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Teach English in Tenggeli'elisi Zhen - Alashan Meng — Alxa
One-to-one lessons are on many occasions the fastest and most efficient options for students to improve their language skills. The teacher is fully able to focus on the individual student's needs, goals and aspirations, plus the content and format of the lessons can be adjusted appropriately. No time is wasted by having to deal with mixed abilities within a group and so stronger students are no longer held back by the weaker ones, who in turn can be mentored and given the confidence they need to thrive. In brief, one-to-one lessons can potentially bring the best results to most students, providing that they have the opportunity and means to receive them. As a teacher it is very important to first find out what your student expects from the class. An initial needs analysis prior to starting the course or at the first meeting helps define how to plan and structure future lessons so that they are geared towards the student's individual needs. This can be conducted for example in form of a questionnaire or interview. It is advisable to subsequently agree together on a list of priorities and periodically review them as conditions may also change rapidly. Furthermore, this process helps the student become more responsible and aware of their own role in achieving their goals and motivates them along the way. In terms of the setting, one-to-one lessons are very flexible and they can take place not just at a school or workplace but even at the teacher's or student's home, cafe or increasingly, also online, for example using Skype or dedicated software. They are also flexible as to the dates, times and duration of lessons. From the teacher's point of view, individual lessons do need more general preparation than standard group lessons. Existing materials and standard techniques often need to be heavily adapted to suit the student and to keep the lessons interesting and engaging. It is also essential to make sure that you have plenty of materials for each lesson as individual learners tend to go through any material at a far faster pace than groups. On the other hand, particularly adult professionals (who probably form the majority of those attending one-to-one lessons) are generally very keen to collect and bring along authentic material relevant to them, such as emails or company presentations that they need to prepare in their own job. The language and structure can then be studied and optimised together with the teacher. Many students would also be very happy to just practise their conversational skills. Ideally, no lessons should consist of free conversation only, though, but also aim to develop a variety of language skills, including grammar, reading, writing, listening and vocabulary. Even during free conversation it is advisable to note down the most important and repeated errors or knowledge gaps of the student and then review them at the conclusion of the activity. Many times it is about finding the ideal middle way between what the student wishes and what you as the teacher believe to be most important for their progress. One-to-one lessons come with their drawbacks and challenges too. First of all, the demand for high levels of attention and concentration can be exhausting to both the teacher and student, both mentally and physically. The lack of student-to-student support and group dynamic does not help either. It is also undeniably important for the teacher and student to get on well in the first place, the "chemistry" between them can be critical and cannot be undervalued. Furthermore, it is of utmost importance for the teacher to be aware of any cultural sensitivities and show respect to the student’s personality, private sphere and other commitments, either by avoiding too inquisitive questions during conversations or for example, overloading business people with excessive homework when they may already be struggling to meet their deadlines at their workplace. All in all, one-to one teaching can be fun, lucrative and as highlighted previously, the fastest way for students to achieve the best results. It requires flexibility, adaption, creativity and some good lateral thinking from the teacher but is certainly worth exploring and trying out for most teachers.