Teach English in Jingyang Zhen - Enshi Tujiazu Miaozu Zizhizhou

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In teaching adults one-to-one there are several considerations to take into account. I believe that in any teaching situation classes should be tailored in such a way that the student or students are engaged, and when the focus is on one student it is even more important. For adults I find that they prefer to practice oral exchanges rather than any written work. Naturally, this falls in line with their motivations for seeking out the one-on-one classes to begin with, which would often be their employment situations. What may give pause to a teacher in these kinds of classes is the large amount of prep work involved. Furthermore, it is far from steady work, which makes it a challenge financially. When giving one-to-one classes it is possible to tailor the experience to the needs of that particular student. If the student is a professional, they probably already have some experience with English. This has been true at least from my personal experience. In this case the student will even more likely be interested in mainly brushing up on their conversation skills. Perhaps there is some event they wish to prepare for such as a conference or a formal presentation. Therefore, it stands to reason that the sort of language to be practiced would be on the formal end of the spectrum. This contrasts with school-age children and teenagers in that they need to be introduced to both formal and informal English. Preparing a class that fits the needs of an individual student, I believe, is a necessary luxury for one-to-one classes. As one might expect one-on-one with a working professional would consist primarily of conversation. When I worked with individual students they were most keen on perfecting their pronunciation and learning vocabulary, especially phrases, which would be most appropriate in formal exchanges. On one occasion the student knew that they would need to present their research to peers in his field and others that would potentially fund future research projects. On another occasion there was a student that was interested in how to properly address customers in the hospitality sector. For both, fluency in formal English was their primary goal. Additionally they were resistant to overt grammar reinforcement. Therefore, I found it necessary to be creative and subtle when handling that aspect of the English lesson. Furthermore, simulating conversation with different people in different scenarios can prove to be an interesting teaching tool. Working professionals can have conflicting or fluctuating motivations. For some their work schedule would change, and rather than reschedule their session they would skip it, thus compromising consistency and eventually mastery. Others may feel that in only a few classes they have advanced so much that they no longer require private classes. The students who have suddenly stopped, in my experience, have tended to overestimate their level of fluency, however, there is not much to be done other than for the teacher to wish them well. Along this line, when a student seems bored in individual classes, I have learned to have alternative activities ready and thus endeavor to keep their motivation up and continue improving. Preparing oneself for a one-on-one class is no less time consuming than a larger class. Depending on how many individual students one has of a particular field, it may even be more labor intensive than preparing for a larger class, which could just be following a book, and some academies insist upon. I had one student that was an ecologist researcher and each class required me to do extra reading and general preparation, especially in his field. If in one class a student was wanting to focus more on the flow of conversation, I had to have read some relevant articles to discuss current information. Furthermore, I would make a list of questions that were related to his interests to ensure he did more talking than I did. Certainly, the time invested in preparing for one-to-one classes is extremely significant. Unfortunately, giving one-to-one classes can be unsteady work. When students go into these sorts of classes they usually have a time frame of commitment which can often span a month or two. This seems particularly true in Spain, where I’m currently working. Students are even less likely to commit to classes during the summer months when a large amount of people go on vacation and have more family events which require their attention. Of course this is to be expected, but it does put a strain on ones finances. While a personalized learning experience is my preference, necessity dictates that I must diversify by also working in an academy to have a steady income. In the end, the trials of teaching these sorts of classes, such as the inconsistency of the students, the extra work entailed, and fluctuating motivations, are part and parcel of teaching English in general. It is not something to be discouraged by, but rather to learn to take in stride and plan accordingly. I believe that helping someone get that extra help without the distractions of other students is a way of giving back for the help I needed in my school days. Having a class that fits your needs is a gift. Furthermore, in the classes and conversations with these students I facilitate a learning process that will enable them to continue to engage in meaningful exchanges. All in all, teaching one-to-one classes to adults has its challenges but it is a stimulating and rewarding experience.