{January 9, 2009}   Private Students

As many English teachers, I have some private students at home. They are mostly teens and adults who want to improve their level of Spoken English or need some business lessons, and children who need some extra practice.

I generally prepare a syllabus according to the needs of the students, but following some general principles, such as:

–  he or she knows basic grammar rules

– he or she has a wide range vocabulary for his level

– he or she needs to develop ___________ skills.

Of course, not all of this can be prepared beforehand. More than often I prepare the first two classes as general review, and the third class develops in the form of a test. Then,  I can decide where I should focus my classes on.  When I meet the student for the fourth time, I explain how classes will develop from that point onwards. They generally like this way of work, because they think it’s more personal and they can practice the areas they feel they are weaker on. Another advantage for students is that, generally with this kind of classes, they can choose the topic areas to work with. Men for example like cars and sports more than other vocabulary areas, whereas some women prefer topics such as shopping and cooking more than others. I really feel this helps them be more comfortable in their classes, because those are vocabulary areas they know well in their mother tongue, and with a bit of help, they can master them in a very short time.

I keep a record of class time and topics for each student, and devise a short term syllabus. If this works well, then, I go on planning my classes.

Do you have any specific tips for this kind of classes? How  do you manage with private students? Do you teach at home or do you go to your student’s place?


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