Sometimes with a one to one class, after three hours of teaching you look at your watch and you have only done five minutes. There are some excruciatingly boring people out there and when they are part of a group, they don’t affect you very much. When you are in a room, with the same person from 9-12 and 13-16, 5 days a week, for 2 weeks, personality counts for a lot.
So, whoever they are, you have to try and improve their English. Your teaching strategy will clearly have to be different from your regular classes. You can’t do a “Find Someone Who” but you can do pair work (with yourself as the partner). Here are a few suggestions if you are new to one to one teaching.
* Your student is likely to be in business or industry. Show an interest in their business, and ask them to describe their job to you.
* Have a notepad to jot down any interesting points, grammar points that can be worked on later, vocabulary that your student struggled with. Try to jot things down without breaking the flow of conversation. Many students will know their technical stuff, but will probably be hesitant when talking about their subject in English. Part of your job is to make them more confident with their English.
* With a one-to-one class, you have the flexibility to concentrate on your student’s needs. If they are preparing to give a speech to an English-speaking audience, then don’t spend hours looking at the present perfect. Needs analysis is vital. This should have been done before you meet for the first time so that you have a good idea what to plan.
* With a good one-to-one student, the time can fly by and it can be just like having a conversation with a friend. But don’t forget that they are there to learn, and you do need to stretch them.