How to successfully conduct your first one-to-one online lesson?
Congratulations! You’re just about to have your first lesson with a new adult student. If you’re wondering what can you do during that meeting think about my checked ideas. I have been testing those ideas over more than 3 years and they really work.
I always have some stable parts of my first one to one lesson. Why? Because first lesson is very important for setting the correct plans, goals, introducing the method and tell something about the technical online things. The English talk is, of course, included.
I divide the lesson into the following parts:
In that section I introduce myself and talk a little about my experience. I’m a very optimistic person and I like to set that kind of atmosphere during the meeting. I always smile a lot and have a good attitude towards lesson. I also set the plan for the whole meeting with telling the exacts steps what we’ll cover. If the level of the student is high enough I ask if we can turn into English to start the next stage of the meeting.
2. Listening to the client
Next step is letting the client speak. I often ask some question and note down the answers. That is very important and helpful when creating the customer’s profile. I often ask: ‘Why do you want to learn English’. ‘What brought you here’, ‘What are your aims’ ‘Where do you see yourself within the next 2 years in English?’ ‘Why have you decided to join my lessons’ What is your past experience with English?
3. Oral placement test/showing the materials
I don’t call it like a test or placement but it’s simply the easy small talk. I have some questions that I’
d like to cover depending on the level of the student. Those question help me to see what structures are used, what is the potential in the student, what can I help the person with and so on. The main topic are about hobby, life, family, job, past events, future plans and so on. The wide range of topics can help me to see what kind of person my potential customer is. I ask if he/she is very talkative, if he/she needs more or less help. That part of meeting is also designed to check if there’s the state of ‘flow’ in the meeting. It’s obvious that flow is a very helpful phenomenon in conducting a lesson. If necessary I also show the example materials for the meetings.
4. Technical things
As we go on and finish with the previous section I talk about the technical things that are important since the meeting are about to be online only. I tell about the best parameters of wireless connection to the Internet, I advise what to do when facing some technical issues while future meetings, I present the general rules of potential collaboration.
This section has been designed to help the customer with explaining any issues. I generally don’t get a lot of question because I explain a lot of before. However, in case of any questions I’m here to help. It is important to look at the time when meeting this part of the lesson because sometimes there might be too many issues to cover.
I prepare a summary based on my notes and the talk. I lay the plans towards potential lessons in the future, set the goals for collaboration. I also give me opinion about strong and weaker points of the learner. I’m honest and straight – if the student is on lower level than he/she stated I express it in a gentle way. I find friendly rapport very useful.
After the lesson online I always send the most important things via e-mail. Those things are about: regulations of cooperation, contact details, prices and benefits. If I agreed before on next meeting I also include the details of it – the student’s role is to confirm it and pay for the next meeting.
- I don’t correct the mistakes during the first meeting very much. I’m more interested into the customer’s abilities.
- I lower the level of stress by using the story form my own experience about my past experience regarding learning English and how I had struggled.
- Before the lesson I always check my connection and Skype update as not to destroy and break during the meeting.
- If there’s a problem with connection via Skype I call again.
- If a student is late for the first lesson I write an e-mail and wait for the 15 minutes. Sometimes he/she may simply be late or have some technical issues with the computer.
- I check the time when I have this kind of meeting, if customer still has a lot of things to cover I ask him/her to write it in the e-mail or I set the time for other call.
I truly believe that being prepared well in advance for the meeting and positive attitude can guarantee the lesson to be better. If you’d like to get new students you have to add the value to the lesson. There is also one thing that I’ like you to remember practice makes perfect!