secondly – you have to look after your throat and vocal chords. The more you speak the least chances you will give to your student to practice the language. Let him do that instead of you! Help only when necessary. Suggest to use an online dictionary during lessons in order to check given, needed word.
7. Show some new websites, resources
In one-to-one classes you are the boss. In that way you should encourage the student to discover English in the best way he can. Show him what have you got when it comes to new resources. It’s not really hard to find the new options. Once you google you will know for sure various recourse to share. Don’t hesitate to use Facebook ideas but remember about the authors rights. Copy only the ideas with licence to publish and licence of CC0 -Creative Commons.
Controversial topic for the conversation classes? Another approach into teaching? Flipped classroom? Role-play in the lesson or switching the roles between teacher and student? Why not? It’s to surprise and design new, fresh ideas springing into your student head. All is good if it’s not harmful and what makes fun for you both. Have fun while teaching!
I have mentioned only some of the ideas that are worth sharing and trying within you one-to-one teaching. If you follow the ideas for sure you will save a lot of time at your work and you will be ready to conduct a lot of interesting lessons. It’s September, you still have got some time to consider my ideas and think also about your own. I hope that I gave you good food for thought and you will find it not only useful but beneficial as well, especially to develop the ideas and to implement them into your new school year. I’m totally ready for my new students. How about you?