Teaching 1:1 lesson plans?

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Teaching 1:1 lesson plans?

Post by itsvix » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:39 pm

I'm an English tutor in my first year of teaching. I've taught in classrooms and now I'm focusing more on 1:1 students.

I would like some advice on the most effective ways to teach 1:1 and especially over the internet as I have quite a few pupils on skype.

There are some who just want to improve their pronunciation and conversation skills which is fine.
However, there are others who I think could do with some more grammar work.
In the classroom, I always had an objective for the class which i introduced mainly with either a listening or reading task.
Is this also done with 1:1 students? Or is that a waste of their 1:1 time/money?

However, I don't feel that teaching students with a lower level by jumping straight into conversation with error correction is sufficient.

Does anyone have any ideas?
Many thanks

Sally Olsen
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Post by Sally Olsen » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:18 pm

I have the feeling they want more personal contact and fun. Lots of encouragement and having someone interested in them and what they are interested in. You can do the same things but within a more personal framework. You can always refer them to exercises and reading on the Net to enhance what you have discussed during the session. Jot down things to remind you the next lesson to ask - how did the exam go? How is your sister? What happened during the storm? and so on.

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Post by nazarene » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:46 pm

Ultimately just make them happy, make them satisfied, but how. By improving their English they cannot not be satisfied. But how? A lesson plan needs structure and there ought also be structure among the lesson plans, to create a syllabus or a compete program of study- for a given length- whether 10 lesson/hours or 250. But how? How to make this structure?

Obviously for 1:1 focus on the skills they most want to learn. Bearing that in mind I suggest focusing on the active skills- speaking over listening and writing over reading because if you get the active, you also get the passive. They can also do most reading at home, they can bring you texts they struggle with.

But how to create structure? Some people teach with a block on block method, which I think are indigestible. For example- today present continuous, tomorrow past simple, etc. or 'asking for directions'. It is like a snake digesting a big animal. I don't think we learn like that.

If you just do free conversation, I find much progress isn't made but the student and teacher goes around in circles. It is not so effective or efficient to have free conversation except maybe phonetically if you are a ruthless phonetic champion like me. :)

So how? I give you a simple model, a simple idea. Suppose 100 lessons, beginner to advanced. Suppose one can give them 30 new words and a few structures ("grammar" ideas) a lesson on average. 30*100 equals 3000. This is a ladder like approach based on questions and answers, putting the words into authentic questions, adding the most critical, most highly used (and easily taught) English words and structures first. You never teach the same word twice (homographs not withstanding) although you do a lot of review. This gets one up to a high level of English, I think in the quickest possible time.

But how? That I would like to know. When you learn that, tell me. I think without a well written syllabus method it would take a superhuman memory and a great deal of creativity to do this on the spot. But this is the idea. Progress slowly but gradually focusing on core words. Do maybe thirty words a lesson, try to keep the lesson organic (meaningful). I have the notion that a language cannot be learned when it is made unmeaningful- divorced from it's context, dissected. I learn words better when I learn them as part of a sentence for example. I learn how they are used, their collocations, as well as it helping me actually remember it.

I know what is theoretically possible I believe, so I tend to put so much pressure on myself, which I think is unhealthy, because nobody has that superhuman creativity and memory.

We need a good place to start if we will take my approach. A good place to start is to get a list of the most important commonly used words, and make sure those are good and mastered.

Teaching is not easy for me. I wonder if teaching well is easy for anyone-without a preprogrammed structure interaction method. If it is, I want to meet those people, learn from them. Lecturing, like a university professor- that is not teaching. That is lecturing. I envy them. That seems easy, when one's mind is bursting and ripe with knowledge ready to be shared.

Bon chance mon ami

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Post by Richardavie » Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:29 pm

Make it as communicative as possible, this is their chance to get plenty of talking and teacher time!

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